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SPEECH BY .Y.B.

Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia) at During The Official Launch of OIC Higher Education Conferences 2013 Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 27th September 2013

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim The Honourable Dato Seri Mustapha Mohamad, Minister of International Trade & Industry Malaysia, The Honourable Dato Dr Raja Mohamad, Chairman of OIC World BIZ 2013 His Excellency Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of OIC, Prof. Dato Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin, IIUM RECTOR, Dr. El Hassane HZAINE, Director General of Islamic Centre for Development Trade an Organ of OIC Excellencies, Senior Officials, Distinguished Guests, Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen, Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and good morning. Firstly, please allow me to thank the organizer for inviting me to officiate the 3rd Higher Education Conference . I take this opportunity to congratulate the organizer OIC International Business Centre, ICDT and the League of Arab State for the effort of making this Conference possible. Indeed, it is an honour to be a part of this significant event. May I also take this opportunity to welcome our distinguished speakers, honoured guests, and all participants.

I understand that participants attending this conference come from OIC countries to support the Education sector in the Muslim World and trying to have our own Islamic Education Accreditation system . In Todays Islamic world , the ummah has gone to uprising due to poverty and lack of education. I believe from this conference will give a clearer indication to the ummah the importance of learning and education. This 3rd Higher Education conference is jointly organised by OIC International Business Centre and Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT), the subsidiary organ of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with the theme of Enriching Borderless Economy. I believe this conference can bring a vital role to elevate the economy, the Muslim Worlds need to have enough and sufficient knowledge that is facing the Muslim world. I urge more students to embark in twining programs and taking courses in Islamic knowledge. This will eliminate unnecessary chaos in the Muslim world. At this point of time people in the world should behold a different perception of the Muslim World, we need to change the negative perspective,

Ladies &Gentlemen, I would like to invite upon all professional here, regardless scholar, or technocrat, inventor to elevate our ummah with the knowledge that we have and pour to the Muslim world.

It is indeed a great honour to be among distinguished delegates and participants from around the globe and to be given the privilege to speak on one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world Education . Ladies & Gentlemen, It is clear that the Muslim countries are well-endowed with resources needed for economic growth in areas of agriculture, energy, mining arable land and other natural resources. We need to capitalize on these strengths in order to spur growth of the current emerging economies. Nevertheless, nothing can be achieved without adequate human capital. Effective human capital deployment is required to encourage growth and productivity in support to the development of Muslim Ummah. The human capital is one of the most important capitals of any nation.

We need to strengthen our efforts in human resource development especially in education and training which are considered still far from satisfactory. No Muslim country can aspire to be a leader in any field without investing in education. We have seen nations especially among the Islamic countries, having abundance of natural resources but lagging behind in its economic development due to the lack of intelligent and skilled human capital. Ladies & Gentlemen, The population of Muslim World is getting younger, with around 65% of the population now age 30 or below. In less than few decades these young Muslim nations will assume positions of leadership in various facets of Muslim society. These young generations have huge responsibilities towards economic progress and nation building. The 3rd Higher Education Conference is an effort as a part of key development initiative to offer the young generations to be well-informed, better educated and skilled in making meaningful contributions for the well-being of the Ummah. We are fortunate that Malaysia, is earmarking a top position in offering education for the Muslim population in the OIC.

The Malaysian government is investing big on education development and giving support to private entities investing in education by offering better teaching techniques, encouraging the recruitment of internationally renowned professors and lecturers, and investing in state-of-the-art facilities. It is also my fervent belief that the 3rd Higher Education Conference compliments the efforts taken by Malaysia in achieving developed and high income nation status by 2020 through the provision of the best quality of education in the Muslim World. Today, around the globe, there exist various active higher education groupings that deliberate on the implementation and execution of education policies. Most, if not all of these policies are regional-centric.

As we spearhead towards internationalization, especially in this globally financially turbulent times, we need to take into consideration the international norms and values. There is a need for a platform to converse, to dialogue and to debate on diverse substantive issues towards establishing a cooperative stand within the harmony of regional groupings. We will need to understand, to adapt and to adopt elements that can elevate us to higher levels. Ultimately, we will want to progress, but consciously not at the expense of our traditional beliefs and values. and am sure This Annual 3rd Higher Education Conference acts as a gateway for education communities to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge-sharing in the educational field among the OIC countries. To share some of Malaysias experiences, our Government through the Ministry of Higher Education has introduced a framework towards achieving higher education excellence, which is developed through the National Higher Education Strategic Plan.

The plan outlines seven strategic thrusts that form the basis of national higher education development through to the year of 2020. The strategic thrusts include: I. Widening Access and Enhancing Equity; II. Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning; III. Enhancing Research and Innovation; IV. Strengthening Institutions of Higher Education; V. Intensifying Internationalisation; VI. Enculturation of Life Long Learning; and VII. Reinforcing the Higher Education Ministrys Delivery

Currently we are working towards developing more education products that can further enhance the student mobility, exchange programme, study abroad and credit transfer. This effort will ensure that the products will be the mechanism to attract more foreign students to study in Malaysia and vice versa. The 3rd Higher Education conference is envisioned to maximize and optimize the vibrant education opportunities among the OIC member countries.

We understand that there is still long way to go, nevertheless, with the presence of experienced experts and different backgrounds of people from various countries, more excellent ideas and beneficial experiences could be shared. It is hoped that more opportunities can be explored and more solutions of issuing related to the current situation could be found, in our efforts towards making Malaysia the Education Hub of Asia. Ladies and gentlemen,

Here we are today, scholars, educationists, administrators and policy experts from all over the Muslim world, coming together to fulfil a mandate to enhance the Education systems and provisions. Indeed we are gathered here to rejuvenate the tradition of educational excellence and knowledge creation being pioneered On a final note, I sincerely hope that this conference would provide the platform for further discussions and activities which will result in a clear road map, strategy and action plan for capacity building. furthermore, the conference should stress the need for strengthening the culture of excellence and cultivation of quality education within the OIC region. Ladies and gentlemen, Let me conclude by thanking and welcoming all of you again to this annual Educational conference. I hope you will have a most successful and fruitful conference . For our international guests, do take this opportunity to experience our colourful culture and to savour the sights and sounds of Kuala Lumpur.

I hope you will have a wonderful time here in Malaysia.

Once again, thank you for inviting me to address this conference. WabillahiTaufiqWalhidayahWassalamualaikumWarahmatullahiWabarakatuh. Thank you.