University College of Darul Quran Will Become a Reality

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) gives its full commitment to realise the aspiration of the country leaders to see  the first Higher Learning Institute of Quran–Memorising (Tahfiz) to be established in Malaysia. This effort will become a reality once the Darul Quran, which is the oldest tahfiz institution in the country, is upgraded as a university college after 46 years in the education stream, producing tahfiz graduates as old as the MARA Institute of Technology (UiTM).
Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dr. Mohamad Yusof bin Md. Noor; the Chairman of LEPAI, who is also the Chairman of USIM Board of Directors, gave a keynote address at “The Upgrade of Darul Quran to a University College" workshop. He expressed his happiness and foresee that JAKIM already has the access to implement the programme after getting a green light from the country’s highest leader, in comparison with the establishment of other universities such as UKM which started merely on wants. He, who looked at this matter with a positive view, shared his experiences on the establishment of religious higher education in this country just like the development of the first Islamic University in Malaysia which is UIAM and then the Malaysian Islamic Science University.
In the knowledge sharing session, he raised few questions to be given a thought; among others were the reputation and quality to be set for the college. He suggested few important elements for the establishment of a college which needed some considerations such as the courses that reflect the identity of the college, good administration structure as well as the subject matter experts chosen as the academic icon for the college. He said that these would have a big impact on the status of the university in order to be competitive with other higher learning institutions.
Meanwhile, in his welcoming speech, the Director General of JAKIM, Y.Bhg Dato’ Hj. Wan Mohamad bin Dato’ Sheikh Abdul Aziz explained JAKIM’s readiness to accept this challenge whereby JAKIM itself possesses many experts to serve in the university. There are seven officers with PhD qualification and 97 staff with Masters Degree. He also emphasised on the need to upgrade Darul Quran was in line with the country’s requirement to have certified tahfiz graduates besides fulfilling the current demand for these huffaz (people who memorise the al-Quran) to be placed in all fields, and not just in the fields related to religion. This will enable the study of tahfiz to be aligned with the mainstream.
The upgrade workshop has gathered specialists from the university circles namely Prof. Dato’ Dr. Muhamad b Muda; Vice Chancellor of USIM, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Sidek Baba; UIAM lecturer, Prof. Dr. Siti Rugayah bt Hj Tibek; UKM Director of the Institute of West Asian Studies, Prof. Madya Dr. Abdul Rahman Chik; UIAM Deputy Dean of Student affairs, Prof. Madya Dr. Mustaffa b Abdullah; UM Head of  al-Quran and al-Hadith Department, Dr. Zulkifli bin Aini; representatives from KUIS, representatives from the Ministry of Higher Learning, Federal Lawyers and Division Directors of JAKIM. 
The workshop which was held at the De Palma hotel on18-20 February 2011 was packed with activities such as presentation of a proposal paper on “The Upgrade of Darul Quran to a University College” by Prof. Dr. Sidek Baba and a workshop entitled “The Way Forward and Field of Studies for KUDQ”. Our deepest appreciation and gratitude to all participants who were very committed to make the workshop a success.