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Global education edge

See inside on how the tertiary experience can advance personal,
professional and public spheres.

2 Postgraduate
ECONOMIES around the world
continue to fuel development,
creating an ever-growing demand
for a highly trained and skilled
This in turn has created a rising
student population at universities
with many top institutions seeing
great potential in spreading their
wings to other countries and
setting up international branch
campuses (IBCs).
Essentially, the two main
characteristics of a branch campus
are that it operates under the
brand name of the home university
and that it teaches and awards
qualifications of the home
Though privately owned by the
home university and local
partners, branch campuses are
required to operate within the
guidelines set by the host education
In the International Branch
Campuses: Trends and
Developments, 2016 report
produced by the Cross-Border
Education Research Team of the
State University of New York in
Albany and Pennsylvania State
University, it was estimated there
were 249 IBCs around the world,
including those under
China leads the way with the
most number of branch campuses
at 32, followed by the United Arab
Emirates with 31, Singapore with
12 and Qatar with 11.
Many IBCs have begun
operations in Malaysia and their
presence is a huge boost to the
country, benefiting not only the
universities and their students but
the national economy as a whole.

Enabling international
Among the very first IBCs set up
in the country between the late
1990s and early 2000s were
Monash University Malaysia
(Monash), Curtin University
Sarawak Malaysia and Swinburne
University of Technology Sarawak
Campus (Swinburne) from
Australia as well as The University
of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
(UNMC) from the United Kingdom.
Since then, Newcastle University
Medicine Malaysia (NUMed),
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia,
University of Southampton
Malaysia Campus, University of
Reading Malaysia, Manipal
International University, Raffles
University Iskandar and Xiamen
University Malaysia Campus have
also been established.
For students, the opening of such
campuses is good news. Given the
extensive history and vast
experience in diverse academic
fields, these distinguished
universities offer Malaysian
students access to a wider range of
courses, particularly in niche
disciplines and those related to
emerging industries within the
local economy.
Moreover, only Tier One
institutions or universities known
for world-class research, academic
excellence and prestigious
scholarships are allowed to open in
Malaysia ensuring local students
receive only the best in education.
Director of the international
office at UNMC Govindan Nair
says, IBCs offer professionals the
best of both worlds in their blend
of teaching and learning. IBCs
impart knowledge and teaching
experience gained from their home
country and blend this with the
learning and skills output required
Reputable IBCs are also highly


Globalising education for all

ranked internationally and offer

courses that are internationally
accredited, giving graduates global
recognition that sets them apart
and makes them highly
These were the factors that drew
international students such as
electrical and electronic
engineering PhD candidate Lillian
J.A. Olule to study at UNMC.
She says, I wanted to get a
degree from a top 1%
internationally ranked institution
but the challenge was that it was
quite expensive (to enrol at the
main campus). I found that a
branch campus provided the ideal
solution because it has similar
curriculum and facilities and the
degree you get is identical to the
one you would get from the main

Meeting students needs

The most obvious benefit of
pursuing a postgraduate course at
an IBC is the greater convenience
and reduced cost.
There are many professionals
who intend to pursue a
postgraduate degree to boost their
career prospects but are tied
down by work and family
Thus, many are forced to delay
or even give up their dream as
putting food on the table is the
immediate priority.
IBCs, however, offer an avenue
for professionals to gain an
internationally recognised
postgraduate degree without
leaving the country.
Though it can be challenging to
balance family life with course
requirements, it is definitely a
much welcomed option as opposed
to taking a few years off work or
moving to another country.
Furthermore, the cost to
complete a postgraduate degree
locally is considerably lower than
if one were to enrol in the same
course overseas, not to mention the
disparity of course rates for
international and local students,
fluctuating currency rates and

For students,
the opening of
branch campuses
is good news.
Given the extensive
history and vast
experience in diverse
academic fields,
these distinguished
universities offer
Malaysian students
access to a wider
range of courses,
particularly in niche
disciplines and those
related to emerging
industries within the
local economy.
higher living costs.
Jerome Charles, a part-time
Master of Engineering student at
Swinburne Sarawak, says, I
wanted to pursue an Australian
masters degree without being
thousands of miles away from
Cost was also a factor but since
fees are paid in ringgit, it is more
than three times cheaper
compared to the same course
based in the main campus in
Olule of UNMC shares the same
sentiments, saying, Since it is
cheaper to study here, your money
can stretch a little bit more for you
to enjoy more experiences.
Govindan says since the
establishing of UNMC, the
university was able to add around
5,000 students and 7,000 alumni to
its family.

The majority of these students

and alumni would not be able to
afford their studies in the UK. Thus,
setting up a campus in Malaysia
has helped them gain a University
of Nottingham degree, he says.

A big family
Postgraduate students are also
able to connect with people of a
diverse range of backgrounds and
Not only do they learn from
experienced faculty members
who may have come from the
home campus, they also get to
connect with peers from both
Universities recognise that, as
both international and home
campuses use similar course
syllabi, students share many of
the same hurdles and questions
while completing postgraduate
Therefore, universities with
international operations highly
encourage interaction and
communication between students
from both campuses through
activities such as online student
forums, video conferencing or live
streaming during lectures or
Such set-ups are particularly
useful at the postgraduate level
as students not only get to
expand their network that may
be crucial in the future but are
able to gain insight into the
complexities of working in an
international environment as well
as how a set range of concepts and
theories can have different
consequences in different
countries and cultures.

