All set to take on the world

The Limkok­wing Univer­sity of Cre­ative Tech­nol­ogy branch cam­pus in Le­sotho is pro­duc­ing grad­u­ates equipped with 21st cen­tury think­ing and prob­lem solv­ing skills

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - BY TARRENCE TAN ed­u­cate@thes­

Grad­u­ates with their skills and cre­ativ­ity are all set to de­sign the fu­ture and bring Le­sotho for­ward.

LIMKOK­WING Univer­sity of Cre­ative Tech­nol­ogy cel­e­brated its first decade in Le­sotho with its lat­est batch of 800 grad­u­ates who re­ceived their scrolls dur­ing the eighth con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony.

The grad­u­ates pre­sented univer­sity founder and pres­i­dent Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing with a framed pic­ture of ap­pre­ci­a­tion, thank­ing him for trans­form­ing their lives.

Le­sotho is the univer­sity’s sec­ond branch in Africa, open­ing in 2008. The first cam­pus was opened in Botswana in 2007 with an­other in Swazi­land (2011) and the most re­cent in Sierra Leone, which was of­fi­cially launched last year.

God­frey Semethe, 25, grad­u­ated with an As­so­ciate De­gree in In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

He re­gards his fu­ture with op­ti­mism as he feels that his time at the univer­sity has changed him and made him a team player. “I’m proud to say that I can work as part of a team.

“Dur­ing my time at the univer­sity, I learnt that ev­ery­one in the world has some­thing to share,” he added.

Semethe dreams of ad­dress­ing un­em­ploy­ment as it is an is­sue in Le­sotho.

“I want to re­duce the high rate of un­em­ploy­ment in my coun­try as many don’t have a job,” he said.

He hopes to open an In­ter­net cafe, to pro­vide univer­sity stu­dents with print­ing ser­vices.

Ma­likeket­lana Mafa, 23, a grad­u­ate in an As­so­ciate De­gree in In­ter­na­tional Tourism, re­ceived a full schol­ar­ship to study in the univer­sity from the Na­tional Man­power De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tariat for her out­stand­ing high school results.

“My dream is to turn Le­sotho into an in­ter­na­tional tourist des­ti­na­tion as many are not fa­mil­iar with the coun­try,” she said.

Mafa will be pur­su­ing a Master’s de­gree in tourism as a re­sult.

Mokethi Khomo-ea-ma­joe, who has al­binism and ex­treme short sight­ed­ness, ob­tained a de­gree in Broad­cast­ing and Jour­nal­ism. He ob­tained the Pres­i­dent’s award for lead­er­ship. “I’m very proud and ex­cited,” he said about his grad­u­a­tion. Khomo-ea-ma­joe wants to pur­sue a ca­reer in in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism af­ter com­plet­ing a Master’s in the field.

Semethe, Mafa and Khomo-ea-ma­joe are among the 800 grad­u­ates who re­ceived their scrolls.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony which was graced by Le­sotho Queen ‘Mase­n­ate Mo­hato Seeiso, par­ents were seen scream­ing ec­stat­i­cally as they cheered their chil­dren who went on stage to re­ceive their scrolls. The grad­u­ates were equally ex­pres­sive as they danced and roared with pride upon re­ceiv­ing their scrolls.

It was a joy­ous event, ac­com­pa­nied by amaz­ing per­for­mances by the univer­sity’s choir group, which saw stand­ing ova­tions and cheers from the crowd.

More to achieve

Lim is no stranger to Africa as he first met the late Nel­son Man­dela in 1993, when he re­quested for Malaysia’s help to pre­pare the African Na­tional Congress for South Africa’s first free elec­tions.

It was then three years af­ter Man­dela had been freed from 27 years of im­pris­on­ment for cham­pi­oning equal­ity in white-mi­nor­ity ruled South Africa.

Upon his re­lease, Man­dela as­sumed the lead­er­ship of the ANC, and ap­proached Prime Min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad for as­sis­tance.

Man­dela’s re­quest was an enor­mous one - to pro­vide voter ed­u­ca­tion in a coun­try where nearly 18 mil­lion out of the 20 mil­lion cit­i­zens would cast their bal­lots for the first time.

The ANC needed to set up fa­cil­i­ties, train and ed­u­cate work­ers and vol­un­teers.

The premier rec­om­mended Lim, one of Malaysia’s fore­most brand­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions guru, for the task. The ANC sub­se­quently won the elec­tions.

On his feel­ings af­ter wit­ness­ing the 800 ec­static grad­u­ates, Lim who has re­ceived nu­mer­ous awards for his phil­an­thropic con­tri­bu­tions, said that more has to be done.

“On such an oc­ca­sion, it will make you feel that much has been done, but a lot more has to be done.

