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THE STAR Tuesday 16 December 2014

StarSpecial

The world
at your
doorstep

Creating local and global impact > 3

Educating leaders of the world > 15

2 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

Branching out in education

BY TINA CARMILLIA

RANCH campuses, especially


those of established
universities, are a major asset
for countries emerging as global
players in the higher education
sector.
Malaysia, as a geographically
and economically strategic
location, has been attracting some
attention from foreign universities
who wish to open their branch
campuses here.
The arrival of branch campuses
first began with three universities
Australias Monash University
Malaysia in 1998 and Curtin
University Sarawak Campus
in 1999 and United Kingdoms
University of Nottingham Malaysia
Campus in 2000.
The development was quickly
followed by Swinburne University
of Technology Sarawak Campus
in 2004 and Newcastle University
Medicine Malaysia (2009).
The government continues
to encourage reputable foreign
universities to establish branch
campuses in Malaysia, having
made this effort one of the
Entry Point Projects (EPP) of its
Economic Transformation Plan.
The EPP 15 specifically
capitalises on the establishing
of branch campuses for foreign
university.
According to Pemandu, the
performance management and
delivery unit agency under the
Prime Ministers Department,
This EPP capitalises on Malaysias
attractiveness as a destination for
business and education to draw
the establishment[sic] of branch
campuses of foreign universities.
This will be achieved
by facilitating assistance
from relevant ministries and
government agencies to provide
foreign universities with better
access to the Malaysian market.
To maintain the quality of
higher education in the country,
the Ministry of Education and
Higher Learning provides clear
guidelines to ensure that only Tier
One institutions are allowed to be
established in Malaysia.
Tier One universities, in a broad
sense, refer to globally recognised
universities that are known for
world-class research, academic
excellence and highly prestigious
scholarships.
Among a few of the foreign
branch campuses that have
recently commenced operations
in the country are Heriot-Watt
University Putrajaya Campus,
Reading University Malaysia,
Raffles University Iskandar and
University of Southampton
Malaysia.

in the main campuses are also


offered in the branch campuses,
some are new ones developed
specifically for the branch campus.
For example, some of the
postgraduate programmes offered
by University of Nottingham
Malaysia Campus are only taught
in the Malaysian campus, such
as the programmes relating
to Islamic finance and tropical
ecology.
These fields of study are not
only in clear demand in this region
but Malaysia also has the specialist
expertise to deliver high-quality
programmes in the areas.

Rooting for success

With branch campuses, local students get to access a wider range of courses and be involved in transnational interactions.

Affordable cost
Many of those keen on
enrolling in a postgraduate degree
programme are already tied down
to responsibilities, including a job
or family.
One of the most obvious
advantages of studying in a
foreign branch campus operating
in Malaysia is the ability to
acquire prestigious university
qualifications without having to
leave the country.
Living in the United Kingdom
while studying is different from
living in Malaysia while studying
because of the differences
between the two countries.
However, the creation of
overseas campuses gives student a
choice and offers the opportunity
to get a qualification from a
leading international university
without incurring the high costs
of studying overseas and without
having to leave jobs and families,

Global learning
environment
The presence of a branch
campus of a foreign university
provides students with a wider
range of courses and institutions
to choose from.
For postgraduate students in

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THE STAR Thursday 30 January 2014

StarSpecial SOUTHERN
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main or branch campus because


the programmes are recognised
across all campuses.
Indeed, courses offered by a
university, whether in the main
or branch campus is consistent
although some modifications
may be necessary to ensure that
the programme is relevant to the
branch campus country.
Academic staff in the main
campus and in Malaysia work
together in the development of
postgraduate programmes as
do administrative and technical
staff. This helps ensure that the
quality and standard of delivery
is consistent and reflects that fact
that all students are awarded the
same degree regardless of the
campus they studied at, explains
Prof Ennew.
It is important that the
postgraduate programmes
offered by branch campuses are
relevant to students in Malaysia
and the broader region. The local
knowledge will determine the
range and types of programme
offered.
Some students, especially
those from Asian and Muslim
countries, are interested to earn
a qualification from a Western
university but also want to study
fields that are relevant to their
geopolitics.
This unique challenge is
addressed with specialised or subfield programmes that are offered
in the branch campus.
So while many of the existing
postgraduate programmes offered

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the University of Nottingham
Malaysia Campus.
Students get to maintain the
same cost of living expenses, save
in terms of course fees, which are
considerably lower compared to
fees at the main campus, and still
have the choice of studying for
one or more semesters at the main
campus or other overseas branch
campus.