Wholesome experience
Besides cost and connections,
students at IBCs are entitled to the
same resources as those studying
at the main campus.
Rishwaraj Gengarajoo who
completed a PhD in Mechatronics
Engineering at Monash says,
Postgraduate students from the
branch campus can share

resources with those at the main

campus such as some of the
scholarships offered and research
In fact, all postgraduate
students are considered students of
the main campus. Student
exchange opportunities are
available and I was lucky enough
to get this opportunity, courtesy of
the main campus postgraduate
Piyumi Kapugeekiyana, another
international student from UNMC
who completed her PhD in Politics,
History and International Relations
(Strategic Studies), says, By my
second year of my undergraduate
studies in international business
management, I was making firstclass grades and was among a
small group of students who
received an offer from the dean to
participate in an accelerated
programme of study.
At the time, this opportunity
was unprecedented I got to
pursue my doctoral studies on a
full scholarship while also serving
as a graduate teaching assistant. As
someone who enjoys learning, I
was thrilled with the vote of
confidence from my lecturers and
it was a very easy decision to
continue with a postgraduate
Piyumi says there may be a
general perception that an
education at a branch campus
is somehow less of an education as
what is given at a main campus.
However, she believes her
university is on par with the main
campus in the selection of
lecturers, dissemination of content
and process of assessment.
As a student, I had several
opportunities to discuss ideas with
colleagues and peers in the UK and
China campuses, whether online or
through conferences.
It is the nexus of all those
conversations that contributed to
my learning and I do not think the
same melting pot of ideas would
have prevailed in a different
setting, she says.


Postgraduate 3


Making the most of the opportunity


Almost 1.2
million students are
currently enrolled
in universities
across Malaysia
and more than
100,000 of them
are international

One who has to balance a fulltime job and research activities,

Jerome of Swinburne enjoys the
learning experience at an IBC and
believes it bears much similarity to
the time he completed his
undergraduate programme
I am a part-time student and
only make a few trips to campus a
few times a year for consultations.
However, while on campus, I find
it most enjoyable being among
students who portray a similar
vibe, enthusiasm and energy as
that of the main campus, says

Contributors to society
Though it may be easy to
perceive universities international
operations as mere expansions for
monetary gain, the 1999 closure of
the first IBC in Malaysia by the
Royal Melbourne Institute of
Technology proves that opening
IBCs in any country is a
reputational and financial risk.
Yet, these universities that are
focused on building prestige and
status play a bigger role in society,
including elevating the local
education landscape and boosting
the economy by creating jobs and
producing future leaders of various
According to the higher
education think tank The
Observatory that analyses business
models, trends and frameworks
within the education industry,
Malaysia was a pioneer in offering

International branch campuses have much to offer to local and international

twinning programmes in the late
1980s and 3+0 programmes in
This move was to curb the loss of
local talent to other countries,
maintain national economic
activity and, most importantly,
allow Malaysian students the
opportunity to gain a foreign
degree as studying overseas
became a financial burden for
most students during the economic
crisis of the late 1990s.
Almost two decades on,
Govindan of UNMC believes the
establishment of IBCs in Malaysia
has definitely brought growth in

the areas of student population,

both local and international, and
quality education.
At postgraduate level, this
translates into quality research
publications and highly skilled
graduates for industries. A number
of IBCs too are in collaboration
with local institutions, aided by the
Education Ministry on knowledge
transfer initiatives, he says.
The healthy competition
provided by these IBCs in the
industry helps to push local
institutions to improve on their
delivery and stay competitive in
the market. This in turn results in

the overall improvement of the

education landscape.
Moreover, the presence of
international universities in
Malaysia leads to the availability
of new skills, programme
structures, management styles and
technologies building blocks for
the nations push for development.
A prime example is the
University of Reading deploying
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
for its new Malaysian campus that
aims to govern the locations for
computers across a network and
the Internet so that data traffic can
be properly routed.
The installation allows for easy
tracking of what is happening
across the network, lowers
overheads, improves convergence
and simplifies configuration.

Forward thinking
In line with the Governments

vision to make Malaysia a regional

education hub and attract an
increasing number of international
students from the region, the
Education Ministry continues to
offer incentive packages to attract
foreign universities in the form of
tax exemptions as well as lower
premiums for land and utility
tariffs so that they set up IBCs here.
Considering the number of
Malaysian students studying in the
United States that once rose to as
high as 14,597 in 1998 and
decreased to 6,486 in 2014, IBCs are
retaining more local talent.
In addition, between 2010 and
2014, there was a decrease of more
than 20,000 Malaysian students
studying abroad, according to
Almost 1.2 million students are
currently enrolled in universities
across Malaysia and more than
100,000 of them are international
With many IBCs in the country
and more possibly opening in the
near future, there is no doubt
Malaysia is an ideal location for
academic studies and industrylinked collaboration.
The successful operation of
IBCs across the Klang Valley,
Negri Sembilan, Sarawak and
Educity Iskandar is testament to
the quality of education in
Therefore, local students should
take advantage of the knowledge
and experience available to not
only attain personal career goals
but contribute to national
economic growth and

4 Postgraduate


Advancement in pharmacy

IMUs Master of
Practice allows
pharmacists to
enhance their
knowledge and
skills for career

FOR a rewarding educational

experience that enhances your
career prospects, enrol in
postgraduate study at the
International Medical University
(IMU), Malaysias first and most
established private university with
more than 24 years of dedicated
focus in health professions
The Master of Pharmacy Practice
(MPP) enables working
pharmacists to expand their skill
sets and develop a reflective
approach to the practice.
The MPP programme from IMU
is unique and the first of its kind to
be offered by a Malaysian
university with three
specialisations clinical pharmacy,
social and administrative
pharmacy, and pharmacy
The specialisation can be chosen
according to your preference as
well as career needs and goals.

