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THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 special Branching out in education of Asia.” By integrating international
 

special

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 special Branching out in education of Asia.” By integrating international

Branching out in education

of Asia.” By integrating international and intercultural dimensions into its course structure, these universities are able
of Asia.”
By integrating international and
intercultural dimensions into its
course structure, these
universities are able to
produce graduates who
can compete in the global
marketplace with the
relevant knowledge, skills and
values.
Niche areas of study are another
reason for the rise in education
quality in Malaysian universities.
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Bintulu (UPMKB) has managed to
make use of the vast amount of
resources available in Sarawak
and expand its studies in the areas
of agriculture, forestry, fishery,
livestock, food and the
environment.
“We are on par
with some of
the most
renowned
universities around
the globe based on
our niche areas.
“Our current
university ranking is
among the top 1.5% of
world universities,”
says Prof Dr Bujang
Kim Huat, dean of the
School of Graduate
Studies at Universiti
Putra Malaysia.

FOR a country to progress, it needs to have a population of creative thinkers – individuals who strive to think outside the box and introduce fresh innovative ideas. Since the late 1990s, the tertiary education industry in Malaysia has grown tremendously in terms of the number of higher learning institutions and the level of education available. The large demand for postgraduate study along with the development of Nilai and Educity Iskandar as education hubs are the reasons for the rise in the number of universities currently operating in Malaysia. This also attracted reputable foreign universities to set up branch campuses in the country – elevating the number of postgraduate courses available to students. Thanks to the Government’s efforts to make the country a study destination, more students are choosing to pursue postgraduate study in Malaysia’s private and public universities. A significant number of international students from countries in the Middle East, East Asia and South-East Asia have also arrived on Malaysian shores for quality education. The reputation of Malaysian universities in specialised fields of study has also been a major drawcard among students, allowing universities to expand and set up their own branch campuses around the country and abroad.

International exposure

Among the key factors that helped Malaysian universities raise their educational standards are its partnerships with established international universities, learning partners and industry affiliates. This enabled local universities to draw upon collective expertise, prestige and resources to formulate and improve the quality of their courses and teaching programmes. Asia e University (AeU) is one such institution that is internationally established under the Asia Cooperation Dialogue – an intergovernmental organisation that promotes Asian cooperation at a continental level. Mizana Muhamad, director of marketing communications at Asia e University, says, “AeU collaborates with global educational institutions to offer quality academic and professional training programmes that are affordable and accessible. “It also acts as a catalyst for narrowing the digital divide among communities and nations and actively promotes e-education to meet the human capital needs

The university offers joint higher degree programmes with universities from the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, Japan and Thailand, and has courses that are exclusive to UPMKB.

Quality learning

Malaysians are assured of getting top education as only Tier One institutions – universities that are globally recognised for world-class research, academic excellence and highly prestigious scholarships – are allowed to be established in Malaysia. Between 1998 and 2000, Monash University Malaysia, Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) were the first foreign universities to operate in the country. These establishments not only marked the beginning of branch campuses setting up in Malaysia but milestones for the respective universities. Curtin Sarawak was the university’s first international campus and UNMC was the first British university to have a branch campus in another country. Since then, some of the other foreign universities that have begun operations in Malaysia include Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Campus, Raffles University Iskandar, University of Reading Malaysia, Manipal International University and University of Southampton Malaysia Campus. Come February next year, Xiamen University Malaysia will begin educating its first intake in Sepang. With the array of top-quality institutions currently in Malaysia, universities have to ensure they continue to produce top graduates who have the relevant skill set. Not only must universities maintain their reputable Tier One status, they need to ensure that all their programmes and courses are up to date with current industry changes and trends. “It has become a more crowded marketplace for Malaysians in terms of foreign education and study options. “This is good as it means there is an extremely diverse education sector and this is a real strength,” says Prof Christine Ennew, provost and chief executive officer of UNMC. The growth in the number of universities in Malaysia paired with improving education quality is a promising sign for a country that wishes to become a developed nation and students must take advantage of the many education opportunities available.

2 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

THE 29th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), hosted by Open University Malaysia (OUM), attracted tremendous response from leading providers in the open and distance learning (ODL) arena. Practitioners, advocates and front-liners of ODL far and near gathered at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to exchange views on the latest developments and innovations in ODL. The discussions covered topics such as open universities in the 21st century, technology as drivers in ODL, new research and practices in ODL, quality assurance in ODL and the open knowledge movement. Almost 250 participants, mostly from China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, attended the conference, and almost 140 papers were presented. As a leading ODL university in Malaysia, OUM enables working adults to further their studies from diploma to postgraduate level through flexible modes of learning. Since its inception in 2001, more than 160,000 students have enrolled in OUM. Below, prominent attendees share their thoughts on the conference.

