Hajiji pledges full support for state-owned varsity in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will give its full backing on efforts to develop the sole state-owned institution of higher learning, the University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF).

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said his administration will also support UCSF’s initiatives on elevating the quality of education and its excellence in churning out skilled human capital to transform the education sector in the state.

According to Hajiji, who is also the UCSF chancellor, the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Universiti Teknologi Petronas and UCSF last December was another feather in the varsity’s cap concerning efforts to develop human capital in Sabah.

“Through this cooperation, the UCSF will offer specific courses on oil and gas in the campus in order to produce more local students who will (eventually) work in various jobs in the sector.

“In essence, policies in talent and human capital management have been drawn up (in the state) and will continue to be among my priorities,” he said at the 2nd UCSF convocation ceremony at the Sabah International Convention Centre here on Saturday (Jan 14).

The Chief Minister said the UCSF was established eight years ago with the goal to fulfil social responsibility and sustainability in the state.

And the institution, he said, has so far met those objectives of producing more professional workers who can contribute to development in Sabah.

“I am happy because the UCSF has provided the opportunity and avenue for more students in the state to pursue studies at a higher level,” Hajiji said.

He added the university college has also churned out graduates who have been able to compete in the job market.

Towards this end, he proposed for UCSF to open a mini campus in the east coast Tawau district, which would be in line with the institution’s internationalisation efforts in terms of academics and research.

To ensure UCSF becomes the choice of the younger generation, he said, the state government will allocate a further RM5mil to be utilised as research grants.

These funds would be for research on development in Sabah, courses and training for civil servants and the youth as well as pioneering projects, he added.

Hajiji said he had also approved a research body in UCSF with a startup fund of RM5mil.

“I hope that with this additional assistance, UCSF will continue to be excellent,” Hajiji said.

The state government, he added, had allocated RM175.61mil under the 2023 state Budget for human capital development as well as information and communication technology (ICT).

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