Students gain when universities and industries join hands


FRESHLY graduated engineers can reap substantial rewards from successful collaborations between their universities and industrial leaders.

"Through close collaboration with industrial companies, some take the initiative to finance students' final year fees and even help towards the repayment of their National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans," said UOW Malaysia Department of Engineering head Assoc Prof Dr Sim Hock Kheng.

This benefit for students begins during the industrial training phase of their education.

During the months they spend in those companies, students demonstrate their proficiency with the latest production and engineering technologies.

Celebrating UOW Malaysia’s students’ success at the fourth Engineering Research Symposium (EUReS), the project’s theme focused on ‘Innovative construction waste sorting and segregation system’.Celebrating UOW Malaysia’s students’ success at the fourth Engineering Research Symposium (EUReS), the project’s theme focused on ‘Innovative construction waste sorting and segregation system’.

As a result, nearly all UOW Malaysia engineering students receive employment offers before their graduation, including offers to sponsor their final year fees and PTPTN loans from companies.

"Some companies even invite students who completed internships with them to participate in company trips and annual dinners as an introduction to foster organisational loyalty," Sim added.

To produce new ranks of engineers adept in the latest technologies, UOW Malaysia works closely with industrial companies to determine the precise skills that new engineers should possess.

"Even for consumers, so much has changed in the last 10 years because of technological innovations, so just imagine how much faster advancements in industrial productions will be.

"This is why we as academicians must frequently connect with industry leaders to stay abreast of the latest systems and processes," he said.

UOW Malaysia has the support of 15 industry advisory panels, comprising 78 panellists who represent some of the leading industry players in Malaysia and around the world.

"We confer regularly with our industry advisory panels, who provide insights into changes in technologies, business models, consumer patterns, cultural trends, financial systems and more.

"Consequently, our undergraduates receive an education that is current with the latest industry developments," said UOW Malaysia Batu Kawan campus head of operations Assoc Prof Dr Yeap Gik Hong.

Feedback from the industry advisory panels affects the projects, research topics, and coursework of UOW Malaysia undergraduates, ensuring their work aligns with current developments in the economy.

Located on mainland Penang, the Batu Kawan campus is a mere 3-5km drive from some of the country’s most advanced manufacturing facilities, offering engineering students yet another advantage.

Comprehensive study space in UOW Malaysia, Batu Kawan campus.Comprehensive study space in UOW Malaysia, Batu Kawan campus.

As part of their corporate social responsibility, these factories welcome study tours and UOW Malaysia's proximity enables the campus to organise multiple study tours each semester.

"Students gain firsthand experience of production flows and even receive a briefing on the business nature of multinational corporations.

"Some of our students even have the opportunity to visit different facilities more than once during their undergraduate programme.

“This allows them to understand what to expect when they graduate," Yeap explained.

In 2023, UOW Malaysia collaborated with nine multinational corporations and prominent local companies to hold the Penang's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) showcase.

(First row, third from left, in green) Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Chong Beng Keok and (first row, fourth from left, blue suit) Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh Deo are accompanied by industry partners at a recent event in Batu Kawan.(First row, third from left, in green) Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Chong Beng Keok and (first row, fourth from left, blue suit) Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh Deo are accompanied by industry partners at a recent event in Batu Kawan.

Working with the Penang state government, the event held in UOW Malaysia's Batu Kawan campus aimed to spark secondary school students’ interest in such fields.

Additionally, UOW Malaysia had the privilege of cooperating with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) to conduct the Northern Zone Techlympics 2023 at the Batu Kawan campus.

The Malaysia Techlympics, a Mosti initiative, aims to cultivate the interest of STEM in the younger generation through a competition approach, nurturing critical thinking and well-rounded skills among the youth.

The Batu Kawan campus has state-of-the-art learning facilities and encapsulates Australian quality education in Penang.

This campus provides students with a variety of study spaces to stimulate innovative thinking and a variety of exercise and sports facilities.

To learn more about UOW Malaysia programmes, visit the website.

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