The IMU MPP programme can

help you become an advanced
practitioner with enhanced
leadership and research skills.
The programme facilitates
learning and application
of conceptual tools for
decision-making in pharmacy
practice. It builds an adaptive
framework to help you
systematically evaluate your
practice, whether this is primarily
in patient care, corporate or
academic settings.
The programme is offered in a
blended mode, which means you
can undertake much of the studies
online, with some weekend
on-campus sessions for face-to-face
teaching and learning.
The online platform of IMU
allows you to access all the content
online. Technology-enhanced
learning is also facilitated by
Using IMU Moodle, you can

create an online network among

fellow students and do
collaborative learning.
The face-to-face teaching format
generally includes lectures,
workshops, seminars and case
studies. These face-to-face sessions
are scheduled on weekends to
allow working pharmacists to
continue their professional
practice while completing a
masters degree to gain an edge
in their career.
After the first two semesters, you
will be able to do your research
project at your workplace.
Research supervisors from IMU
will help you throughout your
research period and you will be
able to publish the results of the
study at the end of the research
Overall, IMUs MPP will
enhance your evidence-based
practice skills and develop new
competencies in patient safety and

health management.
Enhanced leadership, critical
appraisal and reflective practice
skills may help you in decisionmaking and you will be able to
apply your educational concept in
your professional practice.
This programme will commence
in January next year. If you wish to
advance your career in this area of
studies, make an online application
IMU offers other postgraduate
programmes, including taught
masters in science (MSc)
programmes in public health,
molecular medicine, analytical and
pharmaceutical chemistry, and
health professions education. It
also provides MSc and PhD by
research programmes.

n For more information, call

03-2731 7272, e-mail or

Ilangeswara Rao is a former Strathclyde MBA student who graduated
with a distinction and currently works for Uber Malaysia.
THE MBA (masters in business
administration) will not
transform you into an alpha
male who is ready to take on
the corporate world. However,
it gives you the fundamental
building blocks of knowledge
that is presented in the
same manner as the corporate
Your corporate success will
depend on your creativity in
putting these building blocks
together to build something
meaningful in hopes of changing
the world for the better, says
Ilangeswara Rao, former
Strathclyde MBA student.
Rao adds that the Strathclyde
programme is well structured,
enabling him to complete it on a
part-time basis within two and a
half years.
Hailing from a technical
background with more than
nine years of working
experience across various
industries, Rao says it is vital for
one to pursue professional
working experience before
embarking on an MBA journey.
He says, The experience of
my classmates is what they
bring to the table during team
discussions, and when working
on assignments. This brings a
new and vital perspective to
your MBA journey.
We often think that academic

excellence is all that is required

to enrol yourself in an MBA
programme. However, in my
first year, I realised that my
success in the programme was
purely due to time management,
dedication and the ability to
work cohesively with my
Strathclydes programme
facilitates this very effectively.
You end up being a better
people person, as you learn
from experts from various
industries, adds the 32-year-old.
I would recommend the
programme to working
individuals who are keen on
developing their knowledge in
various business topics that will
benefit their professional career.
The programme provides a high
level of flexibility and can be
completed on a part-time basis.
All you need is the drive
to complete it and, most
importantly, the eagerness to
learn and apply it in the real
world. That way, you make your
MBA journey a meaningful one,
he says.
Rao graduated from the
Strathclyde MBA programme
with a distinction and currently
works for Uber Malaysia.

n For more information,

visit or
call 03-7660 8950.



6 Postgraduate


management &
science university

@ Global University
of Choice
PhD :
Computer Science

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Computer Science

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Food Service Technology

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Biomedical Sciences
KPT/ JPS (KA10166) 03/16

Information Technology
KPT/ JPS (R/481/7/0370) 10/18

Clinical Pharmacy
KPT/ JPS (N/727/7/0039) 10/18

Science Engineering
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KPT/ JPS (N/545/7/0073) 06/21

global university of choice
Tel : +603 5521 6868 / +603 5521 6590
Fax : +603 5511 2848
Email :

Participants of the carnival to stop violence against women organised by strategic healthcare
communications students.

Careers in
STRATEGIC healthcare communications
requires specialised individuals in
healthcare settings. These individuals need
to have excellent communication skills to
communicate with various stakeholders.
Additionally, they have to communicate
with doctors, physicians, nurses, managers,
administrators and patients.
Externally, they are responsible to liaise
with the Government, non-governmental
organisations, the media, investors,
customers, the community and the public.
Strategic healthcare communications
specialists can work in a range of settings,
including in rehabilitation, healthcare and
psychiatric facilities, hospitals, nursing
homes as well as community health centres.
Their main responsibility is to improve the
reputation of the hospital, health system or
physician group.
Strategic healthcare communications
specialists keep the organisation abreast of
what is new and working in healthcare
strategies, planning, advertising, marketing
and communications.
Their responsibilities include writing,
handling the media and creating various
materials to promote services offered by the
facility in which they work at.
Strategic healthcare communications
specialists prepare public relations plans and
activities that highlight various aspects of an
organisation such as social media
engagement, customer relationship
management, events and corporate social
responsibility between the organisation and
Strategic healthcare communications
professionals should possess knowledge in
the fields of health and healthcare as well as
be able to effectively and creatively translate
technical terminology into laymans terms.
They must exercise creativity and
sensitivity when working with a diverse
group of people and be able to work with a

