There is no room for arrogance among lecturers in Universities

TTF: There is also a pressing need for University lecturers to rethink their position in society. They must no longer think of higher degrees as testimonies of their accomplishments, but recognitions that the road to discovery has been set on a track guided by collective wisdoms and guarded by the fact that what one perceives to be the truth is never absolute.

As such, lecturers must never place themselves above the society at large or patronise their students, but treat them as apprentices and their equals. There is no room for arrogance in academia if it is an advanced and better evolved civilisation we seek

SHAH ALAM: Malaysian higher learning institutions must keep up with the fast pace of industry development to produce graduates suitable for the future workforce.

New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd (NSTP) chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid said universities today cannot afford to wait in adjusting their academic products as industrial requirements are constantly changing.

Citing the media industry which has been greatly affected with the advent of digital technologies that are changing the way the world functions, he said jobs that exist today could no longer be needed in the next five years while new ones are being created.

“What we are seeing today, we are living in a scary world. Digital disruption saw not only the media industry affected, but also our lives.

“Banks are so worried that they have to start closing their branches, as people just don’t go to these (physical) branches anymore. This is happening now, during our generation.

“This is the challenge for faculty members to prepare graduates for jobs that may not exist in the next few years,” he said during a forum at Universiti Teknologi Mara earlier today.

Jalil was one of the panellists at the University-Industry Engagement Session forum, titled ‘Symbiotic Relationship of University-Industry-Community-Government: How do we make it work in Malaysia’.

Giving an example, Jalil, a seasoned journalist, said NSTP today no longer needs the role of sub-editor in their operations.

Instead, he added, the way Media Prima Bhd was moving forward is to have new roles created to suit the company’s needs as they evolve with the time.

“Just recently, I had a benchmarking visit to Germany to see how their media company has adapted to change.

“They’re doing very well in the face of digital disruption, which does not only pose challenges, but have also created opportunities.

“The company has created new jobs, to name a few – SEO managers, web developers, digital analysts, big data managers, business data analysts. They have 15,000 staff all over Europe, mostly in Germany, with annual revenue of over three billion Euros. “They do not hire journalists, videographers. Likewise, this is what our company is doing in Media Prima. We are going to be a pure digital first company,” he said.

Jalil said the media company would need more graduates in Information Technology, Actuarial Science, Computer Science, Graphics and Animation, instead of Mass Communication graduates, in the future to support its growth and expansion.

He said this is the challenge that universities are facing, and that they need to move fast and constantly engage with industry players.

The 90-minute forum, also saw three other panellists – Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Wira Jallilah Baba, PKT Logistics Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Micheal Tio, and Human Resource Development Fund chairman Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul – sharing their insight with some 300 attendees, who included academicians and industry players.

It was moderated by Higher Education Leadership Academy director Prof Dr Mohamad Kamal Harun.

Source: NST Online

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