Tag Archives: Professional Diploma in Industrial Management

MOE’s year of strides

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. NSTP/ROSELA ISMAILBy Rozana SaniRayyan Rafidi – December 26, 2019 @ 11:55am

WITH the year fast drawing to a close, Higher ED looks back at the highlights and events that have shaped and influenced the tertiary education space.

This year, Malaysia took great strides to provide inclusivity and quality education to various levels of the society.

Increased pathways were created for access into education at various higher education institutions (HEIs). There was a keen focus on making tertiary education provide graduates with relevant skills and knowledge that would fit both industry demands and society needs as well as push further the pursuit of knowledge.

These were all drawn up via a clear framework stipulated in the Education Minister’s 2019 Mandate that was unveiled in January where four key directions were cited for higher education ― quality, autonomy, collaboration and internationalisation ― that aimed to bring back credibility to universities.

To achieve quality higher education, research from universities should be aimed at solving society’s problems.NSTP/SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik advocated increasing the visibility of academics’ works and nurturing a discourse culture in universities to solve society’s problems and develop the nation as a means to achieve quality higher education.

Ethics and integrity were given emphasis where university publication should reflect the mastery of academicians and be regarded as universal references.

The quality of research grants should be increased to ensure knowledge transfer and translation of great works.

Maszlee announced that student empowerment woud be emphasised through efforts like the abolition of Section 15(1)(c) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971.

Students’ Unions would be established to increase students’ decision-making roles. International Islamic University Malaysia was selected as the first university to be the pioneer.

In preparing students to become society’s troubleshooters, *universities must create collaborations with various parties, such as schools, polytechnics and vocational colleges.

To help local communities, public universities could provide training to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process in schools.

To make Malaysia an international education hub, Maszlee said there must be an increase in international students and local universities must establish more campuses abroad through the satellite university method.

For Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the ministry would continue to improve its institutional capabilities to be on par with other educational pathways.

A harmonised accreditation system with quality assurance would be established to enable student mobility in TVET institutions.

The quality and delivery of TVET programmes would be increased to improve the skills of graduates through an industry-led approach, removing duplication of programmes and resources, increasing cost effectiveness and expanding TVET funding.

Disabled students are among the priority groups given special routes for entry into public universities.. NSTP/AZHAR RAMLI

HAPPENINGS in the tertiary education gradually ramped up from early March prior to the release of SPM and STPM results.

Plans on access, wider pathways for furthering education, autonomy and quality education were generally made good on as the year progressed.

SPECIAL ROUTES

The Education Ministry announced special pathways to public universities for four groups, namely, people with disabilities, athletes, Orang Asli and those in the B40 group in early March.

Students from these priority groups do not have to compete with the mainstream group to pursue their tertiary studies.

In line with the ministry’s Education for All concept, this initiative follows in the footsteps of developed countries in prioritising the admission of athletes into varsities.

Some 51,191 students from B40 group benefited from the special routes to public universities and special training institutes, of which 32,282 made it into public universities.

STUDENT-RUN ELECTION

Also in March, Universiti Malaya made history when its campus election became the first in 50 years to be independently run by students.

It is a testament to students’ capability to uphold democracy and be responsible citizens.

The electoral process was organised by the Campus Election Committee 2019 comprising 19 student leaders who were given the mandate by UM’s vice-chancellor last year with full autonomy.

Improvisations were carried out to benefit students such as coalitions were allowed to be formed and contest under one logo.

The election was conducted in the second semester to familiarise new students with the university environment and their student leaders.

Campus elections at all public universities this year were independently run by students.NSTP/AZIAH AZMEE

PROGRESS ON UEC

Decision on whether to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) continues to be a hot issue.

On April 3, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that only the government could make the decision to recognise the UEC.

The UEC is the unified examination for Independent Chinese Secondary Schools which does not follow the national education system.

The Unified Examination Certificate Task Force, an independent three-man panel appointed by Education Ministry in 2018, updated the NST that it was actively gathering views on this matter from various stakeholders, individuals and entities including associations, political parties, scholars and parents.

