UNIVERSITY College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) and University of Birmingham (UoB), UK, are now partners in a railway engineering-related programme.
Speaking after the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both parties, UCTS deputy vice-chancellor (Academic), Prof Datuk Dr Sabarudin Mohd said the programme is beneficial to Malaysia as it had planned to build a number of high speed railway systems in the peninsula and Sarawak.
“There are a number of railway projects to be built by the government, particularly in the peninsula such as the high speed train 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 line running from Kuala Lumpur to Johor and Penang.
In Sarawak, as announced by the Chief Minister recently for the development of an LRT to connect from Samarahan-Serian to Kuching,” he said.
Dr Sabarudin said that because of 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 their study by September 2018 and would graduate with railway engineering electives a year later.
The programme would run for four years only.
“We are not limiting the programme to UCTS’s students only as others with civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering degree or those with no degree but have 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 organisations or agencies related to the railway industry like KTM and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad will send their engineers to participate in the programme,” added Dr Sabarudin.
Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), Prof Clives Robert said the university had been running the programme for the past 22 years where 90% of its yearly intake of 60 students were for industrial needs.
“Our collaboration with UCTS will see us training their trainers on short term intensive training on railyway engineering.
The lecturers after completing the course, will have 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 practising engineers or fresh graduates in civil, mechanical or electrical engineering to switch professions and join the railway industry. — By ANDY CHUA
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