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Bridging the Leadership Gap
University Election Changed to a Two-Party System to Encourage More Young​ Voters

Politics at the university is certainly a hotly debated topic nowadays. However, according to Wan Adib Farhan Wan Shamsir Nizam, 20, UTP's election secretariat director, student autonomy is a flagship policy at UTP. He explains, “Here, the students are encouraged to lead change and reforms for the common good of the university."


Wan Adib says, “At UTP, we celebrate the act of voting. The heart of it is not the actual election of a representative, but instead the act itself, the pragmatic choosing that honors democracy."


In relation, to ignite higher interests among UTP's youth population to vote after their studies, last year, UTP's electoral system was changed to a two-party system.


Previously, the nominations for UTP's Student Representative Council's leadership positions were carried out by its high committee members. However, after a tilt in the system, it is hoped that the change will foster lasting ties among incumbent candidates to come back and serve their parties after graduating.


“When it was first introduced in 2018, we saw a huge increase in the number of voters from 30% in 2017 elections to 51% last year," says the chemical engineering student.


According to Wan Adib, around five thousand student voters turned up at the last election which took place between the 22nd to the 24th of October 2018 choosing between Blue and Gold parties.


Higher attendance at the ballot box is only part of the reason the change was implemented says Wan Adib. “On the other hand, we wanted to benchmark our election results against other local universities. In the last one year, we have noticed that the change in the system has promoted broader political awareness among the students," adds Wan Adib.


Following this, it is has become pivotal for the university's election committees to mirror current legislation system practiced by lawmakers.


Interestingly, according to Wan Adib, the election secretariat is expecting an increase in the number of participating candidates in the upcoming election. He says, “It's like preparing for the real world."


Instead of loyalty to candidates, Wan Adib foresees that the next election will see loyalty shifting across parties. The advantage is particularly potent in view of the long-term development of students' well-being and growth. Last but not least, Wan Adib also hints that a plan to implement a UTP parliament is in the pipeline.


Indeed, this is another prime example of UTP's profound career connected learning and industry collaboration. From the work we do, we foster long-term relationships with our global social-impact partners to prepare our students, people and researchers as global citizens.


As a leading university in engineering, science and technology, our graduates are driven to exceed their professional objectives and contribute towards overcoming capability deficit across all sectors and industries.​

​Published on 8 May 2020​