An Intellectual Discourse By DR. A.J. CLEGG
Skudai, 13th February: Universities have a role to produce graduates who can support the economic development of their country. There is an increased recognition that development should be sustainable and the term 'sustainable development' is used to reflect the need for economic development with social inclusion and protection of the environment.
In accordance with its competitive spirit and determination to become a ‘World Class-University’, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia invited a well-known professor to deliver an Intellectual Discourse entitled ‘Towards The Sustainable University’. Dr. Allen James Clegg is a Professor from Wolfson School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK. He is currently a visiting professor at the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FKM).
The discourse was attended by students and academias of UTM.
Dr Clegg during the discourse proposed that UTM should incorporate 'sustainable development' within its philosophy, mission and aims and that it should demonstrate this commitment by its own actions as an institution, a 'green university', and through its teaching curricula and research.
The discourse also defined the principle of 'sustainable development', relating it to the philosophy and teachings of Islam, and described its importance in the international context of concern for development and the environment.
He also told everyone can all help to reduce our environmental impacts and support the principles of 'sustainable development'. Although the individual's contribution may seem minute, collective efforts by institutions can have real, measurable benefits.
The discourse focused on how the institution can reduce its environmental footprint by adopting the practices of the 'green university' which include resource conservation and effective waste management and reduction.
An institution can only be effective in this respect by inculcating the philosophy in all its staff and students through the process of education. However, as undeniably important this is, it is in the promotion of the philosophy through teaching and research that will have the most significant impacts.
If each of the around 5000 UTM students graduating annually from UTM implements this philosophy out into their employing institutions, then the University's potential support for the environment and sustainable development is magnified dramatically. Dr Clegg also stressed on the opportunity for UTM to 'green' the curricula of its faculties and institutes.