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Humanities 2015, 4(3), 266-282; doi:10.3390/h4030266

The Idea of a University: Rethinking the Malaysian Context

1
National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Block C, Level 2, sains@usm, No. 10 Persiaran Bukit Jambul, 11900 Penang, Malaysia
2
Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility, National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Block C, Level 2, sains@usm, No. 10 Persiaran Bukit Jambul, 11900 Penang, Malaysia
3
Faculty of Leadership and Management, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, 71800 Nilai, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Satoshi P. Watanabe
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Idea of the University)
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Abstract

This article explores the idea of a university with a specific focus in the Malaysian context. We begin the article guided by these questions—“What is a university?” and “What are universities for?”—in examining the historical and conceptual development of universities. This is followed by asking a more specific question—“What are Malaysian universities for?”—in which we discussed the overarching roles of public and private universities in this developing country. Having examined the roles of public and private universities, and taken into context the complexity and challenges surrounding these important societal institutions, we discuss two “experimental” initiatives in Malaysia: the APEX University (Accelerated Program for Excellence) focusing on sustainability and the “humanversity”. On the one hand, these initiatives are intended to prepare and transform Malaysian universities to address not only the needs of society today, but critically, of tomorrow. On the other hand, they have implications and contributions to frame our thinking about the future ideas of a university not only in Malaysia, but regionally and globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: idea of a university; universities in Malaysia; sustainability; humanversity idea of a university; universities in Malaysia; sustainability; humanversity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Da Wan, C.; Sirat, M.; Razak, D.A. The Idea of a University: Rethinking the Malaysian Context. Humanities 2015, 4, 266-282.

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