“The Le­sotho peo­ple ex­pect us to fur­ther trans­form the work­force as they know that if they don’t re­in­force their tech­nol­ogy and hu­man re­source, they will not be able to move for­ward as quickly as they must,” he said.

Lim re­gards the univer­sity’s pres­ence in Le­sotho also known as the King­dom in the Sky, as a sin­cere act of lend­ing a help­ing hand to de­vel­op­ing African coun­tries.

“We came here to lend sup­port.

“I think we have made an im­pact be­cause we are sin­cerely lend­ing sup­port and we work eas­ily with var­i­ous peo­ple,” he added.

Lim is hop­ing that the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Di­a­logue (LID) can be re­vived.

The first Limkok­wing cam­pus opened its doors to Africa in 2007, fol­low­ing a meet­ing with Lim and African lead­ers dur­ing the LID in 2005, which sub­se­quently saw an in­vi­ta­tion by the Botswana govern­ment to set up a cam­pus in the coun­try it­self.

Lim said the univer­sity will con­tinue em­pha­sis­ing on the Tech­ni­cal and vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing (TVET) in its cour­ses.

“True ed­u­ca­tion is not only about ex­celling aca­dem­i­cally, but also pos­sess­ing skills which are use­ful to the 21st cen­tury work­force, a role that must be nur­tured through the ap­pli­ca­tion of TVET.

“If the peo­ple don’t have the spe­cific skills needed by the in­dus­try, then they will need to go through skills de­vel­op­ment via TVET.

“We will ac­tively en­gage in en­hanc­ing TVET de­liv­ery here,” said Lim.

The univer­sity, he added, also plans to open four more cam­puses in Africa by the first quar­ter of 2019, namely Uganda, Namibia, Nige­ria and South Africa.

Also present at the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony were Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Min­is­ter Prof Ntoi Ra­papa and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki, who came on be­half of Prime Min­is­ter Tom Tha­bane, univer­sity vice pres­i­dent (In­dus­try Em­pow­er­ment) Datuk Raja Aznil Raja Hisham and se­nior vice pres­i­dent Datuk Wil­liam Low.

Moleleki who spoke on be­half of Tha­bane, said the univer­sity is a unique global in­sti­tu­tion, which man­aged to defy all odds in pro­duc­ing well-equipped grad­u­ates.

“It is the first univer­sity in this coun­try to fo­cus on TVET-driven pro­grammes.

“I am also in­formed that it is the first to do so here be­fore the other cam­puses in Africa.

“Un­con­ven­tional in its na­ture, this univer­sity still ad­heres to the high­est quality as­sur­ance stan­dards and of­fers a port­fo­lio of cour­ses di­rectly rel­e­vant to the economies of de­vel­op­ing na­tions like ours,” he said.

The univer­sity, he added, is us­ing TVET as part of its plan to cre­ate a large pool of skilled work­force for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment across Africa.

Last April, the Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Ser­vice for In­ter­na­tional Col­leges (ASIC) from the United King­dom pre­sented Lim with two awards – one for his per­sonal con­tri­bu­tions and an­other to the univer­sity – for Trans­for­ma­tional Lead­er­ship in Global TVET Ed­u­ca­tion.

This award ac­knowl­edges Lim’s pi­o­neer­ing

en­deav­ours to bring in­dus­try into ed­u­ca­tion, which has changed the land­scape of pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion in Malaysia as well as in the coun­tries that house the Limkok­wing brand.

Ra­papa said dur­ing his speech that the univer­sity has changed the land­scape of ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try, with its grad­u­ates equipped with 21st cen­tury think­ing and prob­lem solv­ing skills.

“This univer­sity places em­pha­sis on prac­ti­cal ap­plied knowl­edge and en­sures its grad­u­ates are in­dus­try rel­e­vant and ready.

He also praised the univer­sity’s alumni for be­ing brave in em­bark­ing in new busi­nesses to make a liv­ing.

“They have the re­silience, the pas­sion, the drive and fire to get things done,” he added.

(From left) Raja Aznil, Ra­papa, Lim, Queen ‘Mase­n­ate, Moleleki and Low with a framed pic­ture of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the Queen at the cer­e­mony.

One for the al­bum as the grad­u­ates cel­e­brate thei

ir suc­cess at the Limkok­wing Univer­sity of Cre­ative Tech­nol­ogy branch cam­pus in Le­sotho. Grad­u­ates pre­sented Lim (mid­dle) with a framed ap­pre­ci­a­tion pic­ture. Lim (mid­dle) sur­rounded by happy stu­dents dressed in their black univer­sity tee shirts and wav­ing the flags of Malaysia and Le­sotho.

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