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To maintain
the quality of
higher education
in the country,
the Ministry of
Education and
Higher Learning
provides clear
guidelines to
ensure that
only Tier One
institutions are
allowed to be
established in
Malaysia.

particular, it provides a chance to


be involved in transnational and
cross-campus interactions as well
as research opportunities.
Students will have access to
expertise from the main campus
as well as branch campus (or
campuses) and even collaborate
with peers and coursemates from
other campuses.
This setting creates a unique
cultural exchange experience
that will be invaluable when the
students graduate and enter the
globalised workforce.

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Statistically, this strategy


works. A significant number
of students from the Middle
East, East Asia and South-East
Asia choose Malaysia as their
destination for higher learning.
Over the last few years,
Malaysia is consistently ranked as
one of the top 10 countries with
international students and the
government aims to double the
number of international students
to 200,000 by 2020.
The governments priority
to make Malaysia a renowned
study destination is also reflected
in the development of Educity
Iskandar, a 142ha campus, which
will comprise no fewer than eight
foreign universities.
Among them are Newcastle
University, University of
Southampton, University of
Reading, Raffles University
and The Netherlands Maritime
Institute of Technology.
Educitys site in Iskandar
Malaysia will make it an ideal
location to build potential
academic and industry-linked
collaboration, community
engagement and integrated
economic environment with the
presence of multiple sectors in the
development corridor, including
manufacturing, tourism and
health care.
On the flip side, one Malaysian
university is paving the way to
export the Malaysian education
experience worldwide.
Limkokwing University for
Creative Technology has set up 12
branch campuses, including in the
United Kingdom, China, Indonesia,
Lesotho and Swaziland.
Evidently, the worlds economy
today is driven by knowledge and
innovation.
The future of the nation will
depend on the countrys success in
producing thinkers, shapers and
movers through quality education
for economic growth.
The existence of branch
campuses in Malaysia will make
international education accessible
to both local and foreign students.

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03- 796 6 822 7

kamariah@thestar.com.my

StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

POSTGRADUATE 3

Creating local and global impact


M

ONASH University is
committed to research
that matters and sets out
to achieve results that will make a
difference.
The six research platforms
established by Monash University
Malaysia are focused on
addressing the challenges faced by
the country, region and the world.
These platforms help
in the identification of new
sources of growth so that the
region can achieve sustainable
economic development, says
Prof Mahendhiran Nair, deputy
president of strategy at Monash
University Malaysia.
The six identified research
platforms include: Brain Research
Institute Monash Sunway (BRIMS),
South-East Asia Community
Observatory (SEACO), Advanced
Engineering, Halal Ecosystem,
Tropical Medicine & Biology and
Social & Economic Transformation
in Asia (SETA).

Brain Research
Institute Monash Sunway
A component of the Jeffrey
Cheah School of Medicine and
Health Sciences, BRIMS is an
internationally recognised leader
in neuroscience research.
It promotes research and
innovation of medicinal and
aromatic plants for commercial
purposes.
With a diversified tropical

such as globalisation, trends,


technology and diseases impact
the different communities locally
and internationally.
It provides a window into
community development, which
is essential for effective and
relevant formulation of public
policies.

Advanced engineering

Prof Mahendhiran Nair.


habitat, Malaysia has the potential
to become a major player in the
discovery of potential drugs to
cure brain-related disorders and
diseases, says Prof Nair.

South-East Asia
Community Observatory
A cross-disciplinary and multiinstitutional collaboration, SEACO
is a generic research platform
capable of supporting a wide
range of multidisciplinary and
interdisciplinary research in the
clinical and biomedical sciences,
the social sciences, economics,
education and environmental
sciences.
SEACO also studies how
internal and external forces

Regional economies will


continue to invest in top-ofthe-line technology, which
creates a demand for advanced
engineering, particularly in the
areas of energy, resources and
sustainable processes.
The multidisciplinary
platforms main research interests
are solid-state lighting and
organic electronics.
For Malaysia to become
globally competitive, it needs to
move up in the innovation value
chain. In this platform, researchers
identify and develop basic
research to be transformed into
applied research, which will aid in
the growth of the manufacturing
sector, says Prof Nair.

Halal Ecosystem
The Monash Halal Ecosystem
platform is focused on examining
ways to incorporate Islamic
and halal thinking into a broad
range of macro business issues of
pressing national, regional and

global importance.
The team of researchers
at Monash looks into issues
related to understanding Islamic
philosophies and how they
are incorporated into business
development for businesses
to have a better corporate
governance system.
They also look at how it can
remain globally competitive with
new technology development,
processes and systems, while still
adhering to Islamic principles.