  • n For more information,

visit www.oum.edu.my

OUM leads in the AAOU Conference 2015

Chancellor of OUM Tun Jeanne Abdullah gives her speech as she closes the AAOU Conference 2015.
Chancellor of OUM
Tun Jeanne
Abdullah gives her
speech as she
closes the AAOU
Conference 2015.
From left: Prof Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University; Dr Zahid
Majeed, Assistant Professor, Allama Iqbal Open University; Prof Datuk Dr Mansor Fadzil, Senior Vice
President of OUM; Prof Dongkook Lee, Acting President of Korea National Open University; Prof Tian
Belawati, Rector of Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia; Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, President/Vice-
Chancellor of OUM; Prof Datuk Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Vice-Chancellor of Wawasan Open University; Prof
Yuk-Shan Wong, President of AAOU and the Open University of Hong Kong; Prof Yoichi Okabe,
President of the Open University of Japan; and Prof Ramli Bahroom, Vice President of OUM (Corporate
Planning & Finance Services).

Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching

Deputy Higher Education Minister

I want to congratulate OUM, under the leadership of Prof Emeritus Anuwar, for putting together this international event. While many universities are conventional and focus on providing full-time and classroom-based programmes, OUM is different in that it is a 100% ODL university. Its learner population comprises mostly working adults and many of them have enrolled in OUM because it offers part-time studies and a flexible mode of learning. That is why I am sure that everybody at the conference will have a fruitful exchange of ideas, forge new ties and bring home fond memories.

2 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 THE 29th Annual Conference of the Asian Association
Prof Tian Belawati Rector Universitas Terbuka Indonesia We have been working with OUM for quite some
Prof Tian Belawati
Rector
Universitas Terbuka Indonesia
We have been working with OUM
for quite some time now. We carry
out research and create joint
publications together and have even
co-organised a conference before.
OUM has always done a
professional job and this conference
has been successful so far. Sharing
successes is equally important as
sharing failures and people here are
so willing to share knowledge,
successes and even failures. It is a
good community that we are in.
Dr Kuldeep Agarwal Director (Academic) National Institute of Open Schooling, India I’ve been in the field

Dr Kuldeep Agarwal

Director (Academic) National Institute of Open Schooling, India

I’ve been in the field of ODL

since the 1990s, when it was still unknown. In fact, in the 1980s, there were small parts of it attached to conventional learning here and there. Now that it is a separate field altogether, this conference truly brings together the best of the best. It is an excellent forum for ODL and good job to OUM for a well-planned event. It is my first time collaborating with an institution in this region and I am looking forward to it.

Monwipa Wongrujira Assistant Professor Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) We have collaborated with OUM before. We

Monwipa Wongrujira

Assistant Professor Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU)

We have collaborated with OUM before. We have learnt a lot from the people there, especially from the marketing division. They were very kind to us during our visit and taught us a lot of things. As a result, we have learnt valuable marketing strategies from them as they are very successful in recruitment.

Dr Li Kam Cheong

Secretary-General, AAOU Director of the Open University of Hong Kong, Research Centre

OUM has done a great job in preparing for this conference. A lot goes into organising a conference – promotions, getting delegates and overseeing them, accepting papers and reviewing them, sorting out presenters and their time slots and more. Delegates really felt welcomed by the staff and what has been prepared for them. They have also provided a great venue for such a big conference as this. The AAOU aims to create a diverse platform for ODL where universities in the region can work and learn from each other, bring insights and ideas together and solve challenges together.

Wafa Sajjad

Academic Instructor/Tutor Virtual University of Pakistan

I was expecting a lot from this conference as this is my first time in Malaysia and also the very first time

out of Pakistan. Everything was very well-organised and all my expectations were met.

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

postgraduate 3

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 3 The Master in Business Administration by Management &

The Master in Business Administration by Management & Science University helps students become successful leaders for the future.

Develop

leadership

skills

THE Management & Science University (MSU) is one of Malaysia’s top universities, having received much recognition from Malaysian and international independent bodies. It has been rated as an Excellent Status University twice by the former Higher Education Ministry through a rating system for all universities in Malaysia. MSU is also accredited by the Accreditation Services for International Colleges (ASIC), the United Kingdom, and the Alliance on Business Education and Scholarship for Tomorrow (ABEST21), Japan. MSU’s Graduate School of Management (GSM) recognises that today’s global companies require managers with a broader outlook. The university attracts top students through its internationalisation effort of employing faculty members with overseas experience and forming effective links with businesses. The Master in Business Administration by MSU (MSU- MBA) offers students an experiential learning opportunity in cross-cultural communications, building a global network and possibly creating a future international career. In addition, students are able to develop management skills and techniques, obtain strategic orientation and implement the strategies formulated. The MSU-MBA helps students develop skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, strategic management and decision- making so that they become successful leaders in the most competitive markets. The programme aims to build on the foundations of work experience and, by equipping students with new skills and knowledge, enable them to make a smooth transition to a higher level of responsibility. The MSU-MBA is popular with

