Education Minister Maszlee Malik has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Shukutoku University in Japan.
Maszlee was given the honour for his contributions in increasing educational collaborations between the two countries.
In his speech, Maszlee said Shukutoku University and Malaysia shared the same goal in implementing social welfare through the concepts of “Education for All” and “Inclusive Education”.
“In Malaysia, social welfare is realised through the humanitarian concept in education for the sustainability of generations.
“There are similarities between Malaysia and Japan’s vision of Society 5.0. Through this vision, the goal is to improve the quality of life and create new values for Malaysia in the future,” Maszlee said.
As technology has become an essential part of modern life, Japan recently developed a new blueprint titled Society 5.0, to lead the world into a super-smart society.
The ceremony was held at Shukutoku University in Chiba, Japan.
Earlier, Maszlee witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Social Welfare between Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Shukutoku University in efforts to strengthen the ties between Malaysia and Japan.
Vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin represented UMS, while Shukutoku University president Professor Tetsuya Isooka represented the university.
The collaboration between the two universities began in 2017 when UMS Faculty of Psychology and Education (FPE) hosted The Borneo International Social Work Symposium 2017.
The symposium featured Shukutoku University Asian Research Institute with International Social Work director Professor Dr Tatsuru Akimoto as the keynote speaker.
According to UMS, FPE aims to develop individuals who immerse themselves in helping and being of service to others, with the hope that the students might create a ripple of change and impact the community in various ways.
With the UMS FPE’s social work programme being accepted as a registered member of the Asia and Pacific
Association for Social Work Education, the faculty hopes to continue to learn from Shukutoku University.
Strategic partnerships between Malaysia and Japan serve as an important platform to provide the direction of policies, recommendations and achievements in the Malaysia Education Blueprint for Higher Education.