GEORGE TOWN: The Government would consider the views and concerns raised by university students in their “students’ parliament” when drafting future policies, especially those concerning institutes of higher learning.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said undergraduates had the maturity and confidence to raise their views and opinions in an objective manner, which would be useful in helping the Government shape national policies.
“There is nothing wrong if the students raise concerns which are political in nature but these must be done within the confines of the learning process,” he told reporters after personally accepting the proposal for the formation of the “students’ parliament” from USM Students Body Council president Mohammad Shafiq Abdul Aziz at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here Thursday.
Also present was University Sains Malaysia (USM) vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.
USM is the first university in the country to come out with a proposal to form such a “parliament.”
Saifuddin said he expected the other universities in the country to start their own “students’ parliament.”
“The universities are encouraged to come out with their own models because the ultimate aim is to encourage intellectual discussions amongst students.
“We will also leave it to the respective universities and their students to introduce or to implement their own set of guidelines to curb any form of abuse,” he said.
He added that the formation of the “parliament” marked a new milestone in increasing the participation of undergraduates in discussions concerning government policies.
Dzulkifli said the formation would be completed once the “constitution” was finalised and gazetted.
Earlier, Saifuddin witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between USM and the Chemistry Department for the teaching and training of forensic science students of USM’s School of Health Sciences.
Dzulkifli said USM is the first university in the country to have a DNA forensic laboratory.
“The university will also be offering DNA and paternity tests services to the public and in about two weeks’ time, forensic digital technology facilities would be made available at the university,” he said.
He also said 80% of USM undergraduates who graduated in forensic science were gainfully employed by the Chemistry Department.
Also present were department director-general N. Hithaya Jeevan and forensic division director Primulapathi Jaya Krishnan.
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