KUALA LUMPUR: Education is not just about paper chase but a meaningful journey in charting a career path, says Higher Education Department director-general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.
Dr Siti Hamisah, who is from the Education Ministry, said students should explore new boundaries in order to take charge of their future.
“It (higher education) should be an experience that will set the tone for their future,” she said when opening the Star Education Fair 2019 at the KL Convention Centre.
Dr Siti Hamisah said that deciding on the most suitable course after completing secondary education was a big step.
“It sets the tone of the career pathways that school-leavers will embark on.”
Dr Siti Hamisah said she was glad to see the Star Education Fair having a section where students could do a career interest test to help steer them towards courses that would suit them.
There are about 5,000 courses available in public institutions of higher learning and another 8,000 courses offered by the private sector, she said.
Events such as the Star Education Fair, she said, encourages partnerships not just between educational institutions but among parents, the community and the private sector.
Dr Siti Hamisah congratulated Star Media Group for organising 32 successful years of education fairs.
She also commended it for providing scholarships through the Star Education Fund, which has helped more than 3,900 students pursue their tertiary studies.
The Star Education Fund is offering 285 scholarships worth RM15.1mil from 32 institutions.
These scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines, from entry-level courses to undergraduate education and professional studies, and are all bond-free.
Star Education Fund manager Susanna Kuan said 28 partners presented their scholarship pledges to Dr Siti Hamisah and Star Media Group chief content officer Esther Ng during the opening ceremony.
Kuan said the other four partners are from the northern region and will present their pledges at the Star Education Fair in Penang in March.
Ng said education had been a focus of the group since day one.
“For over three decades, the fair – an independent platform featuring reputable learning institutions, has been a go-to event for parents, and students,” she said.
“On our part, we make sure that the exhibitors who come on board are not fly by night operators because quality education is not something we can ever compromise on.
“This is not an ‘open day’ featuring one university or college. It’s an ‘open day’ with all the movers and shakers of the industry present.”
“So when you come to the fair, you know you are choosing from among the best,” she said.
Ng said they greatly valued the support shown by the ministry.