Limkokwing University: eradicating poverty through tertiary education

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Dr. Jayles Yeoh was convinced that without backing education his country wouldn’t get ahead. This idea led him to come up with a plan which he shared with several government leaders.

And his plan went into action. His proposal was so convincing that he was invited to set up campuses based on his program in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Jayles Yeoh was then Vice President of International Development in the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology at its main campus in Malaysia. From his position he observed a serious problem: the tertiary education was blocking the country’s needs to develop.

Unemployment affected the youth more than any other of the population’s age groups. They didn’t have enough expertise to access good jobs.

Moreover, public university was not helpful at all due to its rigidity. The students were required to overcome many unnecessary boundaries that contributed little to their development as human capital.

In his article, “A Radical Approach to Education”, he highlighted the need for radical change in the system from the core.

On the one hand, he said that access to tertiary education should be much more flexible and should integrate professional merits as well as academic.

On the other hand, he said that there should be much more space for innovation and creativity in educational programs. Hence, he proposed an interdisciplinary collaboration between different departments.

But what was most emphasised was listening to the needs of the industry to be able to prepare students for the real world. Academic programs should be combined with practical experience and assessment should be inspired by real world problems.

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Nowadays, the university has 30,000 students from over 150 countries distributed among 12 campuses in Africa, Europe and Asia. It is a true benchmark on educational excellence.

Its exemplary model was awarded by Business Initiative Directions in Frankfurt in 2008, with the International Arch of Europe Award.

The educational organizations of our time are facing big challenges derived from globalization. Innovation is the only way for a system to benefit society as a whole. Limkokwing University of Creative Technology has made this challenge its biggest catalyst and driving force.

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