KUALA LUMPUR: Efforts by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in emphasising the importance of English in all fields of study have enabled it to produce marketable graduates, said its pro-chancellor, Arshad Ayub.
He said this had made employers more keen to employ UiTM graduates than those from other universities.
“In the early years of its establishment, 90% of the lecturers at the university (then known as the Mara Institute of Technology – ITM) taught in English and it also emphasised professional courses,” he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama News Channel’s “Nine 11” programme today.
Besides being able to master the English language, he said UiTM graduates were also in demand because of the professionalism and integrity ingrained by the university.
Arshad, 90, a graduate in Economy and Statistics from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in the United Kingdom, was the first ITM director, from 1967 to 1975.
He was Bank Negara deputy governor from 1975 to 1977 and then served as the secretary-general in several ministries.
Arshad retired from government service in 1983 after serving for 32 years and was appointed UiTM pro-chancellor in 2000.
On the suggestion for UiTM to be opened to non-Bumiputeras, Arshad said this could be considered for those intending to continue their studies to the Master’s level and above.
He said it should be looked at in the context of competition, not only in Malaysia and the Asean region but also at the international level.
“My opinion is that at the Bachelor’s degree level, let it remain for the Bumiputeras, but at the Master’s degree level and doctorates, I think we can allow other races because we want our students to be able to compete at the international level,” he said.