employers as it is a recognised currency in the human resources marketplace. Employers know the value of the qualification and what they can expect from an MBA graduate. They also recognise the commitment shown by MSU- MBA students in investing heavily in their careers. Such candidates are likely to be dynamic self-starters who will be an asset to any organisation. Active learning exercises within the programme act as a basis for verbal analysis and discussion, allowing for a rich learning environment through the integration of classroom with real-world experiences. These exercises broaden students’ understanding of issues by inviting them to think beyond their learning materials. GSM has established collaborative educational links with a number of top overseas universities, including those in the UK, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Russia and China. The Global Mobility Programme is a means to provide MSU postgraduate students with international exposure. Through this programme, students have the opportunity to develop an awareness and appreciation of other cultures, political and economic environments, and approaches of doing business. Professors of the MSU-MBA are accomplished teachers who have made significant contributions to the business world, both as academics and working professionals. Professors at MSU are selected worldwide from among the best consultants and professionals in their fields.

  • n For more information, call

03-2718 4302/4300/4301 or e-mail gsm@msu.edu.my or visit www.msu.edu.my

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 3 The Master in Business Administration by Management &

4 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

VC COLUMN

UNIVERSITIES, whether public or private, compete both on a national and global platform to attract the best students. For the private sector in particular, this process involves a significant amount of promotional activities both online and in print, which are designed to make an institution distinctive and attractive to students. A quick glance at higher education institutions’ advertisements reveals a surprising degree of similarity in how we

Cultural intelligence is key

describe ourselves and what we promise students. Arguably, one of the most over-used claims is that studying with a particular institution will enable an individual to become a “global citizen” and perhaps even a global leader. And I have no doubt that all of us who make this claim believe that this is a good

By PROF CHRISTINE ENNEW
By PROF
CHRISTINE ENNEW

thing to be offering. In our increasingly complex, globalised and often polarised society, we need individuals who can provide leadership in an international environment, understand

the problems our society faces and who are aware of and accept their responsibility to contribute to solutions. All of this is easy to say but difficult to do. Educating and developing leadership requires universities’ education to go beyond the simple acquisition of technical knowledge and focus attention on a teaching a broader set of personal and generic skills. Such skills are important to ensuring that graduates gain attractive employability. These are also the skills that will enable them to contribute to the broader well-being of society. Ask anyone what these skills are and they will probably highlight things such as communication, teamwork, learning, creativity, problem-solving and innovation. Since Daniel Goleman’s book in 1996, some may also emphasise the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) and the ability to understand and empathise with others. The ability to engage and understand others (as well as yourself), see the world from their perspectives, support, encourage and motivate are elements of EQ that contribute to more effective management and leadership. They may be skills that come naturally to some but they are skills that can be developed and learnt. Recently, observers are starting to ask whether we should be expecting more of future managers and leaders, particularly those who will need to operate in an internationalised environment. The term “cultural intelligence” (CQ) was coined some years ago by academic researchers in the United States and relates

to the capacity of individuals to engage effectively across cultures, being sensitive to the challenges and opportunities associated with the diversity that this creates. Last year, Julia Middleton of Common Purpose, a charity that focuses on leadership and citizenship education, outlined the significance of CQ in her book of the same name. She highlights the importance of leadership that is characterised by “a deep and genuine interest in other people”, openness to opportunities to learn and the ability to operate effectively across boundaries. Leaders with CQ “are excited by different cultures, not alarmed by them. They don’t just tolerate difference, they actively enjoy it. They trust it, make it a strength and thrive on it. In the process, they also share their enthusiasm so that it becomes infectious, and that’s how CQ spreads”. Like EQ, CQ can be learnt and Common Purpose has a long tradition of leadership training for students that focuses on developing both EQ and CQ. Earlier this year, Common Purpose piloted a Global Leadership Experience for Malaysian undergraduates with the support of Prudential. It was so successful that it will be repeated next year with the support of the Weir Group. So for us, as universities, if we really want to realise our stated ambitions to create global citizens and develop the global leaders of the future, then we need to start thinking beyond the traditional skills agenda and start to think about how we encourage our students to develop their CQ. That means exposing them to cultural differences and encouraging them to accept and value diversity in all of its forms. Perhaps one of the most powerful mechanisms we have for doing this is the community of international staff and students that increasingly comprise our university campuses.

  • n Prof Christine Ennew is the chief executive

officer and provost of The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.

4 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 VC COLUMN UNIVERSITIES, whether public or private, compete
4 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 VC COLUMN UNIVERSITIES, whether public or private, compete

Universities should aim to produce graduates who are more than just “global citizens”; cultural

intelligence is an important factor for success in the modern world.

