Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education said that the role of a university is no longer limited to merely educating and producing graduates with academic qualifications but also as agents of social and community development.
“We all play a role in national development and progress and in the context of a university, it cannot stand apart and be separate from the community.
On the contrary, universities have to constantly think of novel ways for social and community development and to enhance the quality of life of the people,” he said in his speech to more than 3000 students and staff of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) during the 1Malaysia Hari Raya Celebration today.
The 1Malaysia Hari Raya Celebration was organised by the USM Student Representative Council.
While describing the Hari Raya celebration as one of the largest he has ever attended in an institution of higher learning, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled also added that he was satisfied with the progress of the APEX Programme in USM. He went on to say that this was reflected through the involvement of USM students, regarded as the most active in Malaysia.
“From my observation, USM students are the ones who are most actively involved in various programmes and activities that involve the community. This shows that the APEX Programme has had an impact in developing and shaping the right mindset and personality among students. USM students should be proud of the APEX status and this should be translated into many more programmes that can contribute to the society,” he stressed.
At the same function, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled accepted a copy of the model of the USM Students’ Parliament known as the Students’ Consultative Assembly presented by the President of the USM Students Representative Council (MPPUSM), Ahmad Wafi Sahedan.
The Students’ Consultative Assembly, which held a trial session on 25 September 2010 will comprise 58 student representatives, including MPPUSM members and representatives of selected student bodies.
The first official session of the Students’ Consultative Assembly is expected to be held on 23 October 2010.
Also present at the ceremony were the Vice-Chancellor’s wife, Puan Sri Datin Masrah Hj. Abidin; Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development), Prof. Lim Koon Kong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Network), principal officers of the university and student representatives from various associations and clubs.