“Heriot-Watt University prides itself on its unique Positive Education approach to boost the resilience and skills that students need to take their place in society as successful, and purpose-driven leaders,” says Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) Provost and CEO, Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi.
HWUM undergraduates undergo the University’s EmPOWER Programme, a 4-level structured programme aimed at future-proofing its graduates with skills that will instil a life-long foundation for critical thinking and entrepreneurial mindset, as well as build emotional intelligence, resilience, and happiness.
All new undergraduate students start at the ‘Watt level’ of this programme, which focuses on self-leadership and defining impact. The cornerstone of this level is the development of an Impact Statement, which articulates the higher purpose of each student and how they intend to mobilise that purpose into a positive impact on the world.
As students progress through the programme, they accumulate EmPOWER points to move to the next three levels: Kilowatt (leading teams), Megawatt (leading communities) and Gigawatt (leading enterprise). These levels are achieved through a more personalised approach developed by students and guided by their personal tutors.
This year marks another important milestone for HWUM, as it celebrated the achievements of over 500 students who have successfully completed their Watt level and Impact Statements through their EmPOWER course. During the virtual EmPOWER 2022 Award Ceremony, which was held on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, HWUM’s EmPOWER achievers showcased their key learnings and experiences throughout the course. Kilowatt level and Megawatt level achievers were also recognised for reaching new heights in their EmPOWER programme.
HWUM’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences First Year Student Joshua Ng shared his experience: “The EmPOWER programme encourages individuals to define their life purpose. This brings hope that doesn’t wither away with time, and brings courage and meaning irrespective of one’s personal belief and philosophy in life.”
HWUM’s School of Social Sciences First Year Student Sandhya N. Sathesh said, “Through the EmPOWER programme, I was able to articulate my purpose and was able to pick up on transferrable skills that will be important for the future.”
This academic year, HWUM delivered its Watt level courses, including the Impact Statement Workshops, virtually, with more than 60 Impact Coaches guiding their students in a small, personalised group setting. It also organised Power workshops delivered by leading companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Talentbank, CIMB, and Experian for its students. Speakers from these industry partners shared their insights with HWUM students on various topics such as growth mindset, the importance of emotional intelligence and tips on how to create an impactful LinkedIn profile that would help students in their personal and professional development.
To commemorate HWUM’s 10th Anniversary celebrations this year, students, through their EmPOWER Community Service Projects, initiated a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for 10 deserving charitable organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in line with their mission to impact more than ‘10 Thousand Lives’. Their target is to raise ‘RM10 Thousand’ for each organisation.
To date, the students have raised a total of RM66,000 to help the following beneficiaries. If you wish to create impact and help our communities, kindly visit: https://www.simplygiving.com/event/hw-empower
I. Mercy Malaysia, a non-profit organisation focusing on providing medical relief, sustainable health related development and risk reduction activities for vulnerable communities in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
II. Teach for Malaysia, a diverse network of leaders committed to ending educational inequity, which had recently launched the Tutoring Programme as an initiative to narrow the learning gap.
III. Fugee School, a non-profit supported by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that provides refugee children education opportunities in Kuala Lumpur.
IV. Malaysian Mental Health Association, which promotes mental wellbeing in the community and helps people with mental health problems and their caregivers through support, education, training, research, and advocacy.
V. Malaysian Association for The Blind (MAB), which empowers persons with visual impairment by providing them with opportunities for greater participation, involvement, and integration into society.
VI. PAWS Animal Welfare Society provides shelter to unwanted dogs and cats, which are vaccinated, dewormed, neutered/spayed, and put up for adoption. Currently, there are over 250 dogs and 250 cats under PAWS’ care.
VII. Lang Tengah Turtle Watch, an NGO that helps save sea turtles on the beaches of Lang Tengah, an island off the East Coast of Malaysia, from extinction.
VIII. Ti-Ratana Welfare Society Malaysia, a charitable welfare organisation that provides for more than 500 residents a month, was created for the betterment of lives for people from all walks of live.
IX. Yayasan Chow Kit is a 24-hour crisis and drop-in centre providing meals, activities, therapy, case management, and educational programmes for at-risk children and teenagers in Kuala Lumpur.
X. Agathians Shelter, a welfare home located at Petaling Jaya, provides for children who are either orphans, abandoned or from broken families, from the age ranges between 5 till 20 years old.