The world that we currently live in has been uncertain and complex and, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought along unprecedented challenges, the Malaysian Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad, said today.
Speaking at the 6th virtual World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress or ESTCON2020, Noraini said the higher education sector has been hit hard, not just in Malaysia, but also around the world.
ESTCON2020 is a three-day congress with the participation of more than 1,000 experts of diverse fields of research, innovation and commercialisation from 27 countries hosted by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP).
“On this note, I would like to commend UTP for your resilience in facing the continuing uncertainties and challenges and I strongly urge for the universities and industry to support the government’s effort to change the culture in what our society values, a change towards STEM-focused, like it was in the past.
“We need to get this right for the future of our economy because ultimately, industry wears the outcome of a workforce that is not STEM literate.
“I am truly impressed by ESTCON’s growth over the years and the high regard for the congress as seen by the presence of various education and industry experts. It is here that they convene to exchange ideas and views on the next move in realising their collective aspiration for a sustainable future in Science, Technology and Humanities,” Noraini said.
Adding on further, the Parit Sulong MP also said this congress is a testament to how UTP has risen to the challenge and embrace the New Normal and New Way Of Working.
“It is crucial that during this three-day ESTCON, academics and industry players should seriously enter into strategic dialogue on the challenges facing higher education, especially the possibility of opening new avenues for collaboration that tap into the knowledge and expertise of other sectors aimed at innovating new solutions.
“Undeniably, progress and innovation, which go hand and hand, are occurring at a mind-blowing pace. Yes, it is a time of tremendous challenges, but also one of the tremendous possibilities. And in light of those possibilities, no organisation is exempt from the need and desire to innovate,” added Noraini.
Innovate To Survive
The UMNO’s women wing’s deputy chief also said businesses, from the smallest start-up to the largest multinational corporation, are focused on innovation as the means to not just succeed, but survive and, even governments and public agencies have embraced the need for new ideas, new technology and evolving best practices.
Noraini officiated the opening ceremony of Congress ESTCON2020 scheduled from 13 July to 15 July and the closing ceremony will be officiated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Secretary-General, Datuk Ir Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.
With the theme “Science, Technology & Humanities: Reinventing the Future”, this is UTP’s first effort at organising the biennial congress virtually since it was first held in 2010 and is co-organised by the Alliance of Government-Linked Universities, supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), and is held in collaboration with PETRONAS, Yayasan UTP and Malaysia Board of Technologists – New Malaysia Herald