deadline, beyond working hours and in any

unforeseen crisis that affects the
In a nutshell, they should be prepared to
deal with a variety of situations.
The demand for healthcare
communications personnel will continue
to increase because of the growing need
for communications professionals to
work in the healthcare and human services
Competition will be the greatest challenge
for fresh graduates because the number of
applicants is expected to exceed the number
of job openings.
Individuals who have a background,
knowledge and experience in healthcare,
public relations and marketing will likely
have an advantage over other candidates.
This is why KPJ Healthcare University
College (KPJUC) is introducing the BA (Hons)
in Strategic & Corporate Communication.
This programme prepares you with
thorough knowledge and skills not only in
communications, media writing, research,
management and creativity but emphasises
on subjects in healthcare as well.
Students may choose to complete their
internship programmes at 26 KPJ Specialist
Hospitals with more than 1,000 medical
specialists as well as 11,000 supporting staff
in areas such as nursing, paramedic,
pharmaceutical, technical and management
KPJUC will give the right exposure to
nurture your interest, creating a promising
pathway to healthcare communication
careers. By Rizal Majid, Strategic &
Corporate Communication coordinator at
the School of Behavioral Science and
Humanities, KPJ Healthcare University
College (KPJUC)

n For more information, visit

Management & Science University

Counselling & Communication department, University Drive,
Off Persiaran Olahraga,
Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.

Among the events that were successfully carried out by KPJ Healthcare University College was
the Movember event.

Postgraduate 7


Tailored to professional needs

WITH a 30-year track record of
providing quality, affordable
education to individuals of
various backgrounds, INTI
International University &
Colleges (INTI) recognises the
importance of upskilling amid
increasing global competition.
INTI offers three established
Master of Business
Administration (MBA)
programmes tailored to the
personal capabilities of learners.
A prestigious qualification
from the renowned University
of Wollongong, the Sydney
Business School (SBS) MBA
programme provides a
curriculum that covers
theoretical and practical skills
from a broad perspective.
With 50% of its modules
taught by lecturers from SBS,
the programme focuses on
developing analytical thinking
skills, innovation and creativity.
It is offered at INTI
International College Kuala
Lumpur, providing convenient
access for working
Students also gain the
opportunity to hear from global
experts in academia and
business through a series of
exclusive master classes held
throughout the year.
One of the renowned speakers
this year was Prof Alex Frino, a
distinguished economist and
alumnus of Cambridge
University who has published
more than 100 papers in leading
scholarly journals.
Students and guests were
offered deep insights into the
role of leadership and its impact
in business development a
vital learning for budding
management professionals.
Adrian Lim Hong Wei, one of
the youngest graduates from
INTIs SBS MBA programme,
says, Doing the SBS MBA
transformed my life and helped
me become much more
confident, which is vital in
managing teams from diverse
This confidence was the
reason I was selected as a
delegate to represent Malaysia
at international leadership
conferences such as the World
Economic Forum.
The MBA programme from
Coventry University named
University of the Year 2015 by
the Times Higher Education
Awards and ranked the 15th UK
university by the Guardian
University Guide 2016 and 2017
is another internationally
recognised programme offered
by INTI.
Catering to three
specialisations global business,
global financial services and
international marketing the
programme is one of few
established courses that do not
require prior work experience,
allowing graduate students to
gain an edge in their managerial
prospects early on in their
A 100% coursework-based
programme, with options to
complete dissertations,
internships or consulting
projects and gain real work
experience through employer
projects with more than 400
industry partners, its modules
focus on building essential soft
skills to improve an individuals
competitive advantage.
Caryn Anne Santhana Dass, a

medical science liaison and

pharmacist with Bayer, says,
Gaining an MBA is very useful
in a corporate setting as it
provided me with insights into
the business behind the
healthcare industry and taught
me the skills in managing
people. I chose Coventry and
INTI as they are both reputable
Offered at INTI International
College Subang, the programme
boasts lecturers who are
professionally trained by the
faculty from Coventry
University, with options for
students to transfer to Coventry
Universitys London campus to
complete their degrees.
Regardless of where they study,
students gain an identical award
from Coventry University.
A homegrown postgraduate
programme based on the needs
of Malaysian professionals,
INTIs MBA Learning Simplified
programme leverages on
innovative teaching
methodologies and allows
students to study at their own
Using the Blackboard
Learning Management System, a
learning suite that enables
students to access notes and
tutorials as well as view
feedback from lecturers and
peers from any location, the
programme is delivered through
a blended methodology, which
includes learning via
face-to-face and Blackboard
platforms that minimises the
need for travel.
To ensure students still
receive the support they need,
they are assigned to a mentor
who will guide and encourage
them throughout their studies.
As I came from a technical
background in nutrition and
food science, I felt it was
necessary for me to sharpen my
management skills to improve
my career prospects, shares
Tracy Tan.
Using tools such as
Blackboard Collaborate, I can
access materials any time I want
and use various devices to
conference with other students
and attend lectures online. It
gives me the flexibility I need to
balance between work priorities
and studies.
Besides individual
assignments to encourage
research into current business
issues and group assignments
that focus on building
communication and
collaboration skills, INTI has
also embedded the Business
Leadership Series in the
This connects students to
business leaders who personally
meet and share their
experiences and insights with
INTI students throughout the
Offered by INTI International
University, Nilai, the programme
is ideal for professionals to
advance their careers while
juggling other responsibilities
and commitments.
INTI International University
is also one of only four
institutions of higher learning in
Malaysia to have received the
Malaysian Qualifications
Agencys approval to implement
APEL (C), which includes
assessments on prior
non-formal and informal
learning experiences for the

