NILAI College had launched its first new diploma programs today since receiving full university status at a luncheon at its campus’s formal dining restaurant – Flamme. This is one more huge step forward by Nilai College or now otherwise known as Nilai University. They will offer many more degree and diploma programs in the future.
The Diploma in Agricultural Management was jointly developed with its stakeholder Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). At the launch were 30 Felda scholars who will be the pioneer batch in the this diploma programs as well as relevant Felda members who will form part of an Industry Advisory Panel which will ensure the courses is up-to-date with current industry practices. The Diploma in Agricultural Management focuses on the study and application of economics and management principles that are used in production, transformation and marketing of food and agricultural products that have economic, aesthetic, social and cultural value.
Agricultural Management draws knowledge and skills from a wide range of disciplines such as soil, crop and animal sciences, accounting, economics and management sciences, humanities and social sciences, engineering, and information and communications technology.
Nilai University’s Diploma programs in Agricultural management is designed to produce specialised human resource capable of managing plantations. It will be more job placement in this industry in the future. The focus is on the development of knowledge, skills and values within an agribusiness environment in order for the learner to run an agribusiness enterprise on a financially and ecologically sustainable basis. Special emphasis is placed on the development of interpersonal skills and empathy critical for the management of staff and the enhancement of the welfare of the plantation community.
Apart from the core subjects, students are also given the opportunity to develop language and communication skills and get involved in co-curricular activities within a multicultural and ethnically diverse, local and international student population and faculty.
“Some time back the Minister of Higher Education had lamented that the private education sector does not offer programmes related to agriculture. In fact, we had been working on this programme for some time which will include a one-year stint with Felda,” says Prof Emeritus Tengku Dato’ Shamsul Bahrin, Nilai U President. “It is hoped the one year training in one of Felda’s many plantations will give students a better perspective of their tasks.”
The programme was officially launched by Hanapi Suhada (Felda Land Director), who was representing Faizoull Ahmad (Felda Director General), at the event. He urged the students to “do the best for Felda” and reminded them that were in line for a promotion to a higher grade upon graduation. All of the 30 students are currently employed by Felda and have been chosen to attend this diploma programme with a view to enhancing the specialist knowledge in the area as well as broadening their horizons through higher education.
Tengku Shamsul was keen to emphasise that the students should make full use of the opportunities available on campus. That includes taking active part on the extra-curricular activities as well as taking part in the many character-building events such as the International Cultural festival and the Future Leaders Camp which is organised and hosted by Nilai U. “By coming here, you are exposed to people from all walks of life, make sure you mix around and learn more from your fellow students. One of the reasons, Felda sends it’s scholars to Nilai U is because of its cosmopolitan student population,” explains Tengku Shamsul.
Hanapi agrees and said, “We truly appreciate the diversity of its campus population and believe that exposure to such a student body can only be beneficial to our students. They are no longer working in a rural area cut off from the rest of civilisation. They will be working in large plantations or in one of our multinational companies and will come in contact with people from all walks of life. Some may even find themselves in one of our plantations overseas.”
Minimum entry requirement into this programme is three credits in SPM (including Science or Mathematics), or one principal in STPM, or 3Bs in UEC (including Science or Mathematics). Students enrolling in the Diploma in Agricultural Management will also benefit from extra modules on English to ensure students will be comfortable with the demands of an all-English syllabus.
Nilai U was established in 1997 and Felda has been a 30% stakeholder since its inception. Felda has been sending large number of its scholars to the Diploma in Nursing programme. For more information on Nilai U and its programmes, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502338 / 03-79603089 / 07-2262336 / 088-238811.
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