Engineered for excellence


  • Education
  • Sunday, 13 Mar 2005

BY PHILIP AUGUSTINE

WITH A history dating back to the 1930s, University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has long established itself as Malaysia's leading technological university. 

Formerly known as Institut Teknologi Kebangsaan (ITK) in the early 70s, UTM was formed to provide, promote and develop higher education in the field of science, engineering, technology and architecture.  

In line with the recommendation of the Higher Education Planning Committee in 1969, ITK was upgraded to become a Technical College situated at Jalan Gurney, Kuala Lumpur. In 1975, ITK gained university-status and was renamed Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).  

In 1999, then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the university's new motto, to be a “Discovery University” and in 2002 later granted UTM Multimedia Super Corridor status. 

PROF IR DR MOHD ZULKIFLI: 'Wedon't just want to develop the mindof out students, but also their overalldevelopment.’

“We have very strong industry links. In fact UTM has been voted by several Japanese industries in Malaysia as being the strongest engineering university in the country,” enthuses its Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Ir Dr Mohd Zulkifli Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali. 

Besides offering the best and latest in the field of engineering, Prof Ir Dr Mohd Zulkifli, highlights UTM's extremely conducive learning environment.  

While it is compulsory for all first and second year students to stay in residential colleges, he adds that students are free to choose their housemates.  

Similarly, students have free rein in choosing any of the university's sports and recreational activities.  

“We have a beautiful campus and co-curricular activities are encouraged.  

“Students can take up archery, rowing as well as a series of equestrian activities,” he elaborates. 

He adds that the university's strategic location is also an added asset.  

“We are very near Singapore and Johor Bahru and students can tap into the big city atmosphere and gain exposure or they can opt to have a quieter learning environment on campus. 

“We don't just want to develop the mind, we also encourage overall personal development among all our students and staff,” he explains. 

What does UTM have to offer students? 

As the premier technological university in Malaysia, UTM has the largest community of engineering students.  

In fact, many of our graduates have been successful in finding good jobs both in the private and public sectors. They have also formed a good majority of our alumni.  

Of course, because UTM enjoys the recognition of being the number one university for engineering, competition for places is intense.  

We offer the widest range of engineering programmes and boast the latest equipment and the biggest engineering labs in the country.  

UTM also has links with international institutions such as Oxford University, Cambridge University, Tsinghua University, DeNantes University and many more. 

What are the strengths of your university? 

The solar powered Suria 2 car is a shining example of UTM's technologicaladvancement in the region.

We consider ourselves a research plus teaching university. Creative, innovative and productive ideas have created various products that contribute towards the excellence of the university.  

Among them is the establishment of the University-Industry Technology Advancement Programme and the establishment of over 20 centres of excellence where most of the research is based.  

In line with our motto, “Discovery University”, UTM aggressively conducts research that could benefit society.  

UTM has also gained international recognition from awards won by the university’s researchers at international events 

We also have a Technovation park or an industry park where the practice of engineering is done.  

It is almost like a teaching hospital for the members of our teaching faculty.  

Hard to find courses such as Marine Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering and other unique courses are also offered in UTM. 

What are the current popular courses? 

Mechatronics, Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering are very popular as students believe that these courses provide good employment opportunities upon graduation.  

Other courses which continue to enjoy a good number of students every semester are Mechanical and Computer Engineering. 

What courses or area of study would you like to promote? 

We will be introducing our newest course called Biomedical Engineering in June. But we also want to promote our MBA courses. 

Basically, these are engineering courses but they are also advance management courses that are in collaboration with Cranfield University and Warwick University in the United Kingdom.  

Where do you see UTM going in the next 10 years? 

We want to have a world-class university by then. That is why we constantly identify new subject areas and are always on the move.  

Right now we are slowly introducing more biotech and bioscience courses in to the university while maintaining our stronghold in engineering as we adapt to current needs.  


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