The Importance of Future Studies to Malaysia and IIUM

The pandemic Covid-19 came as a shock to the world. Completely unprecedented, as we were all caught off guard.

Today, with social distancing as the new norm, digital onboarding is critical for most sectors of the Malaysian economy. Many businesses have been wiped out because they were unprepared for such a scenario. Those who survived were those who had adopted technologies and embedded a contactless aspect in their economic activity.

We cannot predict the future, but we can plan for it as best as we can. Test probabilities anticipate changes and line-up action plans for different scenarios. This expands our choices and facilitates informed decisions. Instead of being totally fatalistic and a mere recipient of changes.

The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has taken concrete steps to adopt the foresight framework in its vision and planning.

Since 2018    the university is focused on becoming a human-centric organization. Its leadership is bent on developing a consciousness at reorienting the university toward serving humanity both in material and non-material forms - engaging with the community, creating an Ehsan-spiritual basis, and conveying the meaning of sejahtera (well-being) in the purpose of its existence.  Things like local knowledge, indigenous form of knowing is the future. Knowing oneself and one's society would be paramount. Decolonisation would be the mantra.  So back to values. 

The Future of Higher Education in Malaysia

Universities and schools have been hard hit globally, forced to turn to online education as the only alternative with multiple ramifications. Digitalising education has created the need to upskill and also search for suitable talents as we re-shape our teaching methods, learning experience, curricula and instruction tools. 

The impact of the Digital Economy on our education sector has just begun. Once we understand its breadth and depth, we can formalise suitable strategies and policy changes.

How do we stay ahead of the curve? How can we ensure that objectives of higher education will fulfill the needs of our stakeholders tomorrow? How can we achieve all of this in this digital age?

The Futures framework can help us answer better the questions above. And IIUM will take the lead in preparing the nation for what lies ahead.