As of last month, the task force was reported to be in the midst of finalising the report.

MORE SEATS FOR MATRICULATION

In April, the Education Ministry announced that it was increasing the student intake into the matriculation programme to 40,000 from the present 25,000.

While the quota system, which allocates 90 per cent of seats to Bumiputeras continue to be in place, seats for non-Bumiputeras increased proportionally to 4,000.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the system is in line with the matriculation programme’s vision to encourage more Bumiputera’s involvement in the sciences.

HEIGHTENED FOCUS ON TVET

To formulate more relevant policies to implement the TVET agenda according to industry needs, the TVET Empowerment Committee named Maszlee chairperson in May.

Later in August, the committee (JKKPTVET) was formed in line with the government’s hopes to make TVET a mainstream choice, instead of an alternative. The move is expected to help create a skilled workforce by 2030.

GOING UP THE RANKINGS

Twenty Malaysian universities were featured in the QS World University Rankings 2020 released in June.

Produced by global higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds, the list ranks the world’s top 1000 universities.

In its second consecutive year in the top 100, Universiti Malaya made Malaysia proud by climbing up to the 70th position from 87th globally.

In the 200 rank are Universiti Putra Malaysia ― from 202 to 159; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia ― 184 to 160; and Universiti Sains Malaysia ― from 207 to 165.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia climbed from 228 to 217.

UCSI University went from 481 to 442, the highest for a private university in the country.

According to Quacquarelli Symonds, Malaysia’s progressive performance was due to improving results in two key surveys ― Academic Reputation and Employer Reputation.

However, Malaysian universities’ research impact has room for improvement. Only five of Malaysia’s 20 entrants improved their performance in Quacquarelli Symonds’ Citations per Faculty indicator.

UNIVERSITY AUTONOMY

The Education Ministry announced that a new Act would be created to abolish and replace several higher education-related Acts, including the Universities and University Colleges (AUKU) Act 1971 and Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555).

According to the ministry, the move was aimed at having a more efficient and sustainable governance and financing structure in efforts to support universities’ academic freedom and autonomy.

Chaired by Maszlee, a meeting was held on June 22 to discuss the policy framework and findings of studies by independent academic researchers.

The abolition of the Acts was in line with the government’s promise to bring back credibility to local universities.

ALTERNATIVE POSTGRAD PATHWAYS

In July, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency revealed that there would soon be alternative pathways to provide opportunities for working adults and undergraduates to have a PhD qualification.

MQA chief executive officer Datuk Dr Rahmah Mohamed said the agency was carrying out an implementation study of the next phase of the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) programme where work experience could be translated into a masters or doctoral degree, or speed up the process of getting a PhD.

Defined as a systematic process involving identification, documentation and assessment of prior experiential learning, the programme thus far has created access to certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree study programmes to individuals with working experience but lack or are without proper academic qualifications.

MQA targeted to introduce APEL T-8 and APEL Q next year that would give access to PhD level qualifications. APEL T-8 is an extension of APEL A, which provides higher education opportunities based on a person’s working experience.

APEL Q awards master’s and doctoral level academic qualifications without class attendance.

The purpose of the various initiatives is to ensure there is a growth in the number of postgraduate degree holders, in line with the country’s aspiration of becoming a high-income nation.

REASSESSING COURSES

In September, the Higher Education department shared that it had instructed all universities to identify and reshape their academic programmes to enhance students’ job opportunities and be in line with industry needs.

This led to a confusion among students currently pursuing certain courses and their parents were particularly anxious about the status of the said programmes that would no longer be offered by public universities in the country.

The then Higher Education department director general Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir highlighted that the idea behind the move was essentially to revise strategically and systematically courses currently offered at universities to keep abreast of change and market developments or risk stagnation.

International Islamic University Malaysia was selected as the first university to establish a Students’ Union to increase students’ decision-making role.NSTP/SALHANI IBRAHIM

BUDGET 2020

To level up human capital in the country, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, when tabling Budget 2020 in Parliament in October, announced an allocation of RM64.1 billion in 2020 for education ― reflecting the government’s commitment to provide quality education at different stages of life for the rakyat.