Prof Alex Frino

sharing his
insight on
leadership at
the Sydney
School MBA
master class.
purpose of awarding credits.
This includes learning through
massive open online courses and
other self-learning methods within
the Malaysian Qualifications
Consequently, individuals with

prior working experience may be

excluded from subjects in which
they have a proven level of
competency enabling them to fast
track their learning.
Beyond academic certifications,
INTIs MBA programmes focus

intensively on delivering 21st

century competencies that are
crucial to any individuals

n For more information, visit

8 Postgraduate



Challenges and opportunities of IBCs

MALAYSIA has a number of
international branch campuses
(IBCs), including five from the
United Kingdom, three from
Australia and one from China. An
IBC is defined as an international
university that has established a
full campus in another country.
Its degrees are awarded by the
home institution with the
international campus having no
degree-awarding authority.
This means that the degree
awarded in the international
campus is identical to the one
awarded to those who take the
degree in the country that
established the IBC.

It is not a franchise where

courses are delivered from an
office by staff who are not
employed by the university, as
IBC staff are employed by the
While the Observatory on
Borderless Higher Education
(OBHE), a global think tank, will
only publish its full report next
year, it has already released some
headlines from the report.
It shows that there are 249 IBCs
around the world. Seventy-three
per cent (180 institutions) of these
come from five countries (the
United States, the United Kingdom,
Russia, France and Australia).

The top five host countries are
China, the United Arab Emirates,
Singapore, Malaysia and Qatar.
Being an IBC brings
opportunities and challenges. By
definition, being an international
branch campus means you are a
recognised brand.
Each IBC will have at least one
redeeming feature as, if not, they
would not have been invited to set
up a campus in a foreign land.
The brand provides the
opportunity to recruit students,
promote research and play an
active role in developing higher
education in Malaysia.
Being an IBC also comes with
challenges. Arguably, the largest is
that you have to adhere to two
quality-assurance frameworks.
To take a UK IBC as an example,
any course that is offered has to be
on the books across the global
Since there is only one degreeawarding body, any degree offered
must also be available across the
global institution.
For a UK institution, this means
the degree has to go through
the universitys own quality
assurance procedures and,
ultimately, answer to the UKs

Being an
IBC also comes
with challenges.
Arguably, the largest
is that you have
to adhere to two
frameworks. To
take a UK IBC as an
example, any course
that is offered has
to be on the books
across the global
Quality Assurance Agency for
Higher Education (QAA).
In Malaysia, IBCs also have to
comply with the Higher Education
Ministry as well as the Malaysian
Qualifications Agency (MQA)
In the UK, institutions are
audited by the QAA every five
years. In Malaysia, they have to
interact with the Higher Education
Ministry and MQA more regularly.
If the IBCs had just one wish, it
would be that we had the same
autonomy that we have in our

home country. Of course, the

Higher Education Ministry and
MQA must also have trust in the
home countrys ability to assure
the quality of the institution and
courses offered.
A further challenge that the IBCs
have, along with other private
education providers, is that we
receive no direct funding from
the government.
This is actually a double-edged
sword. Given the changes in
funding over recent years, IBCs
are not experiencing the same
challenges as public universities.
However, IBCs have not
benefited from the previous levels
of investment that public
universities, particularly the
research universities, have enjoyed
over the last 10 years or so.
There are three entities in higher
education public universities,
private providers and international
branch campuses.
Act 555 covers both private
providers and IBCs. We recognise
that changing an act of parliament
is not easy but there are
differences between the two
providers and, over time, it may be
beneficial to recognise those

n Prof Graham Kendall is the

provost and chief executive officer
at The University of Nottingham
Malaysia Campus and pro-vicechancellor at The University of
Nottingham, UK Campus.
Twitter: @Graham_Kendall

Postgraduate 9


OVER the past two and a half decades,

South-East Asian states have begun to
dramatically alter their constitutions,
reinforce human rights provisions and instal
institutional safeguards for those rights, such
as constitutional courts and human rights
Although this can be observed as
constitutionalism broadening and deepening
its reach in Asia, constitutional trajectories
and realities in South-East Asia are hardly
that clear-cut.
In Thailand, the constitutional reform
debates that dominate the political agenda
often fuel the divisions in a country that is
still polarised. In March, the military
unveiled a new constitution draft that calls
for an elected senate and allows the
possibility for an unelected prime minister.
The Philippines and Indonesia are
witnessing growing tensions between the
executive and judicial branches of
government as the political role of courts
In Malaysia, recent court decisions on
religious freedom have tested the
constitutional boundaries of the multiethnic
state. Additionally, conflicts over land as well
as ethnic and minority rights have renewed
calls to amend the constitution in Laos and
Constitutional politics is increasingly the
focal point for collective action by both the
elites and ordinary citizens.
Contestation is the process by which
incumbent elites compete, bargain and
struggle with oppositional groups about
what state institutions and the broader
political order should look like.
For constitutionalism to take hold, both
the elites and citizens must agree to support

Constitutionalism in SEA
conservative, content.
The second arena is social contract or
compromise between social groups. Only if
its members accept the supremacy of elected
politicians and their constitutionally
enshrined decision-making authority can
constitutionalism gain ground.
The third arena is human rights
particularly the extent to which individual,
collective and religious rights are respected
and enforced.
All Asean countries have adopted
constitutional rights catalogues many of
which have greatly expanded political, social
and economic rights yet much is to be done
in this field.
This can be seen in the failures to
protect religious minorities, such as the
Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia or the
Rohingya in Myanmar.

