Be­come a well-rounded stu­dent at He­riot-Watt

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

“WHAT makes hu­mans spe­cial and en­able us to be the dom­i­nant species on earth is the com­bi­na­tion of su­pe­rior in­tel­li­gence and con­scious­ness or aware­ness that we pos­sess. There are no other species that can ri­val us in ei­ther in­tel­li­gence or aware­ness,” quips He­riot-Watt Univer­sity Malaysia se­nior deputy provost Prof Mush­tak Al-Atabi.

“Tak­ing this for granted, ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems for the last cou­ple of cen­turies evolved to hone our in­tel­li­gence and cog­ni­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” he added.

An ex­pert in pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy, He­ri­otWatt Univer­sity Malaysia has started to in­vest in de­vel­op­ing its stu­dents’ emo­tional in­tel­li­gence through var­i­ous ef­forts.

This is in line with the univer­sity’s aim to de­velop well-rounded stu­dents who are able to re­alise and ful­fil their full po­ten­tial.

To help stu­dents achieve this, the univer­sity re­cently or­gan­ised its Youth Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme (YTP).

It was de­vel­oped to as­sist SPM/O-Lev­els grad­u­ates in build­ing self-aware­ness, self-man­age­ment, so­cial aware­ness as well as re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment skills that will set them on the path to suc­cess.

Fur­ther­more, these ac­tiv­i­ties will also help par­tic­i­pants iden­tify what mo­ti­vates and in­ter­ests them, de­velop a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their emo­tions and the roles they play as well as how they im­pact the peo­ple around them.

“We be­lieve that ed­u­ca­tion is the process of in­cul­cat­ing a growth mind­set into the in­di­vid­u­als. Thomas Fried­man in his book Thank You for Be­ing Late men­tions that two decades ago, we used to speak of the dig­i­tal di­vide – those who have ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy and those who don’t – as the de­ci­sive fac­tor for suc­cess. Now that ev­ery­one has ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy, the real di­vide is the ‘mo­ti­va­tional di­vide’. Suc­cess is mea­sured by how much mo­ti­va­tion one has to use the tech­nol­ogy to be more pro­duc­tive and to learn and de­velop more.

“Our pro­gramme will get the par­tic­i­pants to learn what mo­ti­vates them and keeps them en­gaged, based on the lat­est find­ings from neu­rol­ogy and our knowl­edge of how the hu­man brain works. Par­tic­i­pants will also learn about emo­tions and their roles in what we do and how we im­pact oth­ers,” said Prof Mush­tak.

Ac­cord­ing to YTP par­tic­i­pant Ab­dul Rashid Abd Ma­jid, “The YTP has changed me to be­come a bet­ter per­son. I used to be in­tro­verted and afraid to ap­proach oth­ers. How­ever, thanks to this pro­gramme, I have learned to over­come this prob­lem and now, I am able to min­gle with peo­ple. It has also im­proved my com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lead­er­ship skills.”

For Ab­dul, one of his big­gest lessons learned from YTP is on how to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers and work to­gether as a team.

He highly rec­om­mends this pro­gramme to stu­dents as this will help pre­pare them for the univer­sity en­vi­ron­ment.

Speak­ing of his fu­ture plans, Ab­dul hopes to be able to put these skills he picked up to good use at He­riot-Watt.

“I am plan­ning to pur­sue my stud­ies in ac­count­ing and busi­ness fi­nance upon com­plet­ing He­riot-Watt’s foun­da­tion pro­gramme. I am con­fi­dent that my time here will help mould me into a bet­ter stu­dent in the fu­ture,” he said.

He­riot-Watt Univer­sity Malaysia will be run­ning the YTP from July 3 at its cam­pus, lead­ing up to its July foun­da­tion in­take.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion on the pro­grammes and schol­ar­ships of­fered at He­riot-Watt Univer­sity Malaysia, visit its cam­pus in Pu­tra­jaya dur­ing its open days on June 17 and 18. Al­ter­na­tively, log on to, call 030-8894 3888 or e-mail

He­riot-Watt Univer­sity Malaysia will be run­ning its Youth Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme (YTP) from July 3, lead­ing up to its foun­da­tion in­take.

Ab­dul Rashid Abd Ma­jid cred­its He­riot-Watt Univer­sity Malaysia’s Youth Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme in help­ing him come out of his shell and learn to ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate with dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

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