Design institute marks new milestone

From left) Prof Dr Mazliham, Sivarasa, Mara chairman Dr Hasnita Hashim, Maggipinto and Mara director- general Datuk Azhar Abdul Manaf at the unveiling of UniKL MIDI.

THE newly rebranded Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Italy Design Institute (UniKL MIDI) will enable Malaysian students to keep abreast with of industry trends.

The institute, located in Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras, offers degree programmes in design, manufacturing, business management and railway system.

Representing Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun at the event was her deputy R. Sivarasa. Also present was Ambassador of Italy to Malaysia Cristiano Maggipinto.

Speaking at the launch, Sivarasa said Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), which was established by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) on Aug 20, 2002, has set its sights on being different from other academic-oriented universities and gone on to represent itself as the “University of Choice” in Malaysia, championing higher technical and vocational education and training through excellence in education, entrepreneurship research, consultancy and community services.

He said UniKL has progressed to having 12 campuses, each offering its own specialisation in line with its motto “One Campus, One Specialisation”.

The university offers programmes in collaboration with industry players and renowned universities around the world in order to impart technology transfer and know-how.

“The number of UniKL international partners continues to grow, covering countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America as well as other parts of the world,” he said, adding that UniKL MIDI marked another significant milestone in the history of the university.

“We hope the institute will play a pivotal role in the development of human capital for Malaysia in design technology and creative industry.”

UniKL MIDI was established as UniKL’s Product Design and Manufacturing Faculty in 2003, offering three bachelor’s degree programme.

In 2007, it was further upgraded into a full-fledged institute and named UniKL Institute of Product Design and Manufacturing.

(From left) Maggipinto, Dr Hasnita and Sivarasa admiring the displays at Stefano Giovannoni Design Gallery at UniKL MIDI.
(From left) Maggipinto, Dr Hasnita and Sivarasa admiring the displays at Stefano Giovannoni Design Gallery at UniKL MIDI.

On Feb 19, 2018, the Education Ministry’s Department of Higher Education approved the rebranding of the institute as UniKL MIDI.

Speaking to reporters later, Sivarasa said the Rural Development Ministry, through Mara, allocates a development budget of RM15mil annually for UniKL MIDI needs.

“We hope this partnership will benefit our students in terms of Italian technology and fundamental skills in design.”

He said the university chose Italy for the collaboration as the country was renowned for its creative design and technology, making it suitable for branding.

Meanwhile, Maggipinto commented that the partnership would enable a two-way exchange of knowledge on various aspects for Italian and Malaysian students.

“The Italian students can learn about the cultural diversity in Malaysia.

“UniKL MIDI creates a platform for Malaysian students to learn about the craftsmanship of Italian art and design,” said Maggipinto, adding that famous Italian designers would be invited to impart their knowledge and skills for the benefit of Malaysian students.

UniKL president and chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Mazliham Mohd Su’ud said the development fund was used to upgrade the campus, its equipment and facilities for the teaching of its courses.

“We produce students who excel in various fields, including entrepreneurship skills,” he said.

UniKL MIDI dean Dr Azman Senin said the partnership between UniKL and Italian universities started in 2014, through student exchange mobility programmes with Politecnico di Torino.

“We sent six or seven students to Italy for six months under this exchange mobility programme.”

Dr Azman said UniKL MIDI was also in the midst of developing two new courses on furniture and fashion design with its Italian counterparts.

“We will offer these two new courses in September 2020, in collaboration with two Italian universities,” he said.

Dr Azman said there were 687 students pursuing various three-year degree programme at UniKL MIDI this year.

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