Preparing alumni to brace for changes and challenges of the future

By Nurina Farzana Zahra

GOMBAK, 13 October 2020: More changes and challenges are expected in the next few decades of post-normal times, where the most rapid change is in Information Technology (IT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerging with so many ideas that can prolong one’s life.

The crucial part here is how IIUM is going to prepare its students and alumni to face these challenges, former Rector Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Kamal Hassan, told a webinar session to welcome the university’s alumni recently.

Tan Sri Prof. Mohd Kamal is also the founder of Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS).

He said: “First and foremost, IIUM should be able to forecast and envision the future and brace itself for the changing circumstances as the world right now is rapidly changing with the pandemic and climate change.”

Students should therefore be reminded that “we are entering a new era which is filled with uncertainty with collapsing structure and civilisation”, according to the professor.

He said, “The university has to anticipate a very different kind of future in the next decades and prepare the students to become leaders of the Ummah, leaders of the world and agents of change.”

He told the session that the university’s curriculum (formal and non-formal) will have to be modified and redesigned in order to produce the right kind of morale, spiritual, intellectual, emotional resources and be combined in the form of human being.

“With this new curriculum, the students will be able to address the new challenges and lead the world to a better future,” Tan Sri Prof. Kamal added.

The professor emphasised that these changes have to be grounded upon something very unchanging in the aspect of life, which is the belief system. “The shariah (law) may evolve with times but the foundation of faith and iman in Allah must remain intact or, in fact, strengthened because the future will be very challenging.”

Therefore, he felt that the IIUM alumni should be able to spread and convey the good message of Islam as Rahmatan lil Alamin around the world.

He noted that what the university’s curriculum should do to prepare the students to face the very challenging future is to produce what the Quran calls Ulul Albab.

“This is an all-rounder intellectual and elite who can develop the world in a proper way without forgetting God. Students need a curriculum that makes them to be people who defend the integrity of Islam.”

Next, he said, the world needs a mujahidun fi sabilillah which means the Muslims who strive for the best of the ability in the course of Allah without being militant or radical.

“It also means jihad with the heart like embracing the diversity of the world to include the non-Muslims,” he explained.

Meanwhile, IIUM Rector, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak continued with the sharing session by presenting IIUM with the 2018-2020 initiatives and actions towards being the torchbearers of the Ummah to help students and alumni prepare for the challenging future.

In his session, Tan Sri Dzulkifli said,”We take the university’s song ‘Leading The Way’ as a guiding principle to draft an IIUM Roadmap 2019-2020 by using the same core values mentioned in the song which are Khalifah, Amanah, Iqra’ and Rahmoatan Lil Alamin. These values will be contextualised in the form of knowledge and humankind.”

“IIUM Roadmap is about humanising education that covers six strategic areas which are; balanced graduates (Insan Sejahtera), balanced staff (Insan Sejahtera), societal well-being and values creation (Transformational), Institutional stability (Self-sustaining), Responsible research and innovation and lastly, Global relevance (Rahmatan Lil Alamin). These areas will help students to be more humankind and prepared for the challenging future,” the Rector added.

The Alumni Relations Division organised a homecoming webinar on 10 October on the title “IIUM Alumni the torchbearers of the Ummah” in conjunction with IIUM Alumni Day 2020.

It was participated by prominent figures of IIUM such as Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Kamal Hassan, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, former Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Malaysia, Dr. Emir Hadzikadunic and Chairman of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation [MDEC), Datuk Wira Dr. Hj. Rais Hussin.

The webinar was also participated by IIUM alumni in several countries around the world. It was held from 2 p.m until 5 p.m via zoom online platform.

The full session of homecoming webinar is available by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4QN-ZAYmLo ***

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