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Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)


# 99 THE Asia University Rankings 2018
82 Undergraduate programs
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Young leaders inspired at UYLC

UYLC 2017 VIPs, sponsors and participants after the opening ceremony

Over 120 undergraduates from seven universities converged at UTAR Kampar Campus for the inaugural University Young Leaders Conference (UYLC) 2017 from 27 to 29 October 2017.

Attended by students from UTAR, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), International Medical University (IMU), Raffles University Iskandar, and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), the conference themed “21st Century Skills for Today’s Youth” aimed to enrich the participants’ thinking and perspectives towards contemporary world issues and promote student engagement through active learning.

Invited to officiate the UYLC 2017 on 28 October was Deputy Minister of Finance Dato’ Lee Chee Leong who was accompanied by UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik and UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations-cum-UYLC 2017 Organising Chairperson Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong. Also present were Mah Sing Group’s Head of People Chen Fong Tuan as UYLC 2017 keynote speaker and UTAR Kampar Campus Student Representative Council 2017 Chairperson Yap Wah Seng.

Speaking of the importance of developing soft skills in order to ride the waves of the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution, Prof Chuah said, “There have been talks that by 2022, about 9% of the existing jobs will disappear and then by 2050, about 55% of them. It is therefore essential that in addition to the technical knowledge and skills you have, you will also need to learn soft skills that build your capability as future leaders such as decision-making based on facts and proper judgment; negotiation; adaptability and flexibility; and entrepreneurial skills.” Prof Chuah also added that having cultural intelligence in the 21st century will also give one an edge in a globalised world.

Prof Chuah commending the UYLC 2017 Organising Committee on their effort

Reminding the participants on the need for more responsive and responsible leaders following the advent of our world’s cutting-edge technologies, Dato’ Lee said the society needs leaders who not only address real-world challenges through meaningful and sustainable ways but also help the society in engaging with global affairs to remain united, prosperous and progressive. “As Malaysia aspires to move up the value chain to become a high-income economy, the Malaysian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will have to grow at an average rate of 6% per annum until 2020. To realise the aspiration, it is a must to increase Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) enrolment in producing a skilled workforce,” mentioned Dato’ Lee, who also expressed his delight that UYLC 2017 imparts essential knowledge and skills needed for the 21st century which help to develop effective leadership skills and qualities.

Dato’ Lee thanking the organising committee for the invitation

As a platform that enriches budding leaders through the development of effective leadership skills and qualities, the three-day conference saw the participants gaining insights through keynote address titled “Preparing Youths for the 21st Century Workforce” by Chen as well as talks, namely “From An Accountant to An Entrepreneur” by 6Biz Avenue CEO and Founder Dato’ Vimmy Yap and “Skills to be Entrepreneurs: Management of People” by inTalent HR Consulting Sdn Bhd Consulting Director Sean Lee Chang Sern.


Chen engaging with the participants during his keynote address

Talks by Dato’ Yap (left) and Lee 

Also encouraging brainstorming session amongst the participants and providing them some hands-on practices were the parallel workshops such as “People Engagement Leadership” by Quantum Dynamic Human Development’s Ng Thian Watt; “The Power of Influence, Engagement and Negotiation” by Global Business and HRD Consulting Practice’s Senior Business Consultant Dr Timothy Low; “Critical Thinking” by UTAR Department of Estates and Facilities (Kampar Campus) Head-cum-Professional Engineer and HRDF Certified Trainer Ir Abdul Majid bin Mohd Gani; and “Community Development and Social Entrepreneurship” by Assoc Prof Albert Teo Chu Ying.  

 Parallel workshops conducted by (clockwise from top left) Majid, Dr Law, Assoc Prof Teo, Ng

Further intensifying the discussion and broadening the participants’ horizon on mining opportunities for success in the 21st century was a forum titled “Digital Economics for 21stCentury”. The forum saw Digital Transformation LifeTech Solutions Sdn Bhd Director and Advisor Chu Hong Keong, SnT Global Sdn Bhd Founder and CEO as well as Outsourcing Malaysia co-founder and Emeritus Chairman David Wong Nan Fay, Agmo Studio Sdn Bhd Founder and CEO as well as President of Mobile App Developer Association Tan Aik Keong, HostAStay Chief Technology Officer Janson Chah, and iPay88 Sdn Bhd Head of Marketing Calvin Yeap as panelists.

Panelists of the “Digital Economics for 21st Century” Forum

From left: Assoc Prof Teo, Wong, Prof Choong, Tan, Chu, Chah and Yeap

To UTAR Kampar Campus SRC Chairperson Yap, the prospects of meeting like-minded participants and learning from innovative industry leaders motivated him to join UYLC 2017. Also echoing his sentiment was Raffles University Iskandar student Tham Winnie. “The idea of learning from different speakers from different backgrounds with different exposure and ideas encouraged me to attend the conference,” explained the Accountancy undergraduate.

UNITEN students Salendra Satianesan and Nik Muhamad Mirza Hilam bin Baderolsham regarded the experience of meeting, knowing and sharing experiences with the budding young leaders as fulfilling and eye-opening. According to UTAR Psychology student Ann Marie Gomez, the workshops she attended were also filled with quizzes and exercises which deepened her understanding on the topic and most importantly, applied the things learnt there and then in some case studies.

UYLC 2017 officially came to an end on 29 October with Prof Choong delivering his closing ceremony speech and thanking the line-up of speakers, conference participants and organising committee. “The punctuality shown by our participants in attending workshops early in the morning reflects their commitment and eagerness to learn more about self-improvement skills. I’m also glad that the conference has fulfilled its objective of giving clear directions, guidelines and backgrounds of skills required to excel in the 21st century. I hope that the lessons you have learnt here will help you to achieve breakthrough success in the future,” encouraged Prof Choong, who also suggested the idea of alternating the conference between UTAR Kampar Campus and UTAR Sungai Long Campus in the following years, thus offering the conference participants an experience of learning either at Kampar's award-winning campus or Sungai Long's iconic purpose-built city campus.

Prof Choong expressing his delight over the encouraging turnout

The VIPs, speakers, forum panelists and conference participants after the closing ceremony

UYLC 2017 was sponsored by ICONIX Talent Network, MBSA Mercedez-Benz Melaka, Rich Art Print & Pack Sdn Bhd, Kim Chow Communicators Sdn Bhd, Rajawali Seroja Sdn Bhd, Danish House, Top Glove, IJM Corporation Berhad, D’Touch International and Spritzer. 

 Conference participants interacting with the speakers during the talks 

 Participants brainstorming ideas and presenting proposals during the workshops

Conference participants posing questions during talks and workshops

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