Tropical medicine and


biology
With a biodiverse environment
and varied human habitats,
Malaysia provides good ground
for investigations of diseases,
agricultural production,
food science, environmental
management and evolutionary
biology.
One of the main areas of
research in the platform is in the
area of genomics, which looks at
gene sequencing in plants, animals
and human.Using new generation
sequencing and the rapidly
developing field of bioinformatics,
researchers are able to better
understand and manage key
resources effectively.

Social and economic


transformation in Asia
With globalisation, societies

in Malaysia and the region are


changing rapidly, creating four
forces of impact.
These forces of impact are:
globalisation causes a likelihood
of the loss of national identity;
liberalisation industries must
work harder to remain globally
competitive as new markets
arise; regionalisation regional
groups such as Asean and EastAsian Society impact social
cohesion; and digitisation the
effective use of technology to
inspire innovation, creativity and
productivity.
One of the hallmarks of the
Monash Higher Degree Research
(HDR) programme is the multi
disciplinary research approach
that provides multi-dimensional
views.
State-of-the-art facilities such
as the Electron-Microscopy Unit
(EMU), genomics laboratory
and neurobusiness laboratory
are made available to research
students and other universities
and industry representatives.
With Monash being a global
university with a global network,
researchers and students of
Monash University Malaysia
will be able to leverage on the
research infrastructure of Monash
University Australia and top
international institutions, says
Prof Nair.
n For more information, visit
www.monash.edu.my/research

4 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014


VC COLUMN

Pushing the envelope


in business and innovation
T

HE essence of entrepreneurship lies in


the spirit of innovation that inspires
a passion to go beyond the limits in
search of the best possible outcomes that
will enhance peoples lives.

Having recognised the far-reaching


dynamics of change that entrepreneurship
fosters, educators around the world have
taken pains to develop programmes
and activities based on curricula that

By
PROF DATUK WIRA
DR MOHAMED
MUSTAFA ISHAK
are designed to nurture this spirit of
innovation in students, who are the
leaders of tomorrow.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
was among the earliest institutions of
higher learning in Malaysia to offer a
degree in entrepreneurship (Bachelor of
Entrepreneurship with Honours).
From the time the programme
was introduced in 2003 at UUM,
entrepreneurship was never seen as the
sole preserve of students majoring in
business.
At UUM, a student from any discipline
is free to take the three credit hour
entrepreneurship programme as an
extracurricular course.
Currently, we have about 300 students
who major in a variety of disciplines
undertaking this programme where they
are exposed to, among others, the basics
of business planning and initiating a
variety of entrepreneurial activities, the
entrepreneurship ecosystem and insights
into predictors of entrepreneurial success,
as well as the finer points of registering
a company under the Companies
Commission of Malaysia.
Joseph Schumpeter, a former professor
from Havard, was among the first to
study entrepreneurship during the early
20th century and believed that the
capabilities of innovating, introducing new
technologies, increasing efficiency and
productivity and generating new products
or services were characteristic qualities of
entrepreneurs.
This view holds true today the
entrepreneur is commonly seen as an
innovator, a generator of new ideas and
business processes as well as being an
agent of change.
This underscores the importance of
entrepreneurship to the nations economic
growth and prosperity through the
creation of innovative ventures that act as
sources of employment and income.
The entrepreneurship programme at
UUM has nurtured graduates who have
become successful business owners,
corporate leaders, political leaders,
managers and administrators.
They evince the characteristics ascribed
to entrepreneurs, including forward
thinking, willingness to take risks, being
self-inspired and guided by a sense of
purpose.
Besides this, the Siswaniaga
programme to cultivate incipient
entrepreneurial talents in undergraduates
and provide students with the
opportunities to run businesses on
campus.
Throughout this programme, they are
provided with the location and the capital

to run their businesses.


Since its introduction in 1988, the
programme has benefited more than 1,000
students. We are also proud of the fact that
the programme has been replicated in other
local universities.
UUM was also the first university to set
up the Student Mall, which was built in
1990 and provided a platform for students
to run a variety of businesses to provide
a wide range of goods and services on
campus. Just as with our Siswaniaga
programme, other universities and tertiary
institutions in Malaysia have adopted our
idea of the student mall.
The other programmes introduced at
UUM to further encourage entrepreneurial
undertakings among students are the
Entrepreneur Career Day and Expo,
Entrepreneur Talk and Forum, Business Plan
Challenge, and Franchise Day and Expo.
Many of our graduates have attained
success as chief executive officers and
directors of companies.
Some of these are Datuk Mohd Nizam
Mohd Sherif, executive director of Maya
Maju; Datuk Dr V. Shanmughanathan,
managing director of the audit firm of Idris,
Shan & Partners; and Datuk Denis Latimer,
managing director of Latimer