Citra UKM Hosted the First International Conference on Liberal Studies

By Murniati Abu Karim
Photo Izwan Azman

BANGI, 29 September 2021 – School of Liberal Studies Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Citra UKM) organised the first International Conference on Liberal Studies 2021 (iCITRA2021) to advance the knowledge frontiers, experiences and expertise in the field of liberal studies.

Themed Mastery of Multidisciplinary and Inter-Disciplinary Skills and Competencies, the conference gathered researchers from academia, research institutions, and industry.

Officiating the conference was UKM Royal Fellow, His Highness Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz who is also the President of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).

In his speech, he commends UKM for not being afraid to talk about liberal studies, which can elicit strong feelings in those who misunderstand its many applications.

“The term liberal study in an academic setting, refers to the freedom that students have in terms of choosing different subjects. When UKM speaks positively about liberal studies, it helps to detoxify the word and spark more intellectual discourse and debate.

“This is a mission shared by Citra UKM, which aims to produce graduates with a world-class mindset capable of confronting challenges in economic development based on knowledge and innovation.

“This goal is becoming more relevant as we look forward to the post-pandemic era, when companies, workers, and citizens have discovered more efficient ways to get things done.

“Digital transformation have been catalysed by the need to accomplish tasks from anywhere with logistics, marketing, and education itself are all undergoing tremendous adjustment,” he said.

During the opening ceremony, UKM Vice Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Hj Toriman said that higher education in the twenty-first century requires mastery of multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary skills.

“As the world changes, education in a specialised field of study is no longer adequate, and our graduates must be able to adapt to new challenges with agility and responsiveness.

“Therefore, liberal education is becoming increasingly relevant and gaining attention, both globally and locally,” he explained.