Universities should celebrate differences, says scholar after UiTM fiasco

“Are they not aware that a leadership that engages and encourages intelligent dialogue to settle disputes is a leadership that nurtures a more progressive, productive and confident society?

(TMI) – UNIVERSITIES are meant to be a safe space to question norms, including the process of critically assessing reality, said independent scholar Sharifah Munirah Alatas.

She added that universities must offer the right space for lecturers, researchers and students to define, interpret and celebrate knowledge.

Referring to the recent fiasco involving Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Munirah said the ultimate goal of any university is to produce knowledge and act as a space to engage differences while recognising the diversity in humanity.

“Universities are spaces to engage differences because difference is a reality we must all live with and learn to accept. It is a space that defines, interprets and celebrates knowledge, which gives our society and the larger world, meaning and coherence.

“The goal must always be to celebrate differences. The more we know about what makes us different, the less threatened we will feel about diversity.

“When we feel less threatened, we have the confidence to transform into an enlightened, respectable and progressive nation,” she said.

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