TANJUNG MALIM: Institutions of higher learning are not printers of certificates, diplomas and degrees, and their students should not merely repeat what they have learnt.

Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim said such institutions could only be outstanding if they produced excellent graduates.

“Institutions of higher learning are not printers of certificates, diplomas and degrees.

“They are not a place to train parrots, who repeat the words that have been taught to them.

“An outstanding institution of higher learning is one that produces thinkers, cultivates wisdom in the minds of their graduates and adds value to life-long learning.

“These institutions also help them strengthen their identity by firmly upholding the truth and staving off evil,” she said at the 16th convocation of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) here yesterday.

Tuanku Zara Salim, who is also UPSI chancellor, said institutions of higher learning must instil in their graduates an “independent” mindset in their pursuit of knowledge.

With this year’s convocation being held soon after the 57th Merdeka Day, she said the country’s freedom in its truest sense would be meaningful if the younger generation was imbued with the spirit of independent thinking.

Tuanku Zara Salim urged graduates to treat life as an adventure that would be marked by many significant moments.

A total of 4,337 students will receive their degrees at UPSI’s convocation this year.