Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education said that the process of guiding students in understanding the meaning of life will result in a new generation that not only is capable of doing good work but also can assist more effectively in national development.
“I am concerned that sometimes universities focus too much ojn academic courses that have been accredited by professional bodies, implementing programmes that serve the needs of the industry, carrying out research that is sponsored by certain agencies and use commercial activities as the main indicator of the university’s performance.
“While it is true that all of this is important, we musn’t forget the aims and objectives of setting up a university, which should be producing graduates who understand the meaning of life without turning their careers into the main agenda once they graduate,” he said when launching the Asia Pacific Global Education Conference 2010 at the Parkroyal Hotel, Batu Ferringhi today.
The four-day conference witnessed the attendance of 480 participants from 48 countries. The conference was jointly organized by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Open University Malaysia (OUM), Wawasan Open University (WOU) and the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Dato’ Saifuddin added that the ability of the university to merge technological advancement to facilitate access to resources for higher education should be supported by more holistic education that can ultimately teach students about the meaning of life.
“We now have many graduates who are doctors, engineers and professionals in other fields but at the same time, the social diseases have also increased.
“We have to take all of this into consideration and I believe it is closely related to the students themselves. Students should understand that a career is just one small aspect of life and that they have much larger roles to play,” he stressed.
At the conference, Dato’ Saifuddin also listened to the keynote address titled, ‘Sustainable Higher Education Learning Futures’ presented by Prof. James Taylor dari University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
Also present at the function were Assoc. Prof. Merza Abbas representing the Vice-Chancellor of USM; Prof. Gary Marks, the ExecutiveDirector of AACE and Prof. Zoraini Wati Abas, Co-Chairman of the conference.