From the sum, a whopping RM5.9 billion is dedicated to mainstreaming TVET which include, among others, funding to strengthen the synergies between the public and private sectors through increased allocation for State Skills Development Centres and Public Skills Training Institutions as well as expanding pathways for TVET graduates to pursue further studies and secure jobs.

To encourage adult learning, Lim said the Employees Provident Fund will be allowed to facilitate the withdrawal for qualifications attained at certificate level, especially for accredited programmes that are in line with the nation’s IR4.0 aspirations.

The withdrawal scheme will include members’ parents and spouse.

A RM20 million allocation will be made available to be matched by another RM20 million from the Human Resource Development Fund towards having working adults take up professional certification examinations in fields relating to IR4.0.

Emphasis on learning opportunities under MARA and Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera for low-income and rural bumiputeras through education institutions such as Kolej GIATMARA and Universiti Kuala Lumpur will be continued with an allocation of RM1.3 billion for education institutions under MARA for 2020, with a further RM2 billion allocated for student loans, benefiting 50,000 students. In addition, RM192 million is also allocated for professional certification programmes under Yayasan Peneraju.

To drive economic growth in the digital era, the government encourages the provision of technology scholarships, training and upskilling for digital skills for communities in need through the concept of Digital Social Responsibility (DSR).

DSR is the commitment by businesses to contribute to digital economic development while improving the digital skills of the future workforce.

Enhancing the research and development framework was also cited as a key strategy to drive economic growth in the new economy.

For that, Lim announced that the government will allocate RM30 million for R&D matching grants for collaborations with industry and academia to develop higher value-added downstream use of palm oil, specifically tocotrienol in pharmaceuticals and bio-jet fuel.

“To promote commercialisation of R&D from the public sector, research universities, beginning with UM, will establish a one-stop Innovation Office to transform intellectual property into commercially exploitable opportunities,” said Lim.

STUDY PATHWAYS

In November, the Education Ministry announced the replacement of the science/arts streaming system in upper secondary into a system where students can choose from 89 elective subjects grouped in two packages: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and Arts and Humanities under the new Secondary Schools’ Standard Curriculum (Upper Secondary) or KSSM Menengah Atas.

This will give students a taste of what they might pursue at tertiary education level and maybe even get a headstart in their desired future careers.

In a briefing, Education Ministry deputy director-general (policies and development) Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim advised students to pick their subjects wisely because it paves the way for their future.

She added that the students can change subjects midway through schooling but noted that it will not be an easy feat because there will be a lot of catching up to do.

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/education

Comment: * University Tun Abdul Razak (UniRazak), an IPTS, has signed an MOU with ISE Education Sdn Bhd, a JPK accredited institute for VTO & induction course programmes, to provide an unique pathway for TVET/SKM/DKM graduates & experienced TVET personnels to further studies in UniRazak, even without SPM.

The executive URise program (Professional Diploma & Executive Bachelor):

1. Acts as a bridging program to matriculate TVET/SKM/DKM graduates to university.
2. Provides an opportunity for TVET/SKM/DKM graduates to enhance career, especially to managerial position with better leadership skills.
3. Elevates social status of TVET/SKM/DKM graduates and experienced skills personnels
.

Creating clear career pathways for TVET

FOR the nation to move forward in tandem with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and beyond, there is a clear need for a well-trained technical workforce with skill sets that are present- and future-ready as well as future-resilient.

Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programmes have always been seen as the vehicle to prepare aptly-skilled human capital but somehow the general perspective is that they fall short in terms of the level of skills and knowledge needed for the industry to forge ahead.

Graduates who have qualified from TVET institutions previously do not have a clear career pathway to further their studies and secure jobs that are highly technical in nature.

To create more career pathways and opportunities for TVET students, the Education Ministry with the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN) comprising four universities — Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) , Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) , Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) — and the professional body for technologists and technicians, the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT), have collaborated in establishing newly developed Bachelor of Technology Degree (BTech) programmes in specific technology fields.

