New president looks ahead

MULTIMEDIA University (MMU) president Prof Dr Zaharin Yusoff, who marked his 100th day in office recently, is plotting the university’s research and development roadmap.

“The roadmap is about 50% complete and will show a clear direction of where we are heading and enable us to focus on our strengths and niche areas.”

Prof Zaharin said the university has also been reorganised into nine divisions, each with specific targets.

PROF ZAHARIN: We encouragestudents to take part in activitiesthat help their development.

Five thrust areas have also been identified by the university – academic, research and development, commercialisation, human resources and administrative support.

Under academic, said Prof Zaharin, MMU would be rationalising its programmes to ensure they were more relevant to industry.

The university, he added, was known for its programmes in Engineering, Information Technology, Business and Management with a niche in Creative Multimedia, Law and Life Sciences.

“Students will be provided with the necessary skills and will be prepared for any technological changes, and contribute to the changes themselves.”

Prof Zaharin said success in the commercialisation of R &D in telecommunications technology, knowledge management technology, creative multimedia and innovations management would bring prestige to MMU and result in industry-relevant courses.

It’s commercial arm – Unitele Multimedia Sdn Bhd (UMSB) – will market its R&D products, manage consultancy work generated by the expertise within the university's faculties and centres as well as conduct various training programmes and short courses.

“The main asset of any organisation is its human resource. We encourage our students to work on activities that will help in their development, be they academic or inter-personal, to become well-rounded individuals who are prepared for working life,” said Prof Zaharin.

MMU is in the process of establishing a one-stop centre for students to facilitate their activities, resolve problems and assist in obtaining accommodation.

“Administrative support is the engine room for the university as it provides the critical support for the other thrust areas,” he said, adding that the university was also in the process of establishing a foundation – Yayasan Universiti Multimedia – which will offer scholarships.

Prof Zaharin replaced Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon as MMU president this year. Dr Ghauth led the university for 11 years and was instrumental in building it up. MMU is the largest private university in the country with over 20,000 students.

Prof Zaharin previously served as Universiti Tenaga Nasional's Graduate Studies College dean and has extensive experience in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. He started his career as a lecturer at the School of Mathematics at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 1980.

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