A driving force for change

Higher learning institutions play a crucial role in empowering youths

28 Apr 2020 / 11:16 H.

THE 2030 Agenda of the United Nations (UN) delves into the idea of sustainable development, which is a planned action for people, planet and prosperity.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal agenda to strengthen universal peace and eradicate poverty.

One of the most intense driving forces recognised to boost the desired transformation are youths. Connected to each other like never before, young people have already contributed to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change.

Higher learning institutions also play a crucial role in empowering and mobilising youths in the realisation of SDGs and make the difference not only through activities centred on Goal No. 4 – ‘Quality and Inclusive Education’ – but also in the promotion of awareness about the SDGs.

Understanding this urgency for a rapid shift towards sustainability and supporting UTAR’s and Malaysia’s aspiration in achieving the SDGs, the International Young Leaders Conference (IYLC) 2019 was conceptualised with the theme ‘Youth Empowerment and Inclusion in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’.

The conference was held from Oct 25 to 26, 2019 at the UTAR Sungai Long Campus. It hosted a total of 134 participants, both local and international, with 14 speakers from different backgrounds and organisations. Ten universities, comprising five local (including UTAR) and five international universities, showed their support for this conference.

The conference unleashed its competitive streak by uniquely featuring the Sustainable Development Goals Competition 2019: Stand Up for the Change.

The competition enabled the participants to learn and explore the SDGs and enhance their critical thinking skills while planning and implementing their projects to match with the SDGs. The different projects were targeted at different communities, and the strategies to approach the community and to achieve the goals were relatively different.

The conference and the competition enabled participants to understand and explore the crosscutting partnerships of multi-stakeholders, and to have a clear understanding of how learning institutions can play their role in the implementation process of the SDGs

It also provided them with a platform to share different views and ideas from different sectors. It is believed that with a hands-on approach, the participants will be able to embrace the true meaning of SDGs and ensure that the impact of these SDGs is experienced by the community, both at the national and global level.

UTAR is one of the fastest growing private higher education institutions in the country since its inception in 2002. From only 411 students when it opened, the University now has about 22,000 students with campuses located in Kampar, Perak and Bandar Sungai Long, Selangor.

Over 64,400 students have graduated from UTAR since its inaugural convocation in 2005. The University currently offers more than 110 programmes from Foundation Studies to Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees.

UTAR’s Cyber Open Day is now live daily from 10am to 6pm, where students can chat, apply and download brochures. Counselling is also available via phone and Whatsapp at: 016-2233 557, 016-2233 559, 011-1062 4335, 011-1062 3354, 018-911 2100 and 018-972 2100.

For more information, call 05-468 8888 (Kampar Campus), 03- 9086 0288 (Sungai Long Campus) or visit

email blast