RM10m matching grants for UNITAR’s Project #URSKILLS

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic credit: facebook.com/myUNITAR

UNITAR International University yesterday introduced Project #URSKILLS, an initiative to assist the country’s economic recovery in line with the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan, or Penjana.

The initiative comprises RM10 million in matching grants and scholarships to ensure all Malaysians have access to quality education, paving the way for their future careers.

It also aims to provide opportunities for Malaysians to increase their employability and assist in building their careers amid the ever-changing workplace.

UNITAR CEO Puvan Balachandran said to date, since the start of the Movement Control Order period, it has awarded RM1.6 million in matching grants and scholarships to all Malaysians to pursue their higher education at the university.

“In the current state of events around the world, we know that education will play a vital role in the economic recovery of Malaysia.

“With that in mind, UNITAR launched this new project in alignment with the Penjana. The RM10 million matching grant is aligned with the company’s mission to create a positive social impact on the Malaysian community,” he said at the launch yesterday.

Project #URSKILLS focuses on a host of programmes and courses centred on upskilling Malaysians for the workforce, to help improve and expand their skill sets.

UNITAR vice chancellor Prof Dr Noor Raihan Ab Hamid said the university had analysed the current skill gaps within the workforce and identified a few focus areas.

“Industry 4.0 is a new phase in the industrial revolution which focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data.

“Throughout this project, UNITAR will introduce over 50 programmes covering the topics of digital marketing, entrepreneurship, data science and culinary arts, and all areas that will prove to be vital in the recovery period,” she said in her speech.

UNITAR hoped that all Malaysians could benefit from these programmes, both in short term and long term.

Also present at the launch were Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Edmund R Santhara Kumar, Kuala Lumpur (KL) Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan and KL City Hall (DBKL) staff who witnessed a special orientation for 21 DBKL sponsored students for online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme.

Edmund said with the implications of Covid-19, the government has called for its education wing and institutions to focus on the B40 (bottom 40% household income group).

“DBKL was looking for an institution that could provide quality tertiary education that fits its needs.

“UNITAR’s customised online MBA creates the pathway to hone entrepreneurial skills and places a strong emphasis on work-based projects to drive practical learning and problem-solving skills,” he said.

He added that basic tertiary education will prepare students in playing a more important role in the country’s economic mainstream.

The 12-month customised MBA programme will include experiential learning labs to gain further knowledge on industry trends and best practices.