A Holistic Approach to Student Campus Experience

By Daing Nasir Ibrahim, Abdul Shukur Ishak and Fazia Ali.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the role of university in producing high caliber graduates through a holistic approach which combines technical skills training, soft skills development and community engagement that together provide a unique campus experience where students embrace learning and diversity to become leaders in the service of the global community. University graduates of the twenty first century should possess a special set of qualities that will not only enable them to seek and secure employment beyond their national boundaries but will also be able to create job opportunities to serve the global community. They must be both professionally competent and socially adaptable to their workplaces and be versatile enough to assume different roles in various environments. At Universiti Malaysia Pahang, professional skills training is conducted in a specially designed teaching and learning environment aptly termed as the ‘Teaching Factory’ which closely resembles the workplaces that students will encounter upon graduating. Whereas, for soft skills development, the University has a comprehensive system of coaching and appraisal embedded in the academic curriculum. The soft skills development program encompasses the inculcation and enhancement of five major elements namely: positive values, team working skills, communication skills, leadership, and learning capability. All these are further strengthened by a variety of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities made available on campus to test and validate the students’ competency in the five areas. Finally, to ensure students’ awareness about their duty and responsibility to contribute to the society and be conversant with issues and challenges affecting the global community, the University strongly encourages and facilitates community service activities that expose its students to the realities of life outside the campus. In so doing, the students can better understand and appreciate the complexity of life of the people and seek to contribute, in their own ways, to the improvement of their livelihood.

Keywords: Holistic, Campus Experience, Competency, Soft Skills, Community Engagement

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 592.158KB).

Prof. Daing Nasir Ibrahim

Vice Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Gambang, Kuantan, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia

DAING NASIR IBRAHIM, PhD, BBA, MBA, CA (M), FCPA (Australia), is a Professor of Accounting. He was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) on May 16, 2008. Prior to his current appointment, he had been Dean of the School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for 10 years. He was then appointed as the Director, Advanced Management Centre of USM. Professor Daing is a Chartered Accountant (Malaysia), a Fellow of the Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia (FCPA) and a former Vice President of its Malaysia Division. Utilizing his knowledge and experiences in the field of accounting and management, he has been actively involved in university administration and at the same time sharing his expertise with various organizations such as professional accounting bodies, business associations and government agencies. He was on the Council of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and on several of its committees, such as Accreditation Committee, Globalisation and Liberalisation Committee and Disciplinary Appeal Committee. His areas of expertise are Management Accounting and Control, Corporate Governance, and Research Methodology. More than 20 PhD candidates had successfully graduated under Professor Daing’s supervision. Besides publishing in international and national journals as well presenting at international and national conferences/seminars, Professor Daing has been undertaking contract research and consultations (examples: Tesco, Jusco, Ministry of Health, Perda), and conducts executive development programmes (examples: Intel, Hewlett Packard, MARA, Reserve Bank of India, etc). He is a member of the advisory board of the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Board of Directors of Usains Holding, a wholly owned company of USM, and its three subsidiaries before leaving for Universiti Malaysia Pahang. Professor Daing was conferred by His Royal Highness the King of the State of Pahang, Malaysia, the State Merit Award “Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang” which carries the title “Dato” in 2003. In 2004, in conjunction with the inaugural conference (World Congress) of the Academy for Global Business Advancement or AGBA (based in the USA) held in New Delhi, Professor Dato Daing was conferred the Dean-of-the-Year Award. In its 3rd World Congress held in Kuala Lumpur, AGBA once again presented Dr Dato’ Daing with the “2006 AGBA Distinguished Dean Award”. In helming UMP, Professor Daing promotes an administration that is “Values-based, strategy focused and performance driven”. He believes that every aspect of the university activities must reflect a culture of excellence that puts academic interest before anything else. A strong advocate of student’s leadership and development, a more liberal approach has been adopted in the way the university engages itself with the students. In overcoming administrative bureaucracies, outdated regulations and procedures that tend to frustrate and curtail the speedy development of the university and the achievement of its strategic plan, Professor Daing had undertaken a university-wide management and administration transformation exercise for UMP. Meanwhile, in promoting quality teaching, research and university-industry linkages, UMP has also embarked on several restructuring under Professor Daing’s leadership. His vision is that UMP will be a world-class and students’ number one choice of engineering/technical university in not too a distant future.

Abdul Shukur Ishak

Senior Assistant Registrar, Student Affairs and Alumni Department, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Gambang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Fazia Ali

Principal Deputy Registrar, Research and Innovation Division, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Gambang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia


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