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

5

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 5

6 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

Learning from the best

I WAS into my second year as a senior manager at a Japanese multinational company when I decided to pursue a master’s in business administration (MBA). Prior to assuming this senior role, my decade-long career had centred on managing manufacturing operations. When I faced a wider scope of responsibility and greater influence on the direction of the business, I realised that more was required of me than what my accumulated knowledge and management experience in operations could offer. I began scouting for an MBA that could help me better understand

business and strategy, strengthen my grasp on key management

disciplines and provide the ingredients for me to develop into a better business leader.

  • I was looking for an MBA

programme of reputable standing. Only two MBA programmes in

Malaysia at the time were ranked in the world’s top 100 and one of them was University of Strathclyde’s triple-accredited MBA. Its strong reputation for research excellence in strategic management was a major pull factor for me.

  • I had the privilege of learning

from academics who are not only at the forefront of their disciplines

but who possess a wealth of international experience in business and of the industry. Throughout the programme, local counsellors with solid

academic and professional credentials provided effective support and intensive group dynamics with fellow professionals enriched my exposure and learning experience. Putting newly acquired knowledge into practice helped me bring about changes in the company that led to unprecedented revenue, profit and growth.

Now, the lessons gleaned from my MBA experience continue to prove invaluable in my current

role as country manager at an Australian multinational company. Pursuing an MBA demands considerable time and effort. Many of my weekends and evenings were spent away from the family, at classes, in groups and on assignments. It was a challenging time for me and my family but with the right support, we came through together. It was a pleasant surprise finishing as the top Malaysian MBA student in 2015 and receiving the dean’s commendation for project in the process. These are simply the icing on the cake, because the knowledge

6 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 Learning from the best I WAS into my

Ch’ng Poh Leong with his wife and children.

acquired, experience gained and friendships forged throughout the journey define the true value of this MBA. – By Ch’ng Poh Leong

Ch’ng Poh Leong earned his MBA from the University of Strathclyde and is working as a country manager.

Beat the competition IN September, The Edge Financial Daily reported that Switzerland topped the World Economic
Beat the
competition
IN September, The Edge
Financial Daily reported that
Switzerland topped the World
Economic Forum (WEF)’s
competitiveness ranking for a
seventh consecutive year.
WEF defines competitiveness
as the set of institutions, policies
and factors that determines a
country’s level of productivity.
It ranks a nation’s
competitiveness based on
12 indicators, including
infrastructure, macroeconomic
environment and technological
readiness. While Singapore and
the United States are ranked
second and third respectively,
Malaysia has a low
competitiveness ranking.
While the term
competitiveness has become
ubiquitous because of the
increased globalisation of
the economy, innovation,
competitiveness and
productivity are not
synonymous. Productivity is
the only meaningful concept of
competitiveness at the national
level.
Productivity growth can
enable competitiveness,
especially if it is concentrated
in traded sectors, which lowers
costs and enables firms to sell
more in global markets without
relying on Government-provided
discounts and subsidies.
To combat increasingly
competitive situations, it is
important for the nation to
innovate.
Innovations can arise at
many different points in the
development process, including
conception, research and
development, technology
adoption/transfer, production
and deployment or marketplace
usage.
Take business organisations
such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc for
example. The world’s biggest
retailer by revenue stunned
investors when it reported that
its full-year sales would be flat
this year and its earnings per
share would fall by 6% to 12% in
the next fiscal year.
The news prompted a near-
panic sell-off of Wal-Mart shares.
By the close of trading,
Wal-Mart’s stock had plunged
10%, its worst one-day price
decline.
In response, Wal-Mart learnt
how to innovate to keep up its
business competitiveness.
Besides investing more in
e-commerce, it is also making
changes in its stores to improve
customer experience, beat
competitors on price and
expand product assortments,
among others.
The Wal-Mart example is a
reflection on how an economy
can manage its resources and
competencies to increase the
prosperity of its population.
To stay competitive, a nation
must quickly learn how to spur
innovation to boost productivity
such as in the case of a business
situation.
Through innovation, future
goods and services will not only
be cheaper but better. Therefore,
a nation’s competitiveness may
increase with the concomitant
investment in quality education
and training that encourage
innovation, productivity and
labour markets flexibility.
Victoria University Master
of Business Administration
(VUMBA) educates business
executives on formulation and
implementation of strategies
to improve on business
competitiveness.
The subjects include
managing innovation and
entrepreneurship, organisation
change management, strategic
human resource management,
and strategic management and
business policy.
n
For more information, e-mail
hendryng@sunway.edu.my

