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UiTM founding father wants doors open to non-Bumi…. but up to a point

UiTM Arshad Ayub

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – December 14, 2017: A founding father of the then Mara Institute of Technology (ITM), now renamed Universiti Teknologi Mara, is suggesting that it allows non-Bumiputera to enrol for post-graduate studies.

In an interview with The Mole, Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, the first director of ITM from 1966 to 1975, agreed that it is timely for the university to do so.

“It has been over 60 years and the institution has produced a lot of graduates. I think it should open its postgraduate programmes to non-Bumiputeras.

“However, it should not be for its undergraduate programmes because there are still so many things the institution needs to do (for Bumiputeras),” said the 89-year-old when met at his home in Shah Alam Tuesday.

ITM had its beginnings in 1956 as the Rural and Industrial Development Authority Training Centre (Rida) with the aim of improving the lives of rural Malays, many of whom were the poorest in the country at that time.

Following the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Rida began accepting Bumiputera students from Sabah and Sarawak.

The institution offered pre-university courses, business skills training and several external professional courses from established international bodies such as the London Chamber of Commerce, Australian Chartered Secretaryship and Society of Accountants and the British Institute of Management.

Today, UiTM is Malaysia’s largest institution of higher learning boasting 13 state campuses and more than 21 state satellite campuses offering more than 500 academic programmes and has churned out 740,000 graduates in the last 60 years.

“At first I didn’t think ITM would be as big as it is today. It was only when I started opening its branch campuses that I grew confident the institution will keep on growing,” said Arshad.

The full interview will be published tomorrow.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.