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USM Apex

APEX Transformation Agenda

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was selected to implement the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX) in 2008. APEX is a fast track development programme to enable institutions of higher education to be recognised as world class entities. The programme aims to facilitate the university selected to be on an international level and also to motivate and help raise the level of excellence in higher education. The APEX programme was identified as one of the most critical initiatives to help transform Malaysian Higher Education. As a result of this initiative, the Ministry of Higher Education requested all local public and private institutions to submit their proposals for consideration to be selected as an APEX University, with the prestigious APEX status being awarded to the successful one. USM’s mission in implementing the APEX program is to become a pioneering university, trans-disciplinary and research-intensive university that empowers future talents and enables the bottom billions to transform their socioeconomic well-being. “We aspire to lead and innovate in achieving excellence at the international level through advancing and disseminating knowledge and truth, instilling qualities that stress academic excellence and professionalism, developing holistic individuals and providing a strong commitment towards society’s aspiration, the country’s vision and universal aspirations”. USM also incorporated the concept of sustainability to achieve its vision as an APEX university, which is: “Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow”

APEX Status

A sustainable world, humanity and the future of the humankind are among the issues focused on by Universiti Sains Malaysia. Based on these over-arching principles, USM has been chosen by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education to implement the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX) under its auspices. This was announced by the Minister, The Honourable Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin on 3rd September 2008. Since inception in 1969, USM has undergone various phases of development, not only in graduating students to support the needs of the nation, but also more importantly, functioning as an impetus for the progress and nation-building. For the next 40 years, it is time to move to the next level in preparing the University for a more challenging and unique future. 

Under the APEX proposal entitled, “Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, USM has outlined its efforts in advocating the process of a sustainable development in ascertaining a more lasting future. In particular the survivality of the planet and humankind by ensuring the appropriate use of resources towards a greater understanding, respecting and even taking necessary steps to build a robust and balanced prosperous and sustainable future.

Emphasis is given “… to integrate sustainable development into the educational system so that future generations can be nurtured and imbued with the need to embrace ecological protection, conservation of resources and human development based on the virtues of equity, accessibility availability, affordability, appropriateness and in articulating a wholesome meaning of quality.”

In line with this, USM has executed a rebranding-cum-advocacy programme that would allow it to deepen and translate its main mission as “a pioneering university, transdisciplinary and research-intensive that empowers future talents and enables the bottom billions to transform their socioeconomic well-being.” This is in line with the vision of “Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

USM as an acknowledged Regional Centre of Excellence on Education for Sustainable Development by the United Nations University in Nagoya University, Japan, on 29th June 2005 has a lot to do. Notable examples include the campaigns on sustainability such as “The White Coffin” that has successfully rid the use of polystyrene, and present a model of how carry out similar activities, and be recognised nationally and internationally, the latest by Global University Netowork for Innovation (GUNI). So is the campaign to reduce the use of plastics in the campus that is now still on-going. The mobilisation of in-house expertise to develop the concept of an “eco-hub” by utilising available resources is yet an example of the success thus far, all performed by volunteers from the campus community.

USM would continue to lead in facing future challenges by advocating seven thrust areas as a a basis to shape the nation’s first APEX university. The seven areas are its concern about: The Future, Uniqueness, Sustainability, Humanity, Universality, Change and Sacrifice as expressed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, during the 2009 Annual Address entitled “Universiti APEX : Satu tuntutan, Satu Pengorbanan” (APEX university: A Quest, A Sacrifice.)

This means, USM is fully to implement a future that is sustainable by utilising higher education as the platform to reach out towards humankind as a whole while extending firm support to major international goals such as the Millennium Development Goals, Education for All, Education for Sustainable Development and any other agenda in the future. In so doing, USM opted to venture forward based on the “Blue Ocean Strategy”, which requires a unique and innovative way of thinking, taking actions and setting goals other than the norms. To be sure, establishing sustainability and humanity as the core ideals present a new metaphor that USM is keen to work on in ascertaining the survivality of the planet to be inherited by future generations. In short, this what APEX is about for USM

9 APEX Thrusts

USM has been accorded the mandate to implement APEX (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) in September 2008. Since then, USM has always aspired to instil the values and key thrusts to be embraced and held in steadfast by members of the USM community.

