In this era of knowledge and technology, education is no longer the prerogative of students; it has become a lifelong process for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to upgrade their knowledge and skills beyond basic compulsory education and the current work environment.

The constant re-education and acquisition of new skills and competencies have become a benchmark of the caliber of a country's citizenry in responding to new challenges and demands posed by a highly competitive and fast advancing global market.

The rapid transition of our country (and the entire world) to a knowledge-based society and the challenges from competing economies all over the world necessitate a new approach to education and training that is adaptable, flexible and attuned to the need of lifelong learning.

To this end, the University of Malaya (UM) believes that it can become a significant contributor and a major player in the development of a knowledge-based society. It is through education via knowledge and skills acquisition that our people can progress in terms of both economic and social stability and justice.

The University of Malaya believes that the concept of lifelong education will certainly help in continuously producing and developing skilled human capital in order to upgrade the competence of Malaysian industries to global eminence. It is not only in line with the university's philosophy of providing continuous or lifelong learning to society, but also in tandem with the government's Vision 2020 where knowledge is at the forefront of a knowledge- driven economy.

Due to this, UM has taken the lead in enabling the growth of k-economy by establishing the University of Malaya Centre for Continuing Education, better known as UMCCed, in 1998.

Through UMCCed, UM has established an alternative for working adults to further their education since they are not able to follow the regular mainstream programmes. The centre provides opportunities for individuals, particularly working adults, to pursue part-time higher education which can help them in their career progression. This is in line with UM aspiration to become a world-class university which offers higher education with distinctive features to people of all ages and from varied backgrounds.

With the expanding number of university-educated job seekers, it is only rational that potential employers choose the best. The best means well-rounded excellence: high intellectual prowess and good mastery of working skills such as communication skills, management ability, teamwork, and social skills.

Therefore, the working community and younger generation should grab the opportunity to benefit from the quality lifelong education programmes offered by UMCCed in order to attain greater career success and excellence.

With all best wishes.

Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim
University of Malaya
50603 Kuala Lumpur