SERDANG, Oct 8 – Senator Dato' Dr. Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education has gone on a Professional Walkabout - Series 4 to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
The visit was accompanied by Prof. Ir. Dr. Robiah Yunus, the Deputy Director-General of Higher Education (Academic and Development), Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), together with Dato' Shaharuddin Abu Sohot, the Secretary of Policy Planning and Research Division, MOHE.
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad was welcomed by Prof. Dr. Mohd Roslan Sulaiman, UPM Vice-Chancellor, together with UPM top management.
In his welcoming speech, Prof. Dr. Mohd Roslan expressed his appreciation to Dato' Dr. Ahmad for sparing time to visit UPM.
He also provided a brief explanation on the university’s latest developments regarding ongoing and future activities, especially in terms of UPM's readiness to readmit students.
UPM focused on five key strategies - Driving High-Tech Agriculture, Building the Character of UPM Graduates, Pioneering Smart Campus and Digitalisation, Supporting the Continuity of Sustainable Institutions and Strengthening the Inculcation of New Norms - to strengthen the aspiration as a respected educational institution.
The agricultural transformation in UPM involved the use of the latest technology in line with current technological developments. It involved the use of drones, smart farming systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and public data with the help of increased use of mechanisation, sustainable agronomic practices and quality seeds that are resistant to diseases as well as to the effects of climate change.
In addition, UPM was given a mandate by MOHE to develop the Bachelor of Technology in Smart Agriculture programme to fulfil the aspiration to produce graduates who will lead the nation's smart agricultural sector.
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Masrizal was impressed with UPM’s efforts to respond to the government's intention of supporting the digitalisation agenda through several initiatives and smart campus implementation strategies for 2021-2025. The initiatives such as Digital Learning, Smart Manage, Secure Campus and IoT Application are all smart campus initiatives that will be branded under the name Smart PUTRA®.
He praised UPM's proactive move, as he believes every university should strive to face the current challenges plaguing the country through intervention programmes or courses that can be offered to students.
The programmes or courses offered could be one of the important factors to ensure the marketability of graduates. Therefore, universities should ensure that the programmes offered are in line with the market demands.
According to a study done by MOHE on 305,301 graduates (Malaysians) in 2020, public universities showed a percentage of 86.7%, while private institutions resulted in 79.4% of marketability. Meanwhile, polytechnics showed 91.45%, while community colleges had 94.2% marketability. The overall average marketability of local HEI graduates was 84.4%. This decreased slightly in comparison to 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the fields of study that had good marketability rates were engineering, manufacturing, construction, science, mathematics, computers, health, business, law, social sciences and education. This reflected that programmes offered by local HEIs are competitive.
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Masrizal was also informed of the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and was given an explanation on the Putra Cakna Initiative by UPM in caring for affected university staff. The programme, jointly led by the Centre of Waqf, Zakat and Endowment Management Centre (WAZAN), UPM, and Sahabat Masjid UPM, aimed at improving the well-being of UPM staff in facing this challenging situation comprehensively and inclusively.
Meanwhile, UPM's 50 Years Golden Jubilee Celebration (1971-2021) was celebrated in conjunction with its establishment throughout 2021, aiming to appreciate the aspirations of excellence and success of all parties in the development of UPM. - UPM
Date of Input: 18/10/2021 | Updated: 18/10/2021 | hairul_nizam
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