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

postgraduate 7

ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation Ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur on Sept 20. A total of about 3,000 participants comprising local and international graduates received their scrolls at the convocation. Its 537 international graduates are from Bahrain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Iran, Kenya, the Maldives, New Zealand, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. The variety signifies AeU’s increasing recognition in the international arena. Among the international MBA graduates who received their scrolls at the AeU convocation ceremony was Adnan Ali (pic), 34, who hails from Islamabad, Pakistan. He was a telecommunication engineer who previously worked for Nokia but now works as a technical lead in Redknee, a reputable Canadian company based in Malaysia that provides telecommunication software solutions. Adnan has more than 10 years of technical experience, having to travel overseas frequently for work. He felt the need to upgrade and boost his career progression by getting involved in the management team at his workplace. However, to be part of the team, he was expected to have business

MBA with flexibility

and management knowledge, including leadership skills. This resulted in his pursuit of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at AeU. Adnan says, “My biggest challenge was choosing a university that provided the flexibility and accessibility of studying in terms of location and time to fit my hectic work life. After looking around, I felt AeU was the best option. Besides being affordable in fees, it offers a good mix of online and conventional MBA students in the courses as well, providing a good business networking environment with people from various industries.” Adnan took the blended learning mode at AeU, which includes face- to-face, online and self-managed learning. “When I was working overseas and could not attend the weekend classes, I would catch up on classes with recorded videos of my lectures, and the professional learning materials that enabled me to study in trains, airports and hotel rooms without missing out on lessons,” he says. “Obtaining the MBA from AeU was a life-changing experience for me. Coming from an engineering background, many facets of

business were new to me. Initially, I had some difficulties but my lecturers and peers gave me good support, which encouraged me to reflect on how well I was doing and identify areas of improvement.” Studying at AeU was an invaluable endeavour that helped Adnan develop management skills. He says, “I became more confident and effective in decision- making and increased my level of strategic awareness. It also helped develop my leadership and general management skills. The most valuable part of the AeU MBA programme was the ability to create expanding networks and engage with students from diversified nationalities, cultures, backgrounds and industries.” AeU is a collaborative multinational university established under the auspices of the 33 Asia Cooperation Dialogue Countries (ACD). All academic programmes are internationally benchmarked, approved by the of Education Ministry and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. As an open distance learning university, AeU to date has an enrolment of more than 22,000 international students in 65

countries and has seen 7,000 graduates thus far. It also has a diverse and international community of about 1,000 fellow doctoral students from 46 countries. AeU’s programmes are designed and customised with working adults in mind to suit their busy lifestyles. With AeU’s personalised learning, students are in the driver’s seat – they have control of their education. AeU has spread its wings to ACD member countries such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,

Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam as well as to non-members such as Denmark, Hong Kong, Iraq, Kenya, the Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sweden, Somalia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition to the main campus located in Kuala Lumpur, AeU continues to expand its network with the opening of learning centres in strategic locations across the country, including in major cities and rural areas in the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

n For more information, call 1300 300 238 or e-mail enquiries@ aeu.edu.my or visit www.aeu. edu.my
n
For more information,
call 1300 300 238 or
e-mail enquiries@
aeu.edu.my or
visit www.aeu.
edu.my
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation
THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 7 ASIA e University (AeU) celebrated its 5th Convocation

8 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

Assoc Prof Dr Joanne Lim.
Assoc Prof
Dr Joanne Lim.

Online connectivity at its best

WHILE hiring people to front the paradigm shift of going international will help push the concept, we should not misconstrue the notion of internationalisation. Ultimately, a brand must communicate its local character to speak to a global market. In doing so, we do not lose sight of traditions and values just to embrace the concept of globalisation. Perhaps the most strategic decision in this century is to create a social media channel plan consistent with our language and tone and with a clear target audience. Furthermore, the rule of thumb

for any business is that it engages with communities that speak to communities while never neglecting the one-on-one opportunities. As a company with new international presence, you need to look at every angle that makes sense and gives you credible exposure. What worked a few years ago is now most likely derailed by modern gadgets and approaches, making it important to stay relevant. In addition, state authorities should realise that it is not their job to censor creativity but rather to foster and encourage ingenuity. In Malaysia, we have yet to see

or hear of genuine advantages that the Government offers to young entrepreneurs or brands that have put Malaysia under the global spotlight. That assistance can influence as well as drastically spur the future of the Malaysian enterprise in this digital sphere. While the state needs to rethink its role in this complex algorithm, we need to be cognizant of the fact that online engagement really means the commitment to a participatory culture. Many companies that enter the online field are new, possessing little experience. Malaysian companies require good consultants to plan its practical

online routes strategically. The verdict of how you will significantly cause changes to mindset, attitude and lifestyle will be determined by the cultural and commercial viability of your plans. Monash University Malaysia welcomes government and corporate initiatives that encourage discourse for planning and streamlining of online initiatives. – By Assoc Prof Dr Joanne Lim

Assoc Prof Dr Joanne Lim is from the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University Malaysia.

