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THE 5TH PRME REGIONAL FORUM ASIA KUALA LUMPUR 2014 ENRICHES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE IN THE REGION

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UUM ONLINE: The 5th PRME Regional Forum Asia Kuala Lumpur 2014, which was held from 12-14 November 2014 at Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, successfully synergised friendships between business schools and industry partners across Asia.

The Forum was hosted by the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business (OYAGSB), Universiti Utara Malaysia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Secretariat of Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), the United Nations Global Compact Office.

The Director-General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education Malaysia, Dato' Professor Dr. Asma Ismail, during her launching address emphasised the concept of community engagement, where universities must engage holistically to address the socio-economic conditions of the community, which will eventually improve the standard of living of its members.

"I believe that there is a need for us, collectively, to ensure that the higher growth and development we seek is sustainable, inclusive and, more importantly, able to reinforce social cohesion in the community amidst global issues and challenges such as rampant poverty, global warming, environmental degradation, corruption, as well as economic and financial crises" she said.

She also shared the idea of balanced excellence in the university's mission and plan of actions and character building among graduates, where these could influence and shape future growth and community development by instilling the appropriate values, ethics, knowledge and skills to develop future leaders and managers who are not only responsible for their own careers and businesses, but also, more importantly, responsible for the social and environmental consequences of their actions.

"I strongly believe we should streamline our efforts to ensure our curriculum remains relevant and impactful. Our research and publications should address real community issues, be current, and be undertaken in a responsible and collaborative manner," she added.

Apart from thanking OYAGSB, the Ministry of Education Malaysia, and the PRME Secretariat of the United Nations Global Compact Office, she also thanked all the foreign and local speakers and representatives of the business schools across Asia who attended the three-day event.

Meanwhile, the Head of the PRME Secretariat, Mr. Jonas Haertle, said that the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) was an initiative supported by the United Nations, with the mission to inspire and champion responsible management education, research, and thought leadership globally.

"The Six Principles of PRME are based on internationally accepted values, such as the Ten Principles of the Global Compact. They seek to establish a process of continuous improvement among institutions of management education in order to develop a new generation of business leaders capable of managing the complex challenges faced by business and society in the 21st century. Currently, over 570 institutions are signatories to PRME, representing over 80 countries," he added.

He added that the Regional Forum expected to serve two functions, namely to provide the platform of collaboration among Asian PRME signatory institutions for sharing information and experiences with each other; and to meet the unique demand for pioneering the mission of Responsible Management Education in the region, and to do so without entailing the loss of oriental values with indigenous wisdom.

"The 5th Regional Forum Asia in Kuala Lumpur was, indeed, a huge success, participated by more than a hundred participants, of whom forty-nine were international participants from fifteen countries across the region, and this is the first time we have had such a high number of participants in a regional meeting. More importantly, we have reached concrete resolutions to further enhance the effort at the regional level by establishing a focal institution within each sub-region. I, personally, thank OYAGSB, UUM, for the warm hospitality extended to all the foreign delegates and me, and for drawing fruitful discussions for the 5th PRME," he further added.

Adding to the repertoire of valuable input, the Dean of OYAGSB, Professor Dr. Noor Azizi Ismail, representing the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Utara Malaysia, highlighted the need for a balance between theory and practice, and between rigour and relevance. Thus, he said, the mission of business schools should be inclusive as business involves all stakeholders and their areas of concern - business, government, society, environment, etc.

"OYAGSB is continuously striving to move from an ordinary business school to a 'school for business' by emphasising three principles that guide its growth, namely relevant in the structure of curriculum, responsive in research, training and development programmes, and responsible to all stakeholders," he said.

He further said that the selection of OYAGSB as the Secretariat to lead the PRME initiatives in the ASEAN Chapter was indeed a high recognition given to the institution. "In fact, this is part of our contribution to the nation as Malaysia assumes the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2015," he added.

While thanking all the speakers and participants at the Forum, he also expressed his hope that everyone would take the opportunity to help build a network among universities, industry partners, and government agencies, and, possibly, collaborate on programmes in the areas relevant to social entrepreneurship and community engagement.

The highlight of this Forum was the Special Session, in which all the participants took part in deliberations and unanimously agreed upon establishing a focal point institution, in a specific country in the region, to champion the PRME agenda and initiatives in a structured and collaborative manner. In addition, at the closing ceremony, the Goa Institute of Management, India, was announced the host for the 6th PRME Regional Forum 2015 when its representative, Professor Ranjini Swamy, was handed the baton in a handover ceremony.

The Forum was attended by more than a hundred participants, including representatives from top business schools in the region, such as Keio University, Japan, the Auckland Business School, New Zealand, the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Thailand, the Faculty of Business, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and others.

Also in attendance at the Forum were Dato' Haji Nik Mohd. Amin Nik Abdul Majid, a former member of the UUM Board of Directors, as the keynote speaker; the Head of the Entrepreneurship Unit, Ministry of Education Malaysia, Datin Dr. Syahira Hamidon; Professor Dr. Ross McDonald from New Zealand; Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed from Bangladesh, and other distinguished speakers from business schools and industry.

OYAGSB OPERATING HOUR

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COLLECTION OF GRADUATING LETTER – UUM 27TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY

Please be informed that the above letter can now be collected at the General Office, OYAGSB during office hours.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Mdm. Norizan Ahmad at +604-928 7122/Mdm. Armiyah Ahmad at +604-928 7118.

Your kind attention is highly appreciated.

Thank you.

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