Assoc Prof Marco Buente.

The last arena is the rule of law. Recent

reforms have empowered the judicial
branch, such as the creation of the Philippine
Supreme Court by the 1986 constitution or
the creation of high-profile constitutional
courts in Thailand (1997) and Indonesia
In short, within a dramatically
transformed constitutional landscape,
judicial actors have become critical to how
constitutional practice is evolving in the
region. By Assoc Prof Marco Buente,
associate professor of politics and
international relations, Monash School of
Arts and Social Sciences

n For more information on programmes

offered by the Monash School of Arts and
Social Sciences, visit

basic features such as separation of powers,

checks and balances, judicial review and
specific rights.
Constitutional settlements born out of
contestation are critical to whether
constitutional principles are adhered to and
enforced. There are four arenas of
contestation. Since the 1990s, constitutiondrafting and design has become one of the
most visible arenas for contestation.
For instance, the 1986 Freedom
constitution in the Philippines, which was
drafted by a commission of 674 drafters, was
criticised early on for its elitist, if not

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l University of Sunderland (UOS)
Named the best new university in the North
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10 Postgraduate


Curtin Universitys
Master of
Engineering Science
Engineering) aims to
expand career
opportunities of
engineers globally.

Meeting global demands

THE global demand for resources
has placed a necessity on supplying
the growing population with
affordable, environmentally friendly
power. The way we manage this
challenging paradigm is by relying
on a new generation of creative,
technically savvy engineers.
Curtin Universitys Master of
Engineering Science (Electrical
Engineering) is designed to meet the
needs of electrical, electrical power,
electronic and telecommunication
engineers across the world who are
looking to broaden their career
Curtin University Sarawak
Campus, Malaysia offers the course
to both Malaysian and international
students at roughly one-third of
what it would cost to pursue the
same course at its main campus in
Perth, Australia.
Between both campuses, there is
no difference in the degree earned,
quality of teaching and student
support mechanisms.
Year 2 of the two-year programme
involves research design projects

over two semesters where students

are required to develop a prototype
and present a formal thesis on the
outcome of this project to
demonstrate their technical
knowledge and professional skills.
From the wide range of optional
units, students may also study
subjects on electrical power,
renewable energy, communications
and computer engineering at the
system and component levels.
The electronic and
communication fields represent two
of the largest-growing technology
areas in the world.
With this rapid advancement of
information technology, the role of
communications is becoming more
crucial for increasing industry
efficiency and competition, whether
it is communication between
machines, computers or humans.
Students will also have the
opportunity to further investigate an
area of specialisation area as well as
apply their skills and knowledge
through their project.
In the Embedded Systems

Engineering major, students study

intermediate and advanced topics
in embedded systems such as
embedded systems in fieldprogrammable gate arrays (FPGAs)
and embedded software
In addition, they will have the
opportunity to further investigate
and apply emergent technologies in
embedded systems through their
chosen projects.
Those interested to join the Master
of Engineering Science (Electrical
Engineering) should have a
bachelors degree in electronic,
communications, electrical, electrical
power or computer systems
engineering from a recognised
Two intakes are offered each year,
in February and July. Intake for
February 2017 is now in progress.

n For more information on Curtin

Sarawaks postgraduate
programmes, call 08-544 3939, e-mail or visit

Rise up as
GRADUATE study is an
educational pathway for those
who want to improve their
career prospects or job
satisfaction, looking for an
intellectual challenge or
pursuing a long-standing
The Management & Science
University (MSU) has designed
considerable flexibility in the
graduate study environment so
that you can study in a way that
works best for you.
MSUs School of Graduate
Studies (SGS) offers advanced
degrees at masters in science
(MSc) and PhD levels, covering
the wide areas of management,
business, computer science,
accounting, finance,
information and
communication technology,
food service technology,
biomedicine, educational
management and leadership,
biomedical sciences,
engineering, pharmacy, clinical
pharmacy, applied science,
information technology and
education (Teaching English as
a Second Language).
PhD education focuses on
training in original and
independent scholarship. The
masters degree programmes,
which are in either full research
mode or coursework mode,
prepare graduate students for
careers in the public or private
sectors and professional
The graduate programmes
at MSU emphasise a high level
of engagement between local
and international faculty and
graduate students, creating an
environment that fosters a
global community of scholars.
All the programmes offered
are supported and
complemented by a wide range
of interdisciplinary units,
resulting in the promotion of
intellectual activities and
research across the university.
The SGS offers support to
graduates throughout their
learning experience at MSU. It
also provides creative and

innovative teaching, a global

leadership programme and
social facilities.
Working with all faculties and
non-academic departments
including the industry and
other institutions to enhance
graduate experience, SGS is
committed to delivering a
quality service exclusive to its
growing postgraduate
The PhD and masters
programmes are research based
and the degrees will be
awarded by MSU on the
successful completion of a
Examination is by assessment
of the thesis and the research
on which it is based. A viva voce
is required for the PhD
Assessment of taught masters
degree programmes is by
assignments and written
As Malaysias best teaching
and learning university, MSU
gives priority to quality
education and creative teaching
methodologies towards
producing quality and holistic
Besides incorporating
international exposure in
students learning experience,
extensive industrial training
components and personal
enrichment competency
elements are also blended
into the programme of study
to ensure graduate
The programmes that the
university offers meet stringent
standards set by local and
international bodies.
MSUs award-winning
homegrown programmes are
among the best in the region.
These programmes are
meticulously crafted to enhance
graduates potential.

n For more information on

postgraduate studies at MSU,
call 03-5521 6868, e-mail or

MSU emphasises an international and innovative learning experience

to optimise graduates potential.