  • n For more information, visit

www.sass.monash.edu.my

8 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 Assoc Prof Dr Joanne Lim. Online connectivity at
8 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 Assoc Prof Dr Joanne Lim. Online connectivity at

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

postgraduate 9

Work and study

 

SEGI University and Colleges now offers a wide range of programmes under its Faculty

Hng adds, “I enjoy attending the classes that I have every month. The lecturers are

n
n

For more information,

or 1800 887 344 or e-mail

Prof Chuah (fifth from left) and Prof Tzeng (sixth from left) together with UST delegates, UTAR staff, presenters and students.

of Business and Accounting, including the Master of Business Administration or the MBA, which is especially for high-level business decision-makers or aspirants who want to climb the career ladder. SEGi offers the PACE or Professional and Continuing Education, which is a consortium of global universities that enables adult learners to advance at their own pace and complete their studies with assurance that they can still attend to other obligations and have a fulfilling work-life balance. Students have the independence to complete their studies at their own pace as they can choose the number of subjects they wish to pursue during the semester. John Hng (pic) is currently pursuing the PACE MBA at SEGi University. He works in a Swiss-based company, majoring in industrial connectors and cables manufacturing. As his work requires him to travel frequently, he needed a course that offered him flexibility, which the SEGi PACE MBA did. “Honestly, it was very challenging to study and work at the same time, especially with a family to care for. I needed to put in 101% effort to complete assignments and prepare for examinations,” says Hng.

well prepared and study materials are up-to-date and relevant to the modern business world. Most of the workshops and assignments given focus on real case studies. That helped us learn how to solve common issues in the modern business world.” Another student, Joey Ho, had set her mind on pursuing an MBA five years ago. As a finance lead at a shared service centre for a well-known pharmaceutical company, she wanted to develop her career. She chose the SEGi PACE MBA because it offered flexibility. With classes only on weekends and three workshops per semester, she could focus on work without the hassle of rushing to classes. Another reason for her choice was that SEGi offered the most competitive tuition fees payment scheme. “SEGi is one of the best universities to study an MBA because it fully equips graduates with the skills and tools of the trade that are essential in facing the challenges of today. It also helps to enhance our capability to function as a senior manager within a wide range of organisations,” she adds.

call 03-6145 1777

askme@segi.edu.my or visit www.segi.edu.my or www.pace.edu.my

Exploring new grounds

UNIVERSITI Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) further strengthens its presence in Asia through its recent programmes jointly held with University System Taiwan (UST). These programmes include the Disaster Management and Risk Reduction on Climate Change workshop, and Water Pollution and Management workshop. “I’m happy with UTAR’s strong commitment to establish an extensive collaboration that benefits both Malaysian and Taiwanese societies,” says UST vice-chancellor Prof Chyi Jen-Inn. Last year, UTAR and UST signed a research collaboration memorandum of understanding that includes four prominent public universities – National Yang-Ming University, Tsinghua University, National Central University and National Chiao Tung University. The research undertaken is in disaster management and wastewater treatment. “Malaysians are unprepared for natural disasters, so this is a great opportunity to share and exchange ideas with a country

that is experienced,” says UTAR vice president (research and development and commercialisation) Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei. “Sharing expertise from Taiwan will help us develop competent experts in risk management,” adds Dr Lai Soon Onn, deputy

dean (student development and industrial training) of the Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science. “The long-term goal is to form an industrial service team consisting of local and UST academicians to provide technical consultation services to Malaysian industries,” he says. UTAR president Prof Ir Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik and UST chancellor Prof Ovid J. L. Tzeng discussed student and staff academic exchanges to Taiwan, double-degrees from UST partner universities, and future projects. Prospective students are invited to the UTAR Campus Tour & Info Day on Dec 26 (10.30am to 4.30pm) at the UTAR Kampar campus or UTAR Sungai Long campus. In conjunction with the January intake, school-leavers are invited to the UTAR Open Day from Dec 18 to 20 (9.30am to 5.30pm) at the two campuses for programme enquiries and to participate in various activities. UTAR is also extending counselling hours at these two campuses daily from 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays).

n

For more information, call 03-9086

0288/016-223 3559 (Sungai Long), 05-468

8888/016-223 3557 (Kampar), e-mail enquiry@utar.edu.my or visit

www.utar.edu.my

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 9 Work and study SEGI University and Colleges now

10 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

Prepare for an academic career

THE growth in the number of doctoral candidates enrolling in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has been substantial. Over the past 10 years, 107,477 students have enrolled in the university, a large percentage of whom are academic staff from both local and international universities. These academicians are given study leave to pursue their doctoral studies and, upon completion, return to their universities to take up lecturing positions. These jobs entail competencies in research, teaching and service. Contrary to international studies, which report on a relatively low level of the availability of academic jobs, these doctoral candidates have a job to return to. Given this scenario, UPM has taken the initiative to equip these postgraduates with the right kind of skills needed in their academic career. Preparing for an Academic Career is a week-long certificate programme offered by UPM’s School of Graduate Studies in collaboration with the Higher Education Development Centre of the University of Otago. Experienced staff from UPM and the University of Otago, New Zealand, teach in this programme

