KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, has called for a review of outdated laws and those which are curtailing the progress of higher learning institutions.

Sultan Azlan Shah

This was to enable ivory tower institutions to keep pace with the progress achieved in the field of information technology, in line with the country’s aspiration to practise open and transparent governance, he said.

“Undergraduates should be exposed to the country’s cultural, socioeconomic and political reality,” he said at the University of Malaya’s (UM) 50th convocation here today.

Campus environment where undergraduates are maturing as a person should not be detached from the actual environment where the society is thriving, the UM pro-chancellor said.

He also spoke of the need for UM’s campus society to understand the challenges in the bid to ensure that the university remained a top institution.

“Researchers should explore new fields and create niche areas and carry out cutting edge research that will add value to the research being carried out globally,” he said.

Sultan Azlan said numerous transformation programmes, covering academia, human resources and financial aspects, had been implemented in support of the university’s aspiration to position itself as among the top 100 universities in the world by 2015.

A total of 6,638 graduands will receive their scrolls in the six-day convocation ending Oct 8.

Of the total, 309 are recipients of Doctor of Philosophy, 1,931 Master’s Degree, 4,231 Bachelor’s Degree and 167 Diploma.

The convocation will also see the conferment of an honorary degree to Professor Wu Zong Yu, a renowned figure who contributed towards the promotion the Malay language at the international level.

Professor Datuk Paduka Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Ab Majid and Professor Datin Dr Savithiri Devi Ampalam Puthucheary who are experts in Islamic law history and medical microbiology respectively, are conferred with the Emeritus Professor title.