UCSI’s student leadership camp earns praise from Deputy Education MinisterJune 22, 2016 | Campus News
KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University (UCSI) recently held a two-day, one-night student leader summit cum competition for secondary school students on campus grounds. Organised by the UCSI scholarship students through their club, the UCSI’s Scholars Circle (U-Schos), the event received high praise from Malaysia’s Deputy Education Minister I, Dato’ P. Kamalanathan P. Panchanathan.
Officiating the closing ceremony for the camp – The UNIQVERSITY© Life 2016 – for the second year in a row, Dato’ Kamalanathan highlighted student leadership development as one of the pivotal pillars in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025.
“Leadership Skills is one of the five aspirations set out in the Blueprint, both for secondary school as well as university students. It identifies student leaders as those who possess effective communication skills and who are able to work across cultures and in teams. They should also show traits such as entrepreneurship, resilience and confidence,” he said.
He also added that leadership cannot be achieved in silo and that the UNIQVERSITY© Life is certainly set in the right direction as it rallies the energies of university students to cultivate strong leadership values among schoolchildren.
“Schools should not have to shoulder the responsibility of educating our youth alone. Today’s UNIQVERSITY© Life event is a good example of how we can all synergise our efforts, from every level, to meet this aim,” he said.
Themed ‘Discover, Change, Impact’, the UNIQVERSITY© Life 2016 qualifying rounds were held in three states – Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur. Of 295 participants, 136 finalists were selected to compete in the grand finale held on May 29.
Five programmes were specially designed by UCSI scholarship students to hone the participants’ leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills. These were Leadership Workshop, Race, IDEAS Challenge, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), and the UniQversity X-perience.
The speakers of the Leadership Workshop were Assoc Prof Dr Mabel Tan Hwee Joo, President and CEO of UCSI College and Ir Assoc Prof Dr Jimmy Mok Vee Hong, Dean of UCSI’s Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment.
Speaking on the occasion, Ling Zhi Yong, the co-organising chairperson of the event said that organising the UNIQVERSITY© Life 2016 was indeed a challenging task for him.
Along with 19 other committee members, the young lad has worked hard to ensure the event’s success. Throughout the process, they have learnt to go beyond limits and step out of their comfort zones in order to achieve their objectives.
“The theme of this student leaders’ summit, ’Discover, Change, Impact’ does not only apply to all participants, but also to us. This is the culture that we believe in, that youth should constantly attempt new things and always go beyond our boundaries, just as the motto of U-Schos encourages, “Youth Beyond Boundaries”,” said the UCSI scholarship recipient and Assistant Programme Director of the Scholars’ Circle.
As one of the judges for the IDEAS Challenge, Dato’ P. Kamalanathan observed that the challenge is a perfect platform to nurture leadership, confidence and critical inquiry, based on the teamwork and the presentation of ideas shown by the first-time debaters.
"As amateur debaters, I think the students have done very well especially within the short timeframe that was given to them to complete their research," he said. "They presented constructive ideas and made convincing arguments. This was certainly a great opportunity for them to practice their skills and prepare for competitions on a larger scale."
He also praised UCSI for the choice of topics, one of which touched upon the education system, as it demonstrates that the IDEAS Challenge is not just a debating competition but also a forum where students may discuss key contemporary issues that affect them.
According to Prof Dato’ Dr Ahmad Hj Zainuddin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Support, UCSI is very supportive of youth leadership both for university students as well as school children.
“Today’s event is a microcosm of what we do at UCSI. We challenge our students to value leadership and dignity, not only for themselves but also for others”, he said.
In this light, the University offered various bursaries as part of the competition prizes.
Ong Lee Wei from SMJK Ave Maria Convent won the National Best Individual Award and received a RM15,000 bursary with 100% tuition fee waiver.
Team H from Perak, consisting of 10 students from St Michael's Institution (SMI) and SMJK Ave Maria Convent, was named National Team Champion and received a RM15,000 bursary.
Team I from Perak, consisting of 10 students from SMJK Ave Maria Convent, SMI and SMJK Sam Tet, won the first runner-up prize, and received RM10,000 in bursaries.
Team C from Kuala Lumpur, consisting of 10 students from SMK Taman Bukit Maluri, SMK Damansara Jaya, SMK St. Mary and SMK Cochrane, won the second runner-up prize, receiving RM5,000 in bursaries.
All winners also received a medal.