10 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 Prepare for an academic career THE growth in

Students of UPM receive mentoring from University of Otago academicians.

and provide the participants with rich developmental experiences. During the training session, participants are taught the importance of teaching experience when planning an academic career, planning and evaluating teaching, and developing a teaching portfolio. Besides this, participants are given practical expertise in developing a research portfolio,

which includes writing for journals, reviewing journal articles and conference abstracts, presenting research at conferences, chairing conference sessions, networking, examining a thesis (text and oral), writing examiner reports, and knowing how to keep abreast of current developments. They are also provided with opportunities to take on leadership roles to enhance their capacities.

Programme participants work closely with their supervisors in UPM to develop their own programme of learning as an academic. Participants also undertake teaching responsibilities during their candidature and are mentored and guided by experienced staff from UPM over a six-month period. At the end of this period, reflective journals are collected and further mentoring is provided by colleagues from the University of Otago. This collaboration between UPM and the University of Otago provides the right international experience in preparing for an academic career. Students who have graduated from the programme describe their experience as extremely useful, allowing them to stand out from their colleagues, take on leadership roles and be appointed as new mentors upon returning to their own universities. Mohamed Bello Ibrahim, an academician from Nigeria, describes the mentorship programme as something he would recommend to his university upon his return. Dr Azita Azadi from Iran

has already started a similar programme at her own university by capitalising on local expertise and incorporating lead practices in becoming a well-rounded academic. This shows the effectiveness and the international impact of the UPM programme. UPM’s proactive initiative is in line with current international development in doctoral education, where the thesis is not the sole focus. The Oxford Statement (2015) states that doctoral candidates make a substantial contribution to society upon graduation and need to be equipped with career- ready skills. UPM adheres to this international statement and prepares academicians for the next generation with a wide range of skills necessary for an academic career. The vibrant research culture in UPM and the proactive measures of the School of Graduate Studies provide academics undertaking their doctoral studies with the right environment to deliver.

  • n For more information, e-mail

dean.sgs@upm.my or visit

www.sgs.upm.edu.my

10 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 Prepare for an academic career THE growth in

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

 

postgraduate 11

Enhance skills

WAWASAN Open University’s (WOU) sixth convocation ceremony saw the graduation of about 500 students, out of which 120 were from the postgraduate programmes and 380 were from the undergraduate programmes. Since its inception, the university has produced more than 500 graduates from its postgraduate programmes. Toh Chiew Yee, 34, received her Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) degree from WOU at the recent convocation ceremony. “The CeMBA degree will improve my career prospects as it is a recognised postgraduate programme around the world. I feel equipped with the necessary paper qualifications when opportunities arrive,” she says.

limited to the field of science,” he says. “I can think more critically now because the Master of Education programme provided room for me to do so. I am now helping my workplace to develop e-training, which requires sound knowledge of education to sustain adults’ motivation to learn.” Dr Chan, 35, believes that being diligent in a smart way is the only key to success. “There are no shortcuts to success. When I studied, I went through the content without skipping any part. One must be self-directed to look for knowledge. The Internet had inevitably become my home tutor when I stumbled across things I found difficult to understand,” he says. To date, more than 17,000 working

The recipient of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for the best postgraduate was Dr Chan Kar Weng who graduated with a Master of Education. “With a Master in Education (TESL) coupled with my other degrees and PhD in science, I will have another option to practise as an educator. My career is no longer

The recipient of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for the best postgraduate was

professionals have seized the learning opportunities offered by WOU. The university believes that quality higher education is vital to the development of human resource and an asset in this country. Enrolment for part-time study in January intake next year is in progress. Enrol now for a postgraduate programme at WOU and enjoy the attractive fee rebate. Interested candidates can apply through regular entry or via WOU’s unique open entry admission system that takes the applicants’ work experience into consideration. WOU will be hosting its Open Day at the main campus, regional centres and support centres nationwide on Dec 19 to 20.

 

Dr Chan

  • n For more information, call 1300 888 968

Kar Weng.

or visit wou.edu.my

Impactful research

RESEARCH and development in the business world is vital to provide viable solutions to overcome issues and challenges in a highly competitive and dynamic business environment. Researchers in the Faculty of Business and Humanities of Curtin University Sarawak, Malaysia work on research themes that incorporate the many aspects of business and provide cutting-edge information

RESEARCH and development in the business world is vital to provide viable solutions to overcome issues

relevant to the business community. With an emphasis on business sustainability- and community-focused research, the faculty’s interdisciplinary

Students at Curtin University Sarawak are exposed to research on business sustainability and the community with its seven key research areas.

