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Shifting to an innovation economy - page 12 / 16

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KNOWLEDGE

UTeM: wealth creation for all

Higher education is a top priority in Malaysia. One of the government’s main goals is to have half of its population with a university education by 2020. Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) is playing a major part in this ambitious pursuit, not only to help increase the nation’s intellectual capacity, but also direct the path of its business future.

“Focus universities like UTeM will play a definitive role in the development and progress of Malaysia in terms of human resource training,” explains vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Yusoff Bin Hassan. “We are not going to offer programmes of any kind, but shall devise programmes that have a strategic and competitive value. In our case, UTeM is focused on engineering, ICT and management. We have established six faculties. Four of them are in engineering: electrical, electronics and computer, mechanical, and manufacturing. There is an ICT faculty, and a new one being endorsed by the Ministry of Higher Education, known as the Faculty of Technology Management and Technopreneurship. UTeM has been specifically assigned by the government to partner and work closely with the ever-growing industrial sector. The university’s objective is to be one of the world’s leading innovative technical schools, producing highly competent professionals through application-oriented teaching and research. “I believe we are in competition and we PROF DATUK DR AHMAD YUSOFF BIN HASSAN, Vice-Chancellor of UTeM

Engineering, ICT and management are the focuses at UTeM and its programmes are designed to meet the needs of the country’s labour market

intend to be the best,” says Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad, adding that UTeM would seek out the best minds amongst the young, not only from Malaysia but also from all over the world.

“We are creating programmes that potentially can generate revenue or create wealth for the nation,” the vice- chancellor explains. “Our engineering programmes are designed to suit the needs of the country’s labour market.” Currently, Malaysia’s labour market requires skilled workers in the technological sector, thus making UTeM the ideal choice. Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad encourages cooperation and collaboration between UTeM and UK universities with the aspiration of bringing together the most innovative minds of the two nations.

“With the UK there is an advantage, as we find the language and culture familiar,” says Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad. Since its establishment in 2000, UTeM has earned international recognition for being one of the top research facilities poised to parallel Germany in its innovation and hands-on teaching approach.

“We are assumed to produce able engineering graduates to run the kind of knowledge-based economy that complement high-tech industries,” says Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad. “We are committed to producing and providing that kind of human resource for Malaysia.”

12 World Report

Developing intellectual leaders of character at the UPNM

The National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) transformed itself in 2006 from a purely undergraduate military academy to become a fully-fledged university. Its reputation as the premier national institution dedicated to producing intellectual leaders of character committed to selfless service to the nation is underpinned by balancing intellectual development with military professionalism. Under the ethos that education is the first line of defence, it arms its graduates with the requisite leadership attributes as well as the physical and mental strength needed by military officers. At the same time, it strives to equip them with the intellectual prowess exhibited by leaders of public service and the corporate world, thereby achieving holistic human capital development.

LT GEN DATO’ PAHLAWAN HJ

Lt Gen Dato’ Pahlawan Hj Zulkifli bin Hj Zainal Abidin, the vice- chancellor of UPNM, is the man behind converting the institution into one befitting a global symbol of peace whilst producing graduates for a knowledge-based armed forces. His

ZULKIFLI BIN HJ ZAINAL ABIDIN Vice-Chancellor of UPNM

phrase “education is primordial before nation-building” is underscored by the fact that the university is

under both the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Defence.

Since achieving university status, UPNM has been able to extend its reach into policy and defence technology research, as well as being able to offer a range of post-graduate degrees at the Master’s and PhD levels in the areas of engineering, defence science and technology, as well as defence studies and management.

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