WE need more than a degree to stay relevant and competitive in this era of rapid and unprecedented changes worldwide.
This is evident in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR) which saw the increasingly blurring of lines between technology and the existing world.
While new startups are synonymous with the 4IR, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik cautioned that some existing jobs also get wiped out simultaneously.
The 4IR certainly calls for added creativity and adaptability in order to stay afloat.
“It is more important to master soft skills than mastering knowledge in hardware these days.
“UTAR’s Department of Soft Skills Competency offers courses like communication and language skills, cognitive skills, complex problem solving, critical thinking and emotional intelligence, ” he said.
Prof Chuah said that 9,285 students had obtained a soft skill related certificate so far.
“Students are encouraged to take soft skill courses to boost their confidence in coping with the 4IR, ” he said at the opening of UTAR’s three-day convocation in its main campus in Bandar Baru Kampar recently.
According to a report in China Press, a total of 2,843 students, including 107 with Masters and 13 Doctorates, received their scrolls; and 141 with distinction.
Present at the 29th graduation ceremony were UTAR’s chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, council chairman Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh, council member Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn and board of trustees and education foundation chairman Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum.
The event also saw the 2017/2018 Public Relations Campaign volunteer group handing over a mock cheque for RM29,466.40 in donation to the UTAR Hospital construction fund.
The hospital, located next to its main campus, is set to be operational in 2022, which is also the university’s 20th anniversary.
Prof Chuah said the university had disbursed RM186.4mil in scholarships and RM13.6mil in loans to 17,670 eligible students.
Its affordable fees, he added, provide more access to tertiary education.