Exposure to foreign cultures makes students competitive: Mustapa

DAWN CHAN


SEOUL: Malaysian students pursuing tertiary education are encouraged to take up twinning programmes, or seek credit transfers with affiliated colleges or universities overseas, to expose themselves to different world cultures.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said exposure to foreign cultures and ways of life could be eye-opening for Malaysian students, and would help prepare them for the global job market.

Speaking to a group of 20 Malaysians studying in various South Korean universities yesterday, Mustapa said their study experiences abroad will make them more competitive, not only in the Malaysian job market, but also internationally.

"(Prospective Malaysian tertiary students) should enrol for twinning programmes or get a credit transfer (with foreign institutions) for one semester. This will give them the opportunity to know what is going on in the world.

"Aside from study experience, it helps them with employability, as the job market now is becoming more global, and the world is getting smaller. The nature of jobs has changed a lot. (Before), we prepared (to join the) nation's workforce, but now we need to be ready for the world's job market.

"You need to be able to adapt yourself, be versatile, have flexibility and open-mindedness to understand the world's foreign cultures, languages and peoples. Many of our Malaysian businesses now have expanded overseas and have gone global, too," he said.

Mustapa, who is on a two-day trade and investment mission to South Korea, spoke during a dinner with Malaysian students and working professionals at the Malaysian embassy, here.

The minister has held discussions with the heads of various South Korean companies since his arrival in Seoul on Thursday morning, following a visit to Japan.

He is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a seminar on 'Business Opportunities in Malaysia' today.