research approach covers seven key research focus areas. They are tourism and hospitality, entrepreneurship and human resources, business performance, economics and finance, learning pedagogies, humanities as well as brand, communications and customer relationships. The tourism and hospitality research area looks at ecotourism, tourism and the hospitality and services industries. Entrepreneurship and human resources research focuses on human resources management and development, indigenous entrepreneurship, ecopreneurship and entrepreneurship education. Business performance research focuses on financial and managerial accounting, ethical issues, accounting standards and performance analysis, among others. In the area of economics and finance, economic aspects such as the performance of financial institutions, behavioural finance, macroeconomic factors, monetary economics, business fluctuations and cycles, government and the monetary system, and biofuels, energy and natural resource economics are looked into. Education (teaching and learning) in

the foci of researchers in the learning pedagogies focus area. Researchers in the humanities focus area conduct research on Sarawak’s ethnic cultures and history, ethnolinguistics, sociolinguistics, new media and its democratisation potential, inter-relationship between old and new media, and new media and their impact on contemporary society. Green marketing, international public relations, corporate social responsibility, retailing and service marketing are some aspects covered under the brand, communications and customer relationships focus area. Having built an outstanding reputation in the national and international research arena, the Faculty’s researchers also act as mentors for postgraduate scholars at the doctorate and master’s levels. These focus areas are critical components of success in discovery research. Potential students are encouraged to undertake higher degree by research or higher degree by research studies with Curtin University Sarawak and contribute to sustainable business practices in Malaysia and internationally.

higher education, discipline-based education for classroom improvement as well as

  • n For more information, visit

curriculum and pedagogy development are

www.curtin.edu.my

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 postgraduate 11 Enhance skills WAWASAN Open University’s (WOU) sixth convocation

12 postgraduate

THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015

ACCORDING to head of UCSI University’s nutrition with wellness programme Assoc Prof Dr Yim Hip Seng the human body is similar to a racing car. “Put in the wrong fuel or let it go without maintenance and it will not deliver its full performance. Without healthy eating, your body will suffer – just like a car engine,” he says. Findings from British medical journal The Lancet showed that Malaysia had one of the highest rates of obesity among Asian countries with 45.3% of its population obese. The number of diabetes patients jumped to 31% this year, up from 15.2% in 2011.

Advancing research in nutrition and wellness

On the other end of the spectrum, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are on the rise due to the growing influence of the media and today’s celebrity- centric culture. These lead to the increasing need for nutritionists. A nutritionist is qualified to give advice on disease prevention and promote the holistic well-being of individuals and communities. This professional has various roles to play, including being a scientist in public health and clinical settings as well as in the fields of sports

Assoc Prof Yim Hip Seng says that it is vital for nutrition students to have good communication skills as well as passion and enthusiasm in improving human health.

nutrition, health promotion and education. UCSI introduced the BSc (Hons) Nutrition with Wellness programme to mould qualified and well-rounded nutritionists. Unlike other programmes on nutrition, this degree has a dual focus on the scientific understanding of nutrition and food science as well as fundamentals of marketing and entrepreneurship. The degree is the latest of a string of successful programmes offered by UCSI, which is the first private university in Malaysia to offer a food science with nutrition bachelor of science degree. The dual focus of the BSc (Hons) Nutrition with Wellness gives students an added edge in the competitive working world. “The programme enables graduates to venture into traditional nutritionist roles such as health consultants for disease prevention, public health and education or venture into the booming wellness business,” explains Assoc Prof Yim.

When it comes to fields related to human health, research and innovation are crucial to ensure continuous advancement for mankind. Innovation and research are two things UCSI’s Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) is well known for. To maintain the highest level of academic and scientific standards, the faculty emphasises evidence- based learning and takes pride in having state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. Students also learn from the programme’s experienced academicians such as Prof Dr Mirnalini Kandiah, one of the first three nutrition officers in Malaysia’s Health Ministry in the

1970s.

She is a respected researcher specialising in the fields of cardio metabolic risk and herbal remedies for cancer patients. In line with the university’s praxis approach, which advocates the application of theory to practice, the programme also includes two months of cooperative placement for every year of study.

This offers students the opportunity to pursue their internship with some of the most prestigious names in the industry. “Having passion and enthusiasm in improving human health is important for students to do well in the programme,” says Assoc Prof Yim, adding that having good communication skills is also an advantage. “There are multiple health awareness projects in which nutritionists are required to work with the community, so always be ready to venture out of your comfort zone.” To ensure students improve their communication skills, the final year of the programme also sees students embarking on a community project. This involves them working with a community – be it a school or residential area – and advising members of the public on nutrition and wellness.

  • n For more information,

call 03-9101 8882 or visit

www.ucsiuniversity.edu.my

12 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 ACCORDING to head of UCSI University’s nutrition with
12 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 ACCORDING to head of UCSI University’s nutrition with
12 postgraduate THE STAR, TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2015 ACCORDING to head of UCSI University’s nutrition with