Re­search plan to ben­e­fit groups

The Star Malaysia - - News -

THIS year will be about ‘‘Re­design­ing Higher Ed­u­ca­tion’’ to en­sure the coun­try’s higher ed­u­ca­tion re­mains cur­rent.

The ques­tion is to trans­late univer­sity re­search into a so­lu­tion for na­tional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues to ben­e­fit in­dus­tries, academia, gov­ern­ments and larger so­ci­ety.

A Re­search Pri­or­ity Roadmap 2017 will be cre­ated to en­sure trans­la­tional re­search re­mains fo­cused, rel­e­vant and more valu­able to so­ci­ety.

Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Idris Ju­soh said the roadmap will also con­tain a “Grand Chal­lenge” pro­gramme that is in line with the United Na­tions’ Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDG). This will be led by Malaysian re­search uni­ver­si­ties.

“It is also to pro­mote tal­ented re­searchers in­volved with SDG and po­si­tion­ing re­search for global ex­cel­lence in line with the eighth thrust of the Malaysia Ed­u­ca­tion Blue­print 2015-2025 (Higher Ed­u­ca­tion),” he said when de­liv­er­ing his new year mes­sage to his min­istry staff at Pu­tra­jaya on Thurs­day.

The gov­ern­ment, he added, has in­vested RM5.58bil for re­search from 2007 to 2015 while uni­ver­si­ties have suc­cess­fully made RM7.17bil from their re­search ac­tiv­i­ties.

“This is a 28.5% Re­turn on In­vest­ment for Re­search,” he said, adding that the amount gen­er­ated in­cludes fun­da­men­tal re­search - books, con­sul­ta­tion and ser­vices, as well as com­mer­cial re­search lead­ing to prod­ucts and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

As part of the re­design­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion agenda, Idris said that the min­istry is mov­ing away from the con­cept of stu­dents as “knowl­edge re­cip­i­ents” to “knowl­edge co-cu­ra­tors”.

“Stu­dents nowa­days are ca­pa­ble of self-di­rected learn­ing,” he said.

Ed­u­ca­tion­ists should also change their mind­set to cater to the learn­ing styles of mil­len­ni­als that is heav­ily de­pen­dent on tech­nol­ogy.

Idris also an­nounced the ap­point­ment of the min­istry’s deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral (man­age­ment) Datuk Kamel Mo­hamad as its first chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer (CIO).

Kamel said that one of the roles of a CIO is to man­age and an­a­lyse the “big data” that is col­lected by the min­istry and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions

This in­for­ma­tion, he said, will be used to cre­ate a more per­son­alised and flex­i­ble ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

On an­other mat­ter, Idris said the min­istry will launch the Gap Year 2017 pro­gramme from this Septem­ber.

“This will in­volve eight pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents to try out many things, in­clud­ing vol­unta- rism,” he said.

Idris an­nounced last July that the min­istry was con­sid­er­ing the gap year pro­gramme to cre­ate more well-rounded grad­u­ates.

The pro­gramme was in re­sponse to un­der­grad­u­ates’ re­quest to de­velop a more di­verse range of skills to en­sure bet­ter em­ploy­a­bil­ity. — By RE­BECCA RAJAENDRAM

Idris and his deputy Datuk Dr Mary Yap greet­ing the min­istry’s staff be­fore de­liv­er­ing his new year mes­sage.

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