Some universities have introduced several of the courses last month at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year while other universities will make the courses available in September next year.

The curriculum is more practical and flexible to meet the challenges of the IR 4.0.

According to MBOT president Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin, BTech programmes in MTUN are articulation programmes for TVET graduates with Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (Malaysian Vocational Diploma/DVM) through Kolej Vokasional (KV); and those with Diploma Kemahiran Malaysia (Diploma in Skills Malaysia / DKM) and Diploma Lanjutan Kemahiran Malaysia (Advanced Diploma Skills Malaysia / DLKM) from institutions under the Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR).

The articulation process entails matching the courses, requirements and coursework at vocational colleges with that at higher education institutions.

“KVs start enrolling students as young as 16, post PMR/PT3 examination towards Diploma Vokasional Malaysia (DVM) through Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM) without SPM. That posed a problem for the graduates should they decide to pursue a Bachelor’s degree and beyond at public universities. Other than that they often face difficulty in transitioning from TVET-based education to an academic-based degree programme,” he explained.

Tan Sri Ahmad Zaidee Laidin

The entry level requirement for BTech programmes in MTUN is not based solely on SPM qualification, Ahmad Zaidee highlighted.

For DVM graduates, most of the candidates have taken the equivalency courses to SPM’s Bahasa Melayu dan Sejarah, namely Bahasa Melayu 1104 as well as Sejarah 1251. For DKM and DLKM graduates, most of the students have taken SPM which already includes Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah.

In any case this nation-building initiative is not met, MTUN has agreed the student can enrol for the courses during their tenure years of BTech studies.

“MBOT through Technicians Act 2015 (Act 768) has established the Technology & Technical Accreditation Council (TTAC). This is a Joint Technical Committee with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to perform accreditation on professional technology and technical programmes. The council has published a Technology & Technical Accreditation Manual 2019 (TTAC MANUAL) for a comprehensive guideline for education providers (EP) to design and develop their programmes in the advanced technological fields,” he said.

UniMAP Academic Management Office dean Professor Dr Anuar Mat Safar said the availability of BTech programmes for DVM and DKM qualification holders is timely.

“It is estimated there are 50,000 students graduating with DVM and DKM every year. With the availability of BTech programmes, these students can obtain Bachelor’s degree-level qualifications as per required to face the challenges of IR 4.0,” he said.

Associate Professor Dr Anuar Mat Safar

DIFFERENTIATION

The main difference between BTech and conventional degree programmes is that the former were developed based on occupational requirement while the latter are more discipline-based, UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Wira Dr Raha Abdul Rahim explained.

“In conventional degree, fundamental and technological courses such as mathematics, physics etc are taught separately. In BTech programmes, the focus is for a graduate to perform a task in the work environment, hence fundamental and technological knowledge that is usually taught in different courses are embedded into a course on a particular competency set,” she said.

UTeM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Wira Dr Raha Abdul Rahim

For example, she illustrated that a BTech Welding programme comprises a course of Welding inspection that combines elements of mathematics, physics, material studies, and local laws accordingly rather than have the subjects taken in separate courses, as with conventional programmes.

UTHM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Wahid Razzaly, meanwhile, explained that the current delivery or execution of BTech programmes uses the approach of Work Based Learning (WBL) in block released manner. This means the students undergo their studies in two phases: two and a half years at university and another year in the industry.

“The curriculum structure is towards preparing students into industry 4.0 in line with the Program Educational Objective, which is to produce technologist, technopreneur and entrepreneurship.

As such, the success ratio of higher graduate employability is ensured as the students will have a structured WBL courses in the industry itself within a year before they graduate,” he said.

He said another delivery approach via apprenticeship is still in the development progress. The idea is to have workers upgrade their qualifications by studying two days in university and working three days.

COLLABORATION

UMP Center for Academic Innovation & Competitiveness (CAIC) director Associate Professor Dr Mohd Rusllim Mohamed, who is a director of the MBOT Technology and Technical Accreditation Secretariat, observed that MoE and the Ministry of Human Resources have been working closely to ensure the programmes are running accordingly.

