Prof. Dr. Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid, the esteemed President and Founder of both MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo is a resourceful leader with a profound commitment to providing quality education and better access to learning opportunities.
Over the last four decades, his passion for bringing top-notch education to students has driven the growth of these institutions from colleges to renowned universities. His primary motivation has always been to develop a nurturing environment where students can flourish academically and professionally. Shukri takes pride in his achievements, knowing that through the universities he established, countless students have been transformed into successful individuals.
A recent fellowship dinner with Sri Lankan alumni showcased the impact of his efforts, as many of them have attained remarkable success in their careers, some becoming professors with PhD qualifications and others holding prominent positions as CEOs in various industries.
Shukri’s focus on entrepreneurship has led the universities to receive prestigious accolades, being recognized as the best entrepreneurial university in the Asia Pacific region and earning the title of the best green university of the year. The success stories of their graduates and the universities’ high rankings in QS and impact rankings are a testament to his proudest moment as an educator – witnessing the meaningful transformation of his students and their contributions to the community. For Shukri, the ultimate satisfaction lies not in titles or positions but in the enduring success and fulfilment of his students’ journeys.
Shukri is deeply committed to maintaining these institutions’ reputation for academic excellence and innovation. To ensure they stay at the forefront of unconventional education and research in their respective fields, he places great emphasis on developing a foundation of talented and skilled faculty members. He believes that only with top-notch faculties can these institutions deliver progressive innovation and impactful research.
A key aspect of their strategy involves talent development and nurturing human capital within the university community. He also emphasizes the importance of creating a vibrant research ecosystem within the campuses. By fostering a culture of research and collaboration, he believes that the faculty can enhance their expertise as both educators and researchers, thereby elevating the overall quality of education. To achieve this, Shukri and the universities actively seek grants and collaborations with local authorities, governments, and over 300 partner universities worldwide. Through these collaborations, they aim to contribute significantly to advanced research and innovative practices.
Shukri’s vision for the future involves continuous efforts to strengthen these four major areas of development, ensuring that MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo remain at the forefront of academic excellence, research, and innovation.
There is no doubt that Shukri’s leadership has left a lasting impact on the academic landscape of Malaysia and Sri Lanka. His outlook revolves around a future of education that enriches lives and fosters meaningful contributions to the community.
At the heart of his vision for MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo is the emphasis on developing programs that empower students to become agents of positive change. By instilling a sense of social responsibility and community support within the educational framework, Shukri aims to nurture graduates who are not only academically competent but also compassionate global citizens. MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo play a crucial role in realizing this vision by welcoming students from 65 countries, embracing diversity, and becoming a truly international university.
Shukri’s approach is to focus on the region while thinking globally, ensuring that students are equipped to face the challenges of a rapidly evolving world. Through this transformative approach, he envisions a future where education not only imparts knowledge but also empowers individuals to make meaningful contributions to society, both locally and on a global scale.
Throughout his journey in the academic world, Shukri has encountered various personal and professional challenges that have tested his resilience and adaptability. Despite facing economic crises and turbulence in both Malaysia and Sri Lanka over the years, one of the most formidable challenges he has confronted was the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sudden and drastic effects of the pandemic forced MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo to swiftly adapt and transition to online learning and virtual operations. Within a matter of months, Shukri and his team restructured the entire educational system, developing comprehensive online programs and virtual research initiatives to ensure that education could continue uninterrupted. For Shukri, this was an immense challenge as education had always been deeply rooted in face-to-face interactions.
The rapid shift to online platforms demanded innovative solutions to maintain the quality of education and support the academic growth of students. Despite the obstacles, his determination and ability to embrace change enabled both institutions to persevere and thrive, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to providing students with the best possible educational experience, even during unprecedented and challenging times.
Shukri shares valuable advice for aspiring educators and entrepreneurs who wish to make a positive impact in the field of education and establish institutions of excellence like MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo. He emphasizes the importance of starting one’s career with a strong sense of purpose and a focus on making a meaningful impact on the community, both locally and globally. “By following their passion and doing what they love, individuals can find fulfilment in their careers and inspire those around them.”
Shukri also highlights the significance of forging strong partnerships with industries to create an Industry-Embedded University. This approach ensures that education is not limited to the confines of the classroom but extends to real-world experiences and community engagement. By collaborating with industries and working with the community, aspiring educators and entrepreneurs can develop well-rounded graduates equipped with both academic knowledge and practical skills.
His dedication to this principle is evident in the recent signing of the MOU, which solidifies the university’s commitment to fostering partnerships with industries for the holistic development of students. As Shukri continues to drive MSU Malaysia and MSI Colombo towards greater heights, his passion for education, his focus on community impact, and his unwavering belief in collaboration serve as a guiding beacon for all those who seek to make a positive difference in the world of education.