1. Knowledge

The key objective of the university is to explore and gain mastery of knowledge. Each and every effort done must be based on knowledge and its analyses via current methodologies. Knowledge is the main agenda of the university, which focuses on the exploration, enrichment and application in all its endeavours amongst the members of the USM community, nurtured and developed continuously towards advancing the nation and achieving perpetual harmony. Knowledge also forms the thrust in realising the motto “We Lead”.

2. The Future

All endeavours should be based on forward-thinking, looking at the future impact on the individual self, other communities and the society. The emphasis should be on the legacies left behind and how the actions taken based on current thinking practices would contribute towards the development of the future.

3. Uniqueness

This distinctive quality separates USM and its community from the rest, in developing the strength and impact for the future. In order to be competitive in facing the future, the university as well as its individuals need to be unique to produce the desired outcomes from the various endeavours, by thinking out-of-the-box and realising efforts under the Blue Ocean Strategy.

4. Sustainability

Materialising the ideas and efforts, from the preservation of the environment to the conservation of the traditions and local knowledge found in the various communities, the agenda on volunteerism and the development of various initiatives, to facilitate in planting the spirit of sustainability and to put forth the efforts in caring for the environment.

5. Universality

Recognition of the universal values shared together, resulting from open-mindedness and broadened thinking, understanding the universal and global cultures and values upheld and respected together, while preserving one’s dignity as reflected in the term “Glocal”, which means global in thoughts and local in actions, according the utmost respects to the cultures and values already in existence and practised, all in the spirit of “Rukun Negara”. The university community too needs to have the willingness to work in tandem with the involvement of all inclusively without any barriers.

6. Humanity

Its importance is undeniable in ensuring the continuity of mankind and the universe. It signifies having the compassion while embracing the values and principles in life in caring for the universe, mankind and society throughout.

7. Sacrifice

The willingness to take necessary and ongoing actions wholeheartedly to ensure the entrusted mission of the university is upheld together on the account of God’s grace. Such a spirit needs to surface from the heart or soul, based on the vim and vigour of “I Love USM” (Saya Sayang USM) and “Driving Excellence” (Memacu Kecemerlangan).

8. Change

The success of the university relies on the changes within its community members which would lead to changes in thoughts and actions resulting in impactful outcomes to society and the world over via beneficial knowledge and the thrusts developed in togetherness.

9. Wellness

All relevant endeavours are aimed to actualise harmonious mental and physical characters to all including the university community and extending to the citizens of the nation and the world resulting from continual, sustainable thoughts and actions encompassing physical, spiritual and moral development as well as continual blissfulness.

Apex Logo 

Rationale of the Logo

The logo was created as a continuity of the APEX initiative since it began in 2008. The triangular shape denotes the three angles representing the core values - excellence, harmony and togetherness and joined by the components in life based on humanity, nature and divinity. The triangle is set in an ascending manner, indicative of the continuous achievements of the university as they soar higher, and is arranged into the shape of the letter 'A' in reflecting the all-around excellence. The composition of the nine triangles represents the nine thrusts of APEX (Knowledge, Future, Sustainability, Uniqueness, Universality, Humanity, Change, Sacrifice, Well being) in driving excellence. The biggest triangle (purple) represents the basis for knowledge while the medium-size triangle (white) represents harmony

Description of the Colours of the Logo

Purple signifies maturity while orange relates to dynamism and it fits perfectly with the motto of We Lead and APEX, having its basis in maturity and strength enhanced with dynamic characteristics and attitudes.