Preparing students to make an impactChen Wan Lim
HERIOT-Watt University Malaysia continues to pave the way in Positive Education with its unique EmPOWER programme.
Parallel with the university’s efforts to enhance the employability of its students, EmPOWER is a four-level structured programme that focuses on equipping students with necessary skills, unleashing their potential and preparing them to stand out and have an impact in the world.
The programme enables them to lead themselves, communities and industry throughout their studies. The first level of the programme is compulsory for all first year undergraduates.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik launched the programme at the university’s campus in Putrajaya.
He commended the university’s commitment in developing the full potential of its students in a holistic and experiential manner.
“Positive Education represents a comprehensive philosophy to prepare the youth of today for the challenges of tomorrow.
“I am glad to see Heriot-Watt University Malaysia take the lead in this field.
“It is heart-warming to see a ‘compulsory’ General Studies subject being redesigned to be at the centre of preparing our youth to be future-ready,” he said.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia provost and CEO Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi said the EmPOWER programme complements the academics offered at the institution by helping students ensure they have social capital, characterised by high value networks to support their professional lives, as well as emotional capital, which sees them developing self-awareness and resilience.
“This will enable our graduates to not only remain relevant in an unpredictable job market but also shape and influence it,” he added.
Students will work with their personal tutors and instructors on personalised projects and group work.
This allows them to develop soft skills alongside relevant academic and technical skills.
The acquisition of the skills is documented and certified in a special EmPOWER transcript.
The EmPOWER programme is one of numerous initiatives introduced by Heriot-Watt University Malaysia under its Positive Education approach.
Other initiatives include its Youth Transformation Programme as well as its annual Happiness Forum.
The Happiness Forum 2019 was held later in the day, in conjunction with the university’s International Day of Happiness celebration.
The forum saw Dr Maszlee take to the podium to reinforce the forum’s theme of “Positive Education: Building Flourishing Communities”, as he shared his views on the role of the education system in inculcating the unique skill sets and capabilities needed for the younger generation to succeed in this rapidly changing world.
Other speakers at the event included Malaysian Mental Health Association honorary secretary general Datin Dr Ang Kim Teng, British Petroleum Malaysia Head of IT Service Operations Kurt Bergmans, athlete Loh Chee Khoon and Prof Mushtak.
Source: The Star, Education