Curtin News: Students reminded to be lifelong learners to thrive in global environment

Datuk Lee presenting student her certificate, witnessed by Professor David Wood (right).

Miri – 29 April 2010 – Students need to adopt a culture of lifelong learning in order to thrive in an increasingly global environment, according to Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development & Communication (Communication) and Assistant Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation (Sport).

He said this when addressing students graduating from Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak)’s foundation programmes at its Certificate Ceremony 2010 here on 23 April 2010.

154 out of 430 students graduating from foundation programmes in Commerce and Arts, Engineering and Science, Media and Information Technology were present for the ceremony held at the university’s Recreation & Event Centre.

Also in attendance were Acting Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University Professor David Wood, Curtin Sarawak Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor John Evans, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Joan Gribble and Dean of the School of Foundation and Continuing Studies Beena Giridharan, as well as members of the Curtin Sarawak campus council, board of directors and management board, and senior management staff and academics.

Datuk Lee, who is also the chairman of the university’s management board, said society is noticeably changing and the speed of change is constantly accelerating. Graduates should therefore be prepared for, and take advantage of, the profusion of information that comes with increasing globalisation and reliance on online resources.

“Our lives are increasingly tied to the electronic world, be it for downloading literature or music, purchasing products and services, getting information, making reservations or perhaps sourcing a satellite photograph of certain place on earth. Living in such an environment, it is inevitable for us to incessantly forge our intelligence and continue growing through our studies,” he said.

He added that Curtin Sarawak, like the Internet, is a ‘highly intelligent think tank’ existing to promote lifelong learning, as well providing graduates opportunities in terms of jobs and way of life. He urged the students to make full use of the link, which will give them the potential to shape their own futures.

“As a student of Curtin Sarawak, you have the opportunity to gain from all the wisdom Curtin has to offer. Be sure to make Curtin your supreme lifelong partner,” urged Datuk Lee.

He noted that all the students had chosen to enter undergraduate programmes at Curtin Sarawak and congratulated them on their choice. “I look forward to your excellent performance in your respective programmes, and I also look forward to celebrating yet another graduation with you in the near future,” he said.

Datuk Lee also related in his address how Curtin Sarawak started in 1999 with less than 100 students in its foundation programmes, and at the start of 2008, it was 525. This year, the number has soared to a record 675 students. He attributed the significant increase to the community’s confidence in Curtin Sarawak’s academic programmes, and the fact they are attracting a lot more international students.

He went on to quote two commendations on Curtin Sarawak’s success from an audit of Curtin University of Technology by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) in January 2009, which commended Curtin for the conceptualisation, establishment and successful development of Curtin Sarawak, and for the development and implementation of its internationalisation of research, including the developing research record, at Curtin Sarawak.

“The audit report is a clear testimony of the commendable quality and standard of Curtin Sarawak. There is indeed a great future ahead for Curtin Sarawak, and for all its students,” he stated.

In addition to Datuk Lee, valedictorians Manveer Singh and Aaron Ko spoke on behalf of their fellow graduating students from the Foundation Commerce and Arts and Foundation Engineering and Science programmes respectively. President of the Curtin Sarawak Student Council, Chukwuma Ikechukwu Sunday Menakaya, also gave a speech on behalf of the entire student body.

More information on Curtin Sarawak can be obtained from its website at

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