I AM honoured to have been able to hear first-hand the aspirations of Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh during his 2017 new year message to his ministry. His far-sightedness will stand the higher education sector in good stead and enable higher education institutions to be better at what they do in producing graduates who are future ready.
I look forward to supporting the ministry’s efforts particularly the aspirations for promoting research excellence, innovation in teaching and learning, STEM education and improvement in the area of graduate employability as these areas of interest augur well with the initiatives at Taylor’s University.
Research, particularly in high impact areas, is central to our new five-year mission.
As part of this realignment to our focus, we will be appointing 100 successful research active professors who will be able to engage in research opportunities both locally and internationally. This is the first step Taylor’s University is taking to strengthen the university’s standing and ranking locally and internationally in terms of research, in line with our aspiration to be in the top 100 universities in Asia by 2022.
I am happy to note that the decision to raise the profile of Taylor’s within the wider community of Asia is in line with the ministry’s aspiration for local universities to be renowned for providing a world-class education to its students and giving each of them an education that will stand them in good stead upon graduation.
In our technologically-rich world today, individuals who have a background in science-related fields play a crucial part in various aspects of our everyday life, including the advancement of medicine, engineering and technology. I laud the focused intention of the minister to raise awareness for the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at schools and enrol 60 percent students in these subjects in universities by 2020. I hope to be able to support the National STEM Plan upon its launch through our faculties.
I am also pleased to share that technology is part and parcel of how we deliver our pedagogy at Taylor’s University. Five years from launching our “Learning Revolution”, we have provided our students with an approach to education that is student-centric through our adoption of the X-Space classroom which stimulates discourse and creativity among students; Taylor’s Integrated Moodle e-Learning System, which provides our students with the opportunity to explore learning outside the classroom while connecting with their lecturers, collaborating with their peers and taking charge of their learning; and the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which encourages student participation from all over the world via multimedia content.
This new pedagogy has made learning relevant to the 21st century learners allowing them to learn anytime, anywhere. Therefore, I support the ministry’s call on embracing technology to jumpstart the paradigm shift in education as it has proven to work in our case.
In the era of global connectivity and a world without borders, empowering our students with the recipe for success upon graduation is crucial now more than ever and we could not do this without the support of our industry partners. We have been working closely with our industry partners to improve how and what we teach our students so that the content remains relevant to the industry, producing graduates that meet the demands of the industry. We are encouraged to see the efforts by the ministry to have top CEOs of Malaysian companies to contribute their time to develop talents at universities as learning from the industry captains themselves will contribute significantly to student learning.
All of us at Taylor’s University look forward to supporting the ministry to further raising Malaysia’s profile as a provider of quality education at a global level.
PROF MICHAEL J. DRISCOLL
Vice-Chancellor & President, Taylor’s University