MMU ARMING FUTURE DIGITAL LEADERS


MMU is committed to developing students with knowledge, skills, industrial experience and character for the future. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

Research-led, industry-driven approach set to fuel nation’s new economy

THE digital economy is thriving in this day and age, and is expected to grow further in the future.

To position the nation as a leader in this regard, its talent needs to be equipped with competencies in areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of things.

This is precisely what Multimedia University (MMU) has aimed to do since its inception in 1997.According to its president and chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Mazliham Mohd Su’ud, the government-linked university was established to ensure the country has a sufficient manpower supply to serve the digital economy.

“This has been our purpose from the beginning, so students joining this university are joining an institution with 26 years of experience in this field.

“We are working very hard to make sure our students have all the necessary skills needed by the digital industry,” he said. As the tertiary education arm of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), MMU is also developing talent to support the national telecommunications provider’s aspiration of becoming a Digital Powerhouse by 2030 (PWR2030) for Malaysia and the region. MMU, said Prof Mazliham, furthers this aspiration by training the future workforce through specialised programmes in areas like data analytics, cloud architecture and application development. “These programmes equip graduates with the know-how to build and manage platforms crucial for the country’s digital ecosystem,” he said.

The university also sets out to develop students who can give their full commitment to global sustainability, he added.

Dual focus

To achieve its three main objectives – supporting the nation’s digital economy, TM’s PWR2030 and global sustainability – MMU has centred its strategies around a research-led and industry-driven approach.

“Everything we do at MMU, including the curriculum and activities, is tailored towards the needs of industry. “We are working with various industry sectors to make sure that we produce competitive and capable talent who receive relevant and market-driven programmes aligned with evolving industry needs,” said Prof Mazliham, adding that MMU’s curriculum is vetted by industry advisers, while faculty members possess industry-related backgrounds.

The students are also connected with industry through the university’s industrial cadetship (iCadet) and entrepreneurial cadetship (eCadet) programmes.Through iCadet, students are matched with companies to gain real-world work experience from as early as their second year.

Students also visit participating companies to experience their work culture and engage in provided training modules, explained Prof Mazliham.

For students inclined towards self-employment or entrepreneurship, eCadet provides early exposure to entrepreneurial culture and guidance from successful entrepreneurs right from the start. Another of the university’s strategies is to ensure that all its students are equipped with knowledge of the digital economy, said Prof Mazliham. “The latest technologies such as AI and blockchain are taught to all students.

Students joining MMU are joining an institution with 26 years of experience in educating individuals for the digital industry, says Prof Mazliham.Students joining MMU are joining an institution with 26 years of experience in educating individuals for the digital industry, says Prof Mazliham.

“Whether they are law, accounting or engineering students, they have to take these subjects, which are embedded in their curriculum, so they are able to understand what is happening in this digital world regardless of their discipline,” he said.

In addition, students are encouraged to take subjects of their interest through the Build Your Own Curriculum method. For example, accounting students may graduate with additional qualifications in information technology (IT), or engineering students may choose to familiarise themselves with cinematic arts, or those studying strategic communication may opt for banking and finance. “Students can take these electives either as individual courses or as part of elective specialisation tracks.“All of these initiatives are relevant to industry and increase our graduates’ employability in the job market,” he added.

Citing the Higher Education Ministry’s Graduate Tracer Study 2023, Prof Mazliham shared that 97.8% of MMU graduates were able to secure employment within six months of graduation. The employment rates by field were as follows: engineering, engineering and technology, applied communication, and cinematic arts at 100%; computing and IT at 99.1%; creative multimedia at 99%; management at 98.4%; information science and technology at 96.7%; and business at 96.4%.

Besides being industry-driven, MMU has set its sights on being a research-led university.

Prof Mazliham said TM’s full-fledged research and innovation company has been integrated into the university as its subsidiary and research arm.

“All our research is now managed by this subsidiary,” he said.

He added that MMU has also established six centres of excellence, one of which is the centre of excellence in AI.

“We will conduct research concentrated on AI serving the telecommunications industry and all related technologies that require AI tools to help in decision-making,” he said, adding that new initiatives are in the works to restructure faculties to also serve this domain.

Character development

Beyond equipping students with knowledge, skills and industrial experience, MMU is also committed to developing their character.

“We make it compulsory for our first-year students to join our character-building programme. That is fundamental to our ‘Gem of World Persona’ initiative.

“We instil moral values alongside balanced human traits, cultivating empathy, sensitivity, creativity, readiness and resilience among our students to become future leaders,” said Prof Mazliham.

He added that exposing students to different cultures through the university’s inbound and outbound programmes is part of ensuring students are able to embrace the “Gem of World Persona”.

“We have a mix of students from different racial backgrounds. This helps them develop their understanding of different ways of communication and doing things.

“But having interactions with our own local community is not enough. We need to expose students to international culture. That is why we have the inbound and outbound programmes,” he offered.

Last year, MMU implemented 250 inbound and 750 outbound programmes with over 200 universities from 35 countries such as Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy and China, involving nearly 1,000 students.

As of April this year, 241 inbound and 501 outbound programmes had been conducted at 10 universities around the world, involving 742 students.

Prof Mazliham added that the extensive global collaboration also reflects the university’s commitment to fostering international relationships and expanding its reach in the academic and research community.

July intake

MMU’s July intake is currently open for applications. Students can submit their online applications by Aug 11.

Classes for the intake are scheduled to commence on Aug 12, with registration day, known as Welcoming Day, on Aug 3, followed by orientation week, known as the Week of Immersion and Networking (WIN), from Aug 4 to 8.

Programmes offered cover foundation, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels in engineering, IT and computer science, creative multimedia, cinematic arts, business and management, finance, accounting, law, and strategic communication.

Since its inception, the university, with its tagline “MMU is You Leading the Digital Future”, has produced nearly 75,000 highly skilled graduates.

Currently, it has nearly 16,000 students on its campuses in Melaka and Cyberjaya, with over 1,500 international students from 73 countries.

Its accounting and engineering graduates are recognised by professional bodies, while its law graduates receive a full exemption from the Legal Profession Qualifying Board.

Among the numerous awards it has received include the Self-Accreditation status, the MDEC Premier Digital Tech Institution status, the platinum award at the 2023 Putra Brand Awards for the Education and Learning category, the Best Institution Award at the Higher Education Ministry’s Entrepreneurship Award 2023, the CXP Best Customer Experience Award for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023, and Talentbank’s Employer’s Preferred University Award for three consecutive years from 2022 to 2024.

For more information on MMU’s programmes and intakes, visit www.mmu.edu.my, or schedule appointments with MMU counsellors online or in person.

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