A tea-time casual sharing session was held between 2.30pm and 4.00pm at the newly opened V Cafe, Arked Meranti on 22nd December 2019 . This session with the Vice Chancellor Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar was attended by UTM students which included both the local and international students from Denmark, Czech Republic, Japan and Switzerland as well as members of the newly elected Student Representative Council (MPP). The primary motive of this session as per quoted by the Vice Chancellor was to listen to the students’ aspirations as future leaders on their ideas and suggestions towards improving the university. Various interesting topics were discussed throughout the session uncovering new insights and possible solutions to pre-existing issues.
The discussion was led by the newly elected president of Student Representative Council, Muzammil Zulkiffli, who talked about students’ empowerment through the formation of a Student Union. He explained the role of the student union in empowering the voice of students towards creating a better education ecosystem within the university. Gustav Nicolay Meilby Nobel, an exchange student from Denmark shared some useful insights of the student union back in his university in Denmark. The Vice-Chancellor suggested many ways in which empowerment can be done in our university and also stressed the important role of the Student Representative Council has in leading this effort. Besides that, he also mentioned the responsibilities the members of Students Representative Council hold as elected leaders especially in the eyes of their fellow students who have placed their trust upon them.
The discussion was further continued by the Vice-Chancellor who shared the university’s aspirations on UTM 2020 whereby everyone in the university should be committed in ensuring a clean and sustainable green campus by being responsible and accountable towards this noble movement. The aspiration is based on promoting Zero Waste Mentality as well as Waste to Wealth Initiatives among the university community to create a sustainable and eco-friendly university in the country. Among the suggestions given to realise this aspiration was to add more water dispensers around the campus. This will encourage the students to bring along their own bottles to the class. As a result, plastic bottle usage can be significantly reduced. Moreover, the Vice-Chancellor also assured that more initiatives are planned throughout the following year to instill values of appreciating nature as well as to develop Zero-Waste mentality among the students.
Following that, the engagement of international students with local students to exchange ideas, thoughts, culture and traditions was also discussed. The Vice-Chancellor suggested a programme to be conducted to provide a space for the international and local students to learn new things through the exchange of ideas and thoughts. A dedicated place as such will be conducive for student interaction, which is an essential step towards cultural exchange. This can also be seen as an improvement to the quality of our education. This definitely stands out as an effort to boost student experience at our university. Besides, a holistic educational experience with complimenting services and facilities helps attract more international students. This is key in encouraging our students to become global citizens.
The sharing session concluded at around 4.00pm. Students who attended the session were happy to be able to share their opinions with the Vice-Chancellor who valued their input. By the end of the session, the participants gained valuable experience and were more in-sync with the university’s aspirations. Ultimately, this event has been truly rewarding especially in allowing the students to participate in improving the university’s well-being.
Prepared by :
UTM Global Buddies
Global Education & Experience, UTM International