Academic Staff Advised To Innovate And Embrace Change
By Nurul Haziqah Abdul Halim
Pix Ikhwan Hashim
SEPANG, 25 Feb 2014 – The National University of Malaysia’s (UKM) academic staff should challenge conventional teaching by embracing changes that come with time.
Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said it was important for them to be unique, adaptable and relevant. He was addressing the university’s two day Education Congress 2013 at the Sama-sama Hotel at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today,.
He said times are changing and universities too needed to change to keep up with the world and students who will pass through their halls.
“We need to be unique. We also have to restructure our departments and faculties so that we are following the educational trends of the times. If we do not change, then we risk UKM becoming irrelevant,” Prof Noor Azlan said.
He said students of the ‘Generation Y’ are more aware and more up to date than students of 20 years ago. The way they study and go about their duties are all different from the generation before them and they expect that the lecturers are just as tech-savvy and modern as they are.
He mentioned the cultural phenomenon of fearing change that is deeply rooted in Malaysia, especially in the education sector and universities across Malaysia are no different.
Both the academic and non-academic staff of UKM should not be negative towards change assuring them that changes within UKM will not cause them to lose their jobs.
“When the management makes restructuring changes, please do not take it so badly. We are trying to improve the services and programmes in UKM for our students and when our students do well, so will UKM as a whole,” The Vice Chancellor said.
With the changes academic staff must be willing and able to make their departments stronger and unique, so students will continue to make UKM their first choice university.
“What makes UKM, your faculty or department so unique, that as a student, when I apply to join a university, I would immediately say UKM? This is what we are aiming for,” Prof Noor Azlan said.
Nearly all the academic staff attended the two day congress. It was held this year because of scheduling conflicts at the end of 2013. The UKM Education Congress 2014 will be held later this year.