NOVEMBER was a landmark month for UCSI University (UCSI) as it wrapped up its 30th anniversary celebrations in grand style with a gala dinner themed “Shine Like Stars”.
It was indeed a night to remember for the 1,000-odd staff and guests as UCSI founder and group CEO Datuk Peter Ng recalled the humble beginnings of the group.
“UCSI has experienced painfully difficult phases in its history, but through it all, has never failed to undergo tremendous growth,” he said in his speech in the function graced by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap, who represented minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
The university has its roots in an unassuming computer training institute founded in 1986, before subsequent growth finally led to the creation of UCSI.
“It is a historic milestone that truly represents how far we have come and we can each be proud of the role we have played in this journey. And this is no small measure because of the people who have contributed and partnered together to achieve this level of excellence,” said Ng, who thanked key members of UCSI’s management team that included UCSI chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad, chairman of the UCSI Group, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad, chairman of the UCSI University Trust, Datuk Dr Mohd Karim Abdullah Omar, and vice-chancellor and president of UCSI University, Senior Professor Datuk Dr Khalid Yusoff.
Ng also acknowledged the staff of the university and group as a whole, calling for all to stand for a round of applause.
In her speech, Dr Yap pointed out that private varsities in Malaysia have been instrumental in attracting foreign students, thus contributing to Malaysia’s rise as a global education hub.
Drawing parallels with UCSI’s history, Dr Yap said that private education providers often persevered against astronomical odds before growing in stature.
“UCSI’s ascension to be one of Malaysia’s foremost private universities is nothing short of impressive. “It has made outstanding contributions to the Malaysian higher education landscape,” said Dr Yap, who added that the true measure of success was not just the quality of the institution, but the quality of its graduates and in their gaining full employment and living productive and meaningful lives.
It was a sentiment echoed by Ng who founded UCSI on the belief that education could change lives, and as such, no deserving student should ever miss out on the chance to pursue higher education.
With its unflinching commitment to education excellence and innovation, the university enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence. This has seen it expanding to three campuses across the nation to collectively offer more than 100 academic programmes.
It is ranked Tier Five (Excellent), the highest rating accorded to Malaysian universities so far, in the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (Setara), and is one of the few private universities here to break into the 2015 and 2016 QS University Rankings: Asia.
It has also consistently recorded high graduate employability due in part to its Co-operative Placement Programme, where students intern with the world’s leading companies. UCSI was the first in the region to facilitate such placements, and today, runs the largest university-industry network with over 4,000 corporate partners.
Guests of the gala enjoyed a spread prepared by UCSI’s Le Quadri Hotel in collaboration with its Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, while students provided the entertainment in the form of performances and fashion shows, especially those studying music and creative arts.
Adding to the surprise element was a flash mob consisting of the university’s senior management and committee members.
The gala dinner was part of a year-long series of celebrations at UCSI, with other events including the unveiling of a commemorative logo in January, as well as a carnival that raised over RM40,000 in funds for 10 charities.
At least RM30mil worth of scholarships were also pledged to the UCSI University Trust – the university’s scholarship arm – and disbursed throughout the year.
With the launch of its two new blocks at its Kuala Lumpur campus, UCSI has expanded its operational space by around 92,900sqm (one million sqft).
Another notable development is the building of Malaysia’s first private teaching hospital with 1,000 beds in Port Dickson’s Bandar Springhill. By early next year, the doors of USCI’s second teaching hotel will open to receive guests. Located in Kuching, this will be Sarawak’s first ever teaching hotel.
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