The world is our classroom

Reaching out: Lim feels that Malaysians should do more to connect with foreign students.

With a presence across three continents, it is only natural for Limkokwing University of Creative Technology to celebrate multiculturalism with a bang.

MULTICULTURALISM is a form of education. “It is culture that provides the world with the soul and passion for doing things better,” says educationist and innovation guru Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing.

“We encourage our students to celebrate culture and diversity. It’s very heartwarming to see students mix and bond with people from other countries,” he adds, saying that multiculturalism allows the world to be our classroom.

“It allows us to learn from each other and become better individuals through tolerance, appreciation and empathy,” he shares during an interview at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology campus in Cyberjaya. .

Lim gave the example of an architecture class featuring students from 25 nationalities, which allows them to learn from the design thinking of countries other than their own.

He described those who are able to make friends easily with people from all over the world, speak multiple languages and show care for others as “special”.

Celebrating diversity: With over 8,000 students from 150 countries at the varsity’s Cyberjaya campus, there is always a reason to showcase the different cultures.
Celebrating diversity: With over 8,000 students from 150 countries at the varsity’s Cyberjaya campus, there is always a reason to showcase the different cultures.

The university has 8,000 students from some 150 countries in its Cyberjaya campus alone; 80% of them are foreigners.

It has 30,000 students representing some 170 countries across all its 13 campuses in Asia, Africa and the United Kingdom.

“The university’s website gets 300 million hits a year from around 230 different countries and territories. We are the third most popular on Twitter and fifth on Facebook,” said Lim.

“It’s an indication that we are able to communicate with young people from across the world.

“One of the most popular events at our university is the annual Limkokwing Cultural Festival. It’s a one-day event packed with food, dance, games and booths done by the students.

“Another highlight is our graduation ceremony, which is a loud and colourful event as everyone is cheering for each other. The fellowship is amazing.”

He said the university has added another feather to its cap when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented two titles - The Global University of Malaysia and Malaysia’s University for Edu-Tourism – at the closing of the National Academic Decathlon held in mid-May.

“We are an industry-driven university. We have a cafe, boutique and gym at our Cyberjaya campus so students know what it takes to set up, run and market a business.

“Our students do well because of the experience they get here,” said Lim.

“I tell the students to design the best they can, be the person they want to be, do things they want to do, and even pursue the causes they care for.”

He stressed that unemployment among youth is what happens when there is a disconnect between what the person studied and what is the real world.

“Today’s education must be about life itself. It’s not only about getting a job, but also being a part of society. It’s about reaching out to others and connecting with people; in so doing you become a better person.

“I set out to build a university that’s relevant to the world and is a place driven by new technology,” said Lim.

He added that he spends a lot of time promoting global peace, as there is a lot of value if young people embrace it.

“Global peace is not only about absence of war. It’s about good neighbourliness, not being confrontational and making the effort to understand all communities and cultures,” said Lim.

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