Postgraduate 11


WHEN you take a new job or even

during the interview, you are often
asked what you will do in your
first 100 days.
It can be a double-edged sword.
While you want to make a
difference, you do not want to
make major changes without
seeking advice and understanding
the role further.
I took over as provost and chief
executive officer of The University
of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
(UNMC) on Aug 1 this year.
I am also a pro-vice-chancellor of
The University of Nottingham, the
United Kingdom campus. The
Malaysia campus has about 5,000
students and almost 700 staff
members. This is a challenging
In my previous role, I managed
almost 100 staff members but this
fades into insignificance when you
consider the level of responsibility
that my current position carries.
My 100th day was on Nov 8. So
what did we do between Aug 1 and
Nov 8? I am very careful to say we,
as leading an organisation is about
teamwork. You need the staff, at all
levels, to support you in what you
are trying to achieve. I am
fortunate to work with committed,
highly motivated staff.
We are currently delivering our
MBA (Master of Business
Administration) in Singapore. We
are extending this idea to Sri Lanka
where we will deliver a course in
It is important to note that our
faculty staff deliver these
programmes as we do not
franchise our degrees.
We have signed an agreement
with the World Bank and higher
education institutions in
Bangladesh to upskill about 8,000
academic staff over the next five

The first 100 days

We are also
looking to extend
our reach within
Malaysia and offer
our courses in
other states, rather
than just through
our campus in
Prof Graham Kendall

Prof Graham Kendall (third from left), Tuanku Zara Salim Davidson (fourth from left) and Prof David Greenaway
(rightmost) at the opening of the new teaching centre at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
years, which will lead to
postgraduate qualifications for all
of them.
This programme will be
delivered in Malaysia and
Bangladesh. This model of delivery
is becoming increasingly popular
and we are now looking at
extending the offshore delivery to
other countries in the region such
as Laos, Myanmar and the
We are also looking to extend
our reach within Malaysia and
offer our courses in other states,

Local or
BRANCH campuses have made
it feasible for students to
experience international
education, even at a local
With shared modules and
resources, these universities
promise a platform for
enriching learning that closely
mirrors their main campus.
However, graduates may
still prefer to go overseas for
further studies. Be it in pursuit
of a unique cultural experience
or future career benefits, the
decision to study abroad should
be made after careful research
and consideration.
Here are a few things you
should contemplate if you are in
the midst of deciding whether to do your
postgraduate studies at home or abroad.
l Personal commitments Considering
your current commitments and weighing
their importance is paramount in making a
decision that works best for you and your
loved ones in the long run.
For example, single adults would
perhaps find it exciting to pursue a
postgraduate degree overseas, but it
may not be feasible for someone with a
young family to leave the country for a

rather than just through our

campus in Semenyih.
It was particularly pleasing to
have opened The Vinod Sekhar
Incubation Centre, knowing that
we will now be able to provide the
opportunity for our students and
graduates to be part of a two-year
programme that enables them to
start their own company.
UNMC also hosted On-Location
an initiative by the vice-chancellor
of The University of Nottingham,
Prof David Greenaway.
This is where VIPs from the UK

couple of years.
Living overseas also
requires a certain level of
independence and the
ability to fend for yourself.
It is not uncommon for
young adults to take up
part-time jobs on or off
campus, which leads to the
following point of
consideration money.

l Finances This is
not exclusive to tuition
fees living,
accommodation and
entertainment expenses as
well as travel and visa fees
should also be taken into
account for overseas
education, especially if you
are planning to study full
When studying locally,
however, you may have the
opportunity to commute to
university from home.
Generally, cost of living is also more easily
controlled on home ground, what with the
volatilty of the global economy and
corresponding currency exchange rates.
One of the main draws of branch
campuses is that it offers an experience
similar to the main campus but at a more
affordable rate a large contributor to its
appeal, especially in recent challenging
economic times.

visit the campuses in China and

Malaysia. Visiting both the
international campuses allows us
to highlight the similarities as well
as differences in opportunities
compared to the UK.
During my first 100 days, I was
fortunate enough to have dinner
with Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin
Shah, have our new teaching
centre opened by Tuanku Zara
Salim Davidson and have a
meeting with Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Najib Razak.
I also had the pleasure of having

a one-on-one meeting with the

current of Higher Education
Minister Datuk Seri Haji Idris Jusoh
and the honour of hosting a signing
ceremony with the Education
Minister of Bangladesh.
I feel honoured to have been
afforded these opportunities. These
would not have been possible if I
had not decided to go to university
in my mid-30s. It is often said that
education is transformative. This is
certainly true in my case. By Prof
Graham Kendall, provost and
chief executive officer at The
University of Nottingham
Malaysia Campus and provice-chancellor at The University
of Nottingham, UK Campus

n For more information, visit or follow
Prof Kendall on Twitter

12 Postgraduate
COMPLETING a postgraduate
programme is not an easy feat. It
can be a lonely journey. One has to
endure multiple failures, be able to
pause, step back and move
This cycle may continue
throughout the course of a
postgraduate study. What
postgraduate students should be
aware of is that they do not have to
face these challenges alone, for
there are avenues where these
burdens may be lightened.
In light of this, the Universiti
Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute
of Chemical and Bioengineering
Technology (UniKL MICET)
organised the Postgraduate
Symposium on Green Engineering
and Technology 2016 (PSGET).
The first PSGET, UniKLs
home-grown postgraduate
symposium, was held at the
Melaka International Trade Centre
(MITC) on Nov 7, 2011.
It served as a platform for
postgraduate students to present
their research while initiating
critical discussions about concepts,
materials, the media and
approaches with a scholarly
Participants were presented with
the opportunity to share and
generate ideas related to recent
developments and discoveries in
green engineering and technology
via this symposium.
The main aim of the symposium
was to enhance collaboration
among postgraduate candidates
from institutions in Malaysia and
other countries.
The symposium was also
organised to spark participants
creativity and innovation in
research as well as improve the
visibility of their research projects
on a larger scale and celebrate


Power in numbers

The PSGET aims to provide an avenue for postgraduate students to present their research and initiate critical discussions regarding their field of study.
their achievements.
The keynote speech was given
by Prof Mohd Azizan Mohd Noor,
a professor in biotechnology at
UniKL MICET, titled Excellence in
Postgraduate Studies.
A total of 41 papers were
presented by postgraduate
students from Malaysia, Pakistan,
India, Indonesia and Thailand.
Out of 41, 30 were oral
presentations and 11 were
poster presentations.
The papers presented covered
subjects under science as well as
engineering and technology. The
subjects under engineering
included civil, chemical,
mechanical, electrical and the
manufacturing field.
Methodologies that were
deployed addressed questions
regarding authorship, materiality,

performance, reception and

The scientific, technical,
economic and ecological aspects
of issues in green technology were
covered to push the green-based
Awards were given to Best Oral
Presenters and Best Poster
Presenters. The list of winners and
their research topics are as below:
l Best Oral Presenters (in
random order):
Lennevey Kanidi (Universiti
Malaysia Sarawak) The study
on acid pre-treatment of sago pith
waste for glucose production
Shafferina Dayana
Sharuddin (Universiti Malaya)
Liquid fuel production from the
pyrolysis of plastic wastes as
promising future alternative
energy resources

Muhammad Syafiq Ridhwan

Mohd Nasir (UniKL MICET)
Effects of pre-treatment steam
on banana stem binderies
particleboard properties

l Best Poster Presenters (in

random order):
Mohd Hadi Mohd Hasan
(UniKL MICET) The effects of the
partial replacement of carbon
black with bio-carbon on the
physical, mechanical and thermal
properties of filled SMRL
Nor Azlina Ramlee (UniKL
MICET) Determination of
mechanical properties of oil palm
frond (OPF) on fibre cement boards
Azliana Che Amat (UniKL
MICET) Optimisation of xanthone
in water-base extraction from fresh
mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)

by using the ultrasonic technique

The PSGET 2016 was a success,
especially in terms of providing
opportunities for international
exposure, research collaborations,
knowledge sharing, new ideas and
concept gaining, and also research
network advancement.
It was also great in promoting
UniKL as a potential institution to
pursue studies at postgraduate
Next year, UniKL MICET will
organise a similar academic
conference at a larger scale,
targeting a larger audience, the
International Conference on Green
Chemical Engineering Technology
(GCET) 2017.

n For more information, visit

Gather as much
information as
possible before
pursuing a

Location considerations
Remember to factor these in when
weighing the pros and cons of local and
overseas study.
l Motivation What are your reasons
for wanting to study locally or abroad? Do
you want the opportunity of being abroad
to develop your skills and interest in a
worldly, mature manner, or are you simply
after a qualification from a popular
Ask yourself what is it that draws you
to other countries and if these factors can
perhaps also be found in Malaysian
universities. As going global is a huge
tertiary education trend, it is likely that
you will find what you need right at your

l Institution Beyond its academic

offerings or track record, what do you look
for in a tertiary education institution?
An excellent university allows its students
to pursue intellectual development in great
breadth and depth while providing an
environment conducive to personal and
professional advancement.
If you choose a foreign campus that is
ranked high globally, it should also be able

to afford opportunities to broaden your

horizons and explore aspects of mental,
physical and emotional growth.
Researching your future campus as well
as speaking to alumni members and
university officials can paint a better picture
of whether a university is the right fit for
your education needs.

l Stability and safety In sports, home

advantage refers to the benefit the home
team purportedly gains over the visiting
team that contributes to its success.
Similarly, studying in a familiar local
environment means you do not have to
adapt to lifestyle, climate or time zone
changes and are able to channel greater
focus to achieving study goals.
If you are serious about pursuing a
programme in another country, be sure to
first gather as much information about the
place as possible.
Research its history, political and
economic climates, foreign policies, as well
as attitudes and interests of citizens before
committing to the decision as all these will
impact your quality of life.
If possible, make a short trip to check out
the place and your shortlisted campuses
before enrolling in your course of choice.