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17
Nov

Nilai U offers Outward Bound course and others to boost student soft skills.

 
Nilai University (Nilai U) is a trailblazer in soft skills training for higher education students. A great example of this is the Outward Bound course which was first developed by Nilai U when it signed an MoU with the survival skills training provider in 2012. Since then, 200 students have undergone this Malaysian Qualifications Agency-approved programme which carries a 3-credit hour award for any student who successfully completes the course. This course is one of the options in the Mata Pelajaran Umum "MPU 2" or university courses and is part of the component of a degree programme offered at Nilai U. MPU2 or University courses are designed to expose students to a broad-based education system that not only emphasises on high proficiency in academia, but also focuses on development of inner character and mental strength of our students.
“The Outward Bound course was developed to enhance students’ ability to be open and sensitive to change personally and psychologically, to strengthen individual characters and enhance teamwork capabilities,” explains Subashini R, Dean of the Faculty of Humanites and Social Sciences. “It has been extremely popular among our students; hence we are re-signing the  MoU with Outward Bound to continue offering this course for at least another five years.” With the signing of the MoU,  Nilai University has consented to permit the use of this course for similar programmes with other Institutions of Higher Learning in Malaysia and the Asian Region.
 
On hand to sign the MoU for Outward Bound was Dato’ Seri Ismail Shahudin (President, Outward Bound Trust Malaysia). He said, “Our relationship with Nilai U started in mid-2012 and eventually evolved into a strategic partnership to conduct a programme aimed at the holistic development for students and staff at Nilai U. Values imbued such as resilience, confidence, trust, leadership, accountability, teamwork, respect and compassion remain ever more important in today’s complex world. The values should be inculcated and nurtured since young and strengthened and enhanced throughout their journey at study, work and in life.”
 
He hoped that with the re-signing of the MoU even more students will take up the challenge and boost their soft skills with a week-long stint at Outward Bound’s camp in Lumut. Students will learn how to survive in the wilderness, camping skills and possibly most crucially, how to work effectively within a team.  Ismail is certain that any student who goes through the course will learn valuable lessons and find the experience positively rewarding. Speaking also from the perspective of a leading corporate figure in the banking sector, Dato’ Seri Ismail who is a Director with Maybank, also said that these soft skills were hugely important for graduates entering the corporate world. He urged students to follow the footsteps of great leaders who have undergone Outward Bound training, which have included members of royalty, former prime ministers and not forgetting the past and present Nilai U’s Vice-Chancellors.
 
Aside from the Outward Bound course, Nilai U  also offers a number of other courses designed to boost students’ soft skills. These include courses related to communication skills and corporate etiquette by Dale Carnegie and Chapter One respectively. Subashini said that offering such courses is in line with Nilai U’s philosophy of Blueprint for Success which aims to fully prepare students for a successful career. “This can only be achieved by equipping students with the relevant soft skills which will boost their marketability. Having the necessary paper qualifications is but one step in landing your dream job,” she said. “It is one thing to claim you have great soft skills but another to support it up with certificates from world-renowned organisations such as Outward Bound.”
 
Nilai U offers students the chance to build an impressive CV with an array of enhanced certification from relevant professional organisations specialising in soft skills or industry-specific expertise. All of its programmes are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and the institution is jointly owned by Nilai Resources Group and FELDA. For more information, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336. 
 
 
Prof Dato’ Dr Sothi Rachagan (Nilai U Vice-Chancellor) and Dato’ Seri Ismail Shahudin (President, Outward Bound Trust Malaysia) exchange documents to extend the partnership for a further five years. They are flanked by Ambihabathy Ratnam (left, Nilai U registrar) and Ahmad Fadzil Samsudin (Executive Director, Outward Bound Malaysia).
 
Vijaya Raghavan A/L G. Rajaram, Outward Bound programme co-ordinator (in green shirt) highlighting some of the activities to Nilai U students.
 
Nilai U students were given a sample of the team building activities they will undergo durig the week-long Outward Bound programme.