“So far, the government has distributed some budget for reskilling and upskilling of existing lecturers, mentoring training for industry workers, and the implementation of a newly developed concept of teaching factory — University Revaluation Teaching Factory (URTF). Here, students are involved in industry production line, thus creating valuable experiential learning even before they graduate,” he said.

He related that MoE has approached the Malaysian German Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MGCCI) to become a strategic partner to BTech’s MTUN, so that the programmes can be further improved to meet the German standards.

“With MGCCI on board, all of its over 400 companies’ partners would be willing to be part of the ministry’s TVET empowerment agenda,” he said.

To improve the quality of teaching and learning based on IR 4.0, Anuar said UniMAP is currently applying to develop a teaching plant through the URTF effort.

“This involves practical sessions of industrial design, engineering design and 3D printing at this teaching plant,” said Anuar.

UniMAP’s Faculty of Engineering Technology has also applied for TVET transfer of technology (TOT) for existing lecturers to further enhance their knowledge and skills.

“The main objective of this TOT is to obtain professional certification for lecturers at the faculty. Some laboratories are also proposed to be turned into industrial laboratories, to enable professional certificates to be issued. Training to obtain a teaching professional certificate has also been proposed as one of the TOT TVET agendas to be implemented after this provision is approved,” he said.

At UTHM, Wahid said nine memoranda of understanding and eight letters of intent with related industries have been signed.

“The University-Industry partnerships include those with Siemens, Acson, Carrier, Festo, HardRock Hotel, NIOSH, Binaan Desjaya and Proton. The approach of BTech programmes is to have 60 per cent work-based learning and 40 per cent theory,” he said.

EXPECTATIONS

Director of UTeM’s Academic Planning and Development Office Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Fahmi Miskon said with a BTech degree in hand, TVET graduates can also request for appropriate and adequate amount of salaries coherent with the skills that they own.

“It is believed that the competition for fresh graduates to get a job has gotten tougher. Hands-on skills, experience and knowledge are what employers look for today,” he said.

Other than having more students involved in skilled courses, Ahmad Zaidee said it is also very important to get the students to further their studies so that they would be more intellectually improved in many aspects.

“The graduates of these programmes are expected to be employed as soon as they graduate because the programmes are designed to fulfil the needs of the industries.

“The launch of B.Tech programmes in MTUN reflects the government’s commitment in promoting and acknowledging TVET as the driving force in the country’s development. The curriculum is more practical and flexible to meet the challenges of the IR 4.0,” he said.

As the primary professional body for TVET, he said MBOT prepares TVET graduates as technologists and technicians that are readily accepted not just in the local but also the global industry.

“We are establishing our footing in the international arena with other countries via bilateral or multilateral cooperation.

“To date, we have been accepted as provisional signatory for Seoul Accord (multilateral co-accreditation agreement for Information & Computing Technology programmes). MBOT has also taken a proactive step in proposing to pioneer the establishment of APEC Technologists and Technicians Register (ATTR) which is anticipated to be launched next year when Malaysia hosts APEC 2020,” he said.

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/education

Comment: It’s not just BTech that DVM/DKM/DLKM graduates can pursue, they can also consider EBIM (Executive Bachelor in Industrial Management), an URise bridging program by Universiti Tun Abdul Razak where Technical Leadership and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are the core learning outcomes.

Executive Bachelor in Industrial Management (EBIM), specializing in Leadership, enable skilled personnel to excel into managerial positions with enhancements in managerial core abilities. The course covers the learning in soft-skills of leadership, managerial abilities, business communication and project management.

For SKM1&2 graduates, they are also not forgotten as their pathway would be to Professional Diploma in Industrial Management.

Truly understanding TVET candidates’ situation, SPM is not a pre-requisite, yay! Another exciting part about the program is that it’s a blended learning, means it’s conducted online and face to face classroom.

For more information, kindly email to thonghiwah@urise.edu.my or whatsapp/call 012-3123430.