N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 23, 1991
Discipline / contribution: education
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Tan Sri Rahman occupies the office of Malaysia's foremost educator - the Director General of Education, a position he has held since 1985. Born in Malacca, Tan Sri has been educated at the University of Malaya, University of Singapore and at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He has also completed Executive Management Program at the Administrative Staff College in New Zealand and Advanced Management
Program at Harvard Business School.
Tan Sri's career in the public service began in 1960. He went on to serve his country in various positions, as an educator and as an educational administrator. As the Director of Education of the State of Kelantan, Tan Sri provided the leadership in the modernization of public education in this east cost state of Peninsular Malaysia. At the federal level, it was Tan Sri who effected the changeover of the Malaysian examination system from Cambridge, and in the process, gained special recognition as an innovator in testing, measurement and evaluation. As General Secretary of the Cabinet Committee on Educational Reform, Tan Sri presided over and directed the most broadbased review of Malaysia's whole system of education. It was under his leadership that this four-year review led to recommendations that would affect the entire framework of education in Malaysia.
Tan Sri's quick perception of management problems and his oratory wit left indelible impressions on many visitors to Malaysia. It wasn't long before Tan Sri was called on to contribute his talents to the international community. International organizations in which he held the position of Chair include: Regional Institute of Higher Education and Development, Bangkok; UNESCO Asia-Pacific Group in Bangkok; INNOTECH in Manila. He has also served as Alternate to the Malaysia's Minister of Education on the Executive Board of the UNESCO and as Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council of Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. His service to the cause of education within the British Commonwealth has also been extensive, one of the most recent being his presentation on "Student Mobility and Higher Education Cooperation".
Tan Sri's outstanding contribution to the cause of Malaysia's education has been recognized through a number of titles conferred on him by the Royalty in Malaysia. The Governor of Malacca has conferred on him the titles of Dato and Datuk Wira. The Sultan of Pahang also conferred on him the title of Dato. In 1988, the King of Malaysia conferred on him the title of Tan Sri. Malaysia's education owes much to Tan Sri Datuk Wira. He is an important architect of Malaysia's long standing commitment to human resources development. As the first group of young scholars, sponsored by the Public Services Department of Malaysia is about to convocate, it is highly befitting that the University of Saskatchewan has the opportunity to honour someone who has been known as the master craftsman and architect of educational growth and development of modern Malaysia.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: A.K. Sarkar, Associate Dean of Commerce
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