By Laura Evans
High-profile employers across the world increasingly emphasise the need for today’s young professionals to possess not only deep disciplinary knowledge but also a keen ability to operate effectively across disciplinary, social, and cultural boundaries.
Preparing university graduates to be job-ready by today’s standards is no mean feat. Tomorrow’s graduates will need to future proof their employability with emotional intelligence that includes better awareness and preparedness, resilience and ability to be self-driven. So how are universities preparing students for life in the real world?
The manifesto of the International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) based in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is based on the principle that producing employable graduates means imparting both academic and non-academic knowledge, and developing and applying real-life skills and values. How are they doing this? By focusing on providing relevant, dynamic courses that enhance employment-education and a focus on providing opportunities for personal growth and development outside of the classroom.
“IUMW programmes serve to equip students with the knowledge and transferable skills they need so they are fully prepared for the working and entrepreneurial world”, Vice-Chancellor Tay Kay Luan explains. “We work with a broad range of employers from established multinationals to startups all of which are demanding skills from graduates that fall outside the traditional subject areas studied at university, which is why crucial skills like communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and networking and collaboration leadership play an important part of our students’ learning”.
Second-year business student Nur Jesika Mohamed Zamzuri recently lead a team of 20 as part of the University’s TimeToTalk conference, an annual event that tackles important topics relevant to today’s youth. “I’ve embraced a lot of great qualities being around the culture at IUMW”, Jesika explained. “Being surrounded by supportive lecturers and classmates has helped my personal growth and has given me great strength and confidence. Leading a team of 20 students wasn’t easy, but that’s the best part! I was able to challenge myself and get to know the amazing and talented students at IUMW who are just as passionate as I am. I learned so many skills on this project including communication, leadership, and time management”.
Communication graduate Gueen May enjoyed the universities connections with industry. “Being a part of IUMW gave me great networking opportunities and helped me to grow as a person. I was able to build a strong portfolio that has enhanced my credibility as a professional individual. My programme also offered me a platform to showcase my dance skills and even provided me with an opportunity to hold dance classes virtually with the students at IUMW – I learned a lot both inside and out of the classroom”.
The employability agenda demands graduates be readier with better social skills and flexibility to respond to the unpredictable environment. When combined with industry knowledge and behaviours, the mastery of such power skills results in higher levels of individual performance and growth, so choosing the right university is crucial for future success.
programmes in business, communication, technology, science and psychology. Their partnership with a UK university allows them to offer many programmes as Dual Awards, so students graduate with a local and UK degree certificate.
For more information on programmes and study opportunities at IUMW, call +6 011-3663-3644.