A QS Showcase profile of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Limkokwing, president of Limkokwing University
“The future has always been and will always be defined by people with the passion and the drive to push beyond borders and beyond boundaries; by people who will move mountains if the mountains are getting in the way. The future will always be about making possible what seems impossible today.”
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Limkokwing
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Limkokwing entered the education sector after an illustrious career in multinational advertising and communications that occupied two decades of his life. He brought his adventurous and pioneering spirit to energise and transform the education sector in Malaysia and later achieved the same in other countries where he had built his campuses.
Father of Innovation in Creative Education
In 2010 he was bestowed the title – Malaysia’s Father of Innovation in Creative Education – by the Malaysian government, recognising his ingenuity in building Malaysian education into a global brand. The award put on record his innovative methods to pioneer a new approach that enables developing countries to produce highly skilled, industry-ready human capital needed to fuel economic growth. His approach brought vocational education, globally referred to as TVET (technical and vocational education and training) into the mainstream. TVET is now being seen as the panacea to overcome global trends in youth unemployment.
First TVET UK International President
In October 2016 TVET UK made the historic decision to appoint Tan Sri Limkokwing as the first TVET UK International President and thereby endorsing Tan Sri Limkokwing’s efforts to bring industry into education as a vital stakeholder. Across Asia, Africa and UK where he has established his campuses, Tan Sri Limkokwing has brought his philosophy to trigger change in academics’ attitude to education. And it has begun to make an impact.
A 21st Century Educationist
But the truth is he is no academic. However, the university that he helms, and that bears his name, has had eight heads of government, including former president of South Africa, HE Nelson R Mandela, accept honorary doctorates from him. The acceptance testifies to the high regard and global respect his institution has garnered in the two decades of its existence.
When he set up the Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology in 1991 it was the only one of its kind to focus on creativity as a vital aspect of education. He injected into its curriculum strong participation from industry to produce industry-ready graduates. By doing so he changed the whole notion of education as being merely degree-granting institutions.
In 2007 at the invitation of the government of the Republic of Botswana he set up the first private university in that country and since then has opened another two campuses in Lesotho and Swaziland with plans to open more across the African continent.
In 2007 he arrived at London’s doorstep, the first Malaysian, Asian and citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations to open a campus in Piccadilly. That action was linked to the intention to close the gap between people of both sides of the world who were divided by cultural differences, ideologies and religion.
In Malaysia the campus is home to students from 160 countries. Creative focus and an innovative approach are producing human capital designed to work in a multinational, multicultural world well-equipped with skills in the use of new media technology. The vital edge is in enabling cultural competency important for a fast changing world that is interlinked and interconnected.