When officiating at the graduation ceremony of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in 2017, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said it is without a doubt that the school is transforming the national tertiary education landscape by nurturing talent through creativity and design-focused thinking. He said since the university established a campus in Gaborone in 2007, it has not just brought 21st century relevant programmes but it has also imbued the students with a unique fusion of African, Asian and European education thus better enabling Botswana to retain its brightest young people. ‘‘In partnering with Limkokwing University, the government was impressed with its unique and refreshingly different approach to tertiary education,” said Masisi.
For the Founder and President of Limkokwing University, Tan Sri Limkokwing, this vision has long been embedded in his drive to change the tertiary education landscape of Africa to match the demands of the students in the 21st century. In 2009, Tan Sri said today’s young generation is a different quality of people. ‘‘They are growing up in an era of technology that has enhanced connectivity and eased laborious work. It’s a digital world where the word instant is moving from hours to minutes to seconds and now it is reducing further to nano-seconds,” observed Tan Sri, the man who has been described by many world leaders as having an uncanny ability to stay ahead because he is able to discern the future.
Tan Sri looked into the future and saw the potential that his university can turn Botswana into a rare gem in Africa. ‘‘In Botswana, we see the opportunity to change Africa’’, Tan Sri said at the time. The story of how Tan Sri ended up setting campus in Botswana is that of a man who does not put monetary returns at the forefront of his investments. He took a risk that no other person could consider in 2001 when he decided it was time he brought the university to Botswana students after government spent millions of Pula to send a few students abroad to acquire creative skills. His bold move paid off as the university has since produced over 30 000 globalised, highly skilled graduates since it opened in Botswana in 2007.
Thousands of young people from around the world have gained a global tertiary education by virtue of the University’s pioneering and innovative education philosophy which is creativity oriented. Described in some quarters as the man who designed the future, Tan Sri believes that it is creative people who build economies around the world. ‘’Anywhere in the world it is creative people who crate new business, new products, new media, new lifestyles, new trends, new standards, new heroes’’, Tan Sri stated.
Limkokwing graduates are spread out inb all creative sectors of the economy in the country such as television production, radio, fashion design, graphic design, journalism and the creative arts. Through the Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform (LEAP), the university produces students who would be job creators rather than job seekers.
Next, the Lesotho campus was opened in 2008, followed by Swaziland in 2011. The Limkokwing wings have since spread to other countries such as Sierra Leone which opened in 2018 with the Namibia, Rwanda and Uganda campuses scheduled to open next year, 2020.
Tan Sri Limkokwing has been instrumental in changing worldwide perception of Malaysian education and initiated closer collaborations with the Commonwealth and the United Nations where he has paved the way for Malaysia to play a significant role. His lifelong journey empowering people and nations was paid fitting tribute when he received the Commonwealth Champions Award and is only the eighth recipient of this prestigious award in the history of the Commonwealth. He is one of the world’s most highly decorated citizens for excellence in innovation, communications, advertising, education and as an international peacemaker.