THE modern world evolves so rapidly that the things taught in higher education institutions today may be obsolete in as little as just a few weeks or months from now.
Therefore, it is important for universities to have curricula that are informed by the latest developments across various industries, so graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to hit the ground running in tomorrow’s workplace.
This is the focus of UOW Malaysia KDU, which is part of the University of Wollongong (UOW) Australia’s vast global network.
Through its internationally-recognised programmes across various disciplines, students receive high-quality and industry-relevant education that sets them on the path towards becoming future global leaders.
In the northern region, many of these programmes are delivered in the futuristic new 4-hectare (10-acre) UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College campus in Batu Kawan.
Ranging from foundation to postgraduate levels, these include 1+3, 2+2 and 3+1 models that offer the flexibility of completing the entire programme or part of it in Malaysia, and the rest in Australia.
UOW vice chancellor Prof Patricia M Davidson said the new campus’ location within the Batu Kawan Industrial Park where over 30 multinational corporations are located opens the door for research and collaborations with industry players.
“We’ve already begun working with various semiconductor and hi-tech companies on projects in emerging technologies and IR 4.0-related fields.
“We envisage this campus becoming a focal point of teaching, research and knowledge transfer. This will significantly improve graduate employability and elevate Penang’s human capital,” she elaborated.
This builds on UOW's ethos of forging strong engagements with industry to drive innovation and create solutions that solve real world problems.
Joining Prof Davidson in launching the new Batu Kawan campus on June 16 were Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow and UOW Malaysia board chairman Noel Cornish.
On June 13, Prof Davidson and Cornish also presided over the ‘Colloquium on Australia-Malaysia Education Industry: Opportunity Knocks’ at UOW Malaysia KDU’s Glenmarie campus in Selangor.
The panel session examined the structural changes that have taken place in universities to provide a safety net for learning processes not be curtailed by lockdowns or social restrictions should another pandemic happen.
The panellists comprised academics from UOW as well as other Australian institutions in Malaysia such as Monash University Malaysia, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak and Curtin University Sarawak.
UOW Malaysia KDU chancellor Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam Kong Choy and Australian high commissioner to Malaysia Dr Justin Lee also gave speeches.
Also present were UOW Global Enterprises (UOWGE) group chief executive officer Marisa Mastroianni, and Asia chief executive officer Jennifer Ng.
“The pandemic caused much disruption to the operations of all our universities. This was the first time we were able to meet and talk about the challenges faced and share strategies to future-proof our institutions from similar crises,” said Ng, who is also UOW Malaysia KDU chief executive officer.
The University of Wollongong Australia is a Top 1% university and ranked 185th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2023. It also ranked as the 14th best modern university in QS’ Top 50 Under 50 Rankings in 2021 and 23rd in the world by Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2021.
For information about programmes and intakes, visit www.uowmkdu.edu.my/