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Aswara Accorded University Status Under Tourism And Culture Ministry

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) — The National Arts, Culture and Heritage Academy (Aswara) which has been upgraded to university status hopes it will remain with the Tourism and Culture Ministry.

Aswara Rector Prof Dr Hatta Azad Khan said this was to facilitate planning and cooperation with related agencies such as Istana Budaya and the Arts and Culture Department in its endeavour towards becoming a university.

“Even as a university, Aswara should remain under the ministry related to culture as many agencies are closely linked to the academy and the development of the arts industry,” he told Bernama here today.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in tabling the 11th Malaysian Plan (11MP) said Aswara would be upgraded to a university to become the centre of art activities and it would continue to receive support to produce artistes and performers of calibre.

The National Arts Academy (ASK) which was established in 1994, was renamed Aswara on Aug 1, 2006.

Hatta said the new status of Aswara as a university would change the perception of students especially the younger generation on arts and culture.

He described the upgrade as a drive for the academy to produce more local arts activists.

“We hope the name of Aswara with a university status will change the perception of students to opt for Aswara as the university of choice,” he said.

While expressing his appreciation to the government, Hatta said Aswara with 700 students now, offered eight diploma and degree programmes apart from the master’s degree and doctorate courses.

“In the last two years, Aswara had 27 students for its master’s degree and PhD courses,” he said.

“With its academic and management capability, I believe Aswara’s position in the development of the arts industry would be enhanced and the process of changing its name to a university would proceed smoothly,” Hatta said.

Meanwhile, arts theatre director Lukman Ghani welcomed Aswara’s upgrading as timely because the country needed a university specialising in arts.

“The university (Aswara) will create a special channel to produce students as staunch art enthusiasts apart from empowering arts among children,” said the lecturer with more than 20 years’ experience in arts theatre.

According to him, Aswara’s upgrading as a university would pave the way for a more organised arts development in future. –BERNAMA

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