SIBU: University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) and University of Birmingham (UoB), UK, has entered into a co-operative relationship to run a Railway Engineering-related programme.
Speaking after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both parties yesterday, UCTS deputy vice-chancellor (Academic), Prof Datuk Dr Sabarudin Mohd said the programme is beneficial to Malaysia as it had planned to build several high-speed railway systems in the peninsula and Sarawak.
“There are a number of railway projects planned by the government, particularly in the peninsula such as the High-Speed Rail from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and another railway line covering 620km from Kuala Lumpur to Kelantan and Pahang.
“The focus is also on developing railway lines from Kuala Lumpur to Johor and Penang.
“In Sarawak, the Chief Minister recently announced the development of an LRT connecting Samarahan-Serian to Kuching,” he said.
Dr Sabarudin said because of all these projects, there was a high demand for professionals as well as skilled workers.
The programme was thus timely for those in the railway building industry.
This railway engineering programme, he stressed, would be completed in six to nine months.
The first batch would start in September 2018 and graduate with railway engineering electives a year later.
The programme would run for four years only.
“We are not limiting the programme to UCTS students only as others with civil, mechanical or electrical engineering degrees or those with no degree but accredited prior learning experience can also register for the programme,” he said.
As for the fee, he said, it was still being worked out.
The number of students is limited to between 15 and 20 for each batch.
“We also hope that those related to the railway industry such as KTM and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad will send their engineers to participate in the programme,” he added.
Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) director Prof Clives Robert said his university had been running the programme for the past 22 years, where 90% of its yearly students of 60 people were to meet the industrial need.
“Our collaboration with UCTS will see us training their trainers on short-term intensive training on railway engineering.
“Once these lecturers have completed the course, they will become the core resources to develop the Railway Engineering programme at UCTS,” he said.
At the same time, BCRRE would collaborate with UCTS to run the graduate conversion programme at UCTS to enable either practicing engineers or fresh graduates in civil, mechanical or electrical engineering to switch professions and join the railway industry.
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