Arts and Social Science at BERJAYA UC soon

Associate Professor Antoon Gewijde H. De Rycker

KUALA LUMPUR: Having made its mark in the culinary arts and hospitality fields, BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) is now expanding with new faculties, new schools and new programmes. Societal trends are also driving the strategic direction that BERJAYA UC is taking. New technologies and social media stimulate connectivity and creativity and there is a need for graduates who can make sense of these and related phenomena, young people who can connect the dots, see the bigger picture and understand the changing role of institutions and social practices.

photo: Associate Professor Antoon Gewijde H. De Rycker (Head – BERJAYA School of Humanities & Social Sciences) believes that social science studies help develop critical thinking skills.

Associate Professor Dr Antoon De Rycker, Head, BERJAYA School of Humanities & Social Sciences, is convinced that “students who are exposed to the humanities disciplines and training in the social sciences, are more likely to develop excellent critical thinking skills and intellectual competencies that will change their perspectives of life and widen their horizons in the employment sectors.” Sharing the same views, Prof Dr Eileen Lee, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts, explains that academic programmes in the humanities and social sciences enhance students’ global outlook by providing students exposure to and knowledge of different disciplines.

Lee is pleased that Berjaya UC are not the only ones who recognise the value of a liberal arts education. “In the Malaysian Higher Education Framework 4.0, it was highlighted that the future of education is not only about information and facts but a connection of the heart and soul. Accordingly, Liberal Arts, Design and Creative Technologies has been identified as one of the five trending fields in higher education.”

In the design of a future ready curriculum, the curriculum framework, especially the structure and content, needs to be fluid and organic to allow for a convergence or an interdisciplinary blend of academic disciplines. This being the case, the liberal arts programme(s) would provide a strong background for students to work in a variety of fields as well as to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century (Framing Malaysian Higher Education 4, 2018).

Both Lee and De Rycker are proud to share that ‘In the Faculty of Liberal Arts we do not only have qualified and experienced staff but the essence of our faculty is the diverse disciplines they belong to which will add to the rich experiences for students in their programmes of study especially when they take up electives from the different disciplines of the staff’s expertise, e.g. Korean Studies, Media Studies, Pop Culture, Philosophy, Endangered Languages, Bilingualism, to name a few.” It is clear that the graduate attributes of the programmes from the Faculty of Liberal Arts is to produce holistic Liberal Arts graduates that are:

  1. knowledgeable (acquired from the interdisciplinary and diverse range of programmes and courses from the Schools and Centres in the Faculty),
  2. resourceful & entrepreneurial (acquired from the critical thinking & problem solving courses and research modules in the programmes) and
  3. most important of all (which employers need), graduates who are able to articulate well in oral, written and other media forms (skills acquired from English language, public speaking, multimedia, advertising courses).

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