The University has added another feather to its cap by receiving the Penang Icon Leadership Award for Education at the Penang Future Forward Summit 2023.
WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan accepted the award from Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dato’ Seri Utama Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak at the opening ceremony of the summit on 14 March 2023.
“We are extremely honoured to receive this award; it is a recognition of the WOU brand as one of the country’s foremost tertiary education providers in open and flexible distance learning,” said a delighted Prof Chan.
“The University will not rest on its laurels – we will continue to innovate and further our mission to produce future-ready graduates,” she added.
In his welcome address, KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI) President Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said in order to be future-ready, Penang has to address global challenges and trends and seize new opportunities as they unfold.
He added that Penang needs to also take into account specifically the 3E challenges which are education, employment and environment.
“Penang has enormous potential to be a leading regional hub in smart manufacturing, supply chain, digital and green technology, tourism and education,” Tan Sri Yeoh stated.
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Northern Branch Chairman Michel Van Crombrugge said the summit theme “Future Proof Penang for the New Global Economy” is particularly pertinent as the Penang economy has done well in 2022.
He continued, “There will be discussions on the digitalisation of business and how the education sector should be reshaped to address the talent challenges associated with building a successful future.”
Highlighting the issue of mismatch between the education curricula and the needs of the industry, Crombrugge stressed that the focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and good command of English needs to continue and be further strengthened.
In his opening keynote address entitled “Penang – Striving for Greater Unity, Progress and Prosperity”, Tun Ahmad Fuzi said the state government is fully aware of the growing importance of technology and innovation, and is making every possible effort to meet the demand for talents.
“Penang is investing heavily into education and training programmes including providing opportunities for lifelong learning so that our workforce will be ready for the jobs of the future,” added Tun Ahmad Fuzi.
Over 300 attendees consisting of key leaders and representatives from the government, industry, academia and civil society participated in the second edition of the summit organised by KSI and MICCI Northern.