By : Siti Nur`Ain Feisal
Editor : Nik Hafzaini Nik Hassan
SERDANG – In conjunction with the anniversary of the Malaysian Public University Alumni Council on 18 July 2022, a forum on the Role of Alumni in Helping Alma Mater Income Generation and Funding was held online through the zoom application.
A discussion that is more focused on the role of alumni in assisting the university's sustainability is a topic that needs to be refined as alumni are the biggest stakeholders of a university.
Each year the estimated number of undergraduates receiving their respective degrees is around 68,000 people. With this large number, if all of them return and contribute to their respective universities, the alumni of public universities in Malaysia are on par with alumni of well-known universities abroad, for example, Harvard University alumni who never left their alma mater and continue to contribute.
The forum discussed the role of alumni in income generation and has a great panel line-up such as Assoc. Prof. Datuk Dr. Sabri Mohamad Sharif, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (HEPA) of Universiti Teknologi Melaka (UTeM), Dato' Dr. Shakir Husein Khalid, Vice President of Alumni Association Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UnisZA), Dr. Razali Othman, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Hulu Selangor District Council Endowment Fund (MDHS) and Mohd Hariri Mohamad Daud, Board Member (Alumni) of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) as a moderator.
The forum which was viewed by alumni and university students in Malaysia discussed the ways and strategies that should be used to produce graduates who eventually become alumni and giving back to alma mater.
The second panelist, Dr. Shakir Husein, shared the idea that from the beginning it needs to be applied to the students enrolled in the university that it is the most beautiful and important moment in the course of their lives.
"On the first day they stepped foot at university, they need to be aware that one day they would become alumni and have the role to return and contribute to the alma mater. It is quite challenging, but when this phase is successfully completed four to five years of studies at the university, their relationship with the alma mater will not end on the last day of their studies.
Alumni need to be supported and convinced that their contributions are for their children, relatives, and those who are enrolling at a university. It is necessary to convince them with what they give in this world, will be counted in the Hereafter," he said.
Assoc. Prof. Datuk Dr. Sabri added, the alumni themselves need to ask themselves, if it is enough what is given to the alma mater that has changed their lives a lot over the years.
"With the platform available today, with the establishment of the Alumni Council and the support from the Department of Higher Education, it is time for the alumni to empower to a further level. If each alumni contributed RM1,000 over their lifetime and with 100,000 alumni, the institution already has a fund of approximately 100 million. With this number, more asnaf and B40 students can be assisted and the percentage of Malaysians with higher education standards is greater because those who cannot afford it will not drop out again.
To generate these large sums of funds, one thing that needs to be created is that a sense of 'belonging' in the alumni over their respective alma maters should be present. This sense of belonging will make it possible to return to contribute to the alma mater is not a heavy thing but it is already a responsibility and a trust," he said.
Pelbagai idea dan buah fikir dilontarkan sepanjang satu jam 30 minit forum berlangsung. Bagi Ketua Teras Pemerkasaan Alumni, Prof. Madya Dr. Arba’ie Sujud pula berpendapat program ini merupakan satu program yang sangat berinformatif serta memberikan ruang fikir yang dapat melonjakkan alumni pada landasan yang lebih bermakna.
Various ideas were thrown throughout the forum. As for the Head of Alumni Empowerment Core, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arba'ie Sujud is of the opinion that this program is a very informative program and provides a thinking space that can propel alumni on a more meaningful track.
He, who is also the Director of the Alumni Relations Centre of Universiti Putra Malaysia, described the togetherness of alumni with alma mater as not the responsibility of the individual but the responsibility of all alumni who have benefited greatly from the university for their success. Now it's time for the alumni to come back and contribute to the dedication not for anyone but for the generation themselves who will also go through the same journey to create success.
Date of Input: 31/07/2022 | Updated: 14/10/2022 | suziana.wil
Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor
(Research and Innovation)
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Off Lebuh Silikon
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor