PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s oldest university is seeking to implant its graduates with a “Universiti Malaya DNA” to help improve their employability.
The university is working towards producing graduates with the “right attributes”.
All future graduates must have the “Universiti Malaya DNA” – a set of values and attributes that distinguish them from others, said its vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim (pic).
He cited critical thinking, good communication skills, drive, initiative and the ability to work independently, being adaptable and entrepreneurial, as important attributes.
“When we take students in, we want to ensure that they have the attributes that are associated with the university,” he said.
Abdul Rahim, who recently marked his 100 days in office, was speaking to Sunday Star in his first media interview since his November appointment last year.
“We must put our graduates on the radar of employers. So when they send their recruiters over to whichever faculty, they know exactly what they’re getting.”
He said the “Universiti Malaya DNA” would be ready this year.
“It’s on the top of my list.”
However, he acknowledged that having a set of attributes alone would not be enough.
“The challenge is to embed that in the curriculum so that when our graduates go out, they stand out,” he said,
UM, he said, must move on from PowerPoint slides and big group learning to active and collaborative learning.
“Everything’s mobile and on the cloud. We must re-look the way we teach. How do we address Industry 4.0 and take advantage of technologies that are available now?
“How do we develop the right student attributes so that when they leave they’re able to handle the challenges of the future?”
He also noted that the types of jobs available in the next five or 10 years were uncertain but the attributes that graduates must have were obvious.
“How do we embed attributes like life-long learning into the curriculum? How do we make sure that the projects our students undertake address critical thinking and communication skills?” he said
He added that written and spoken communication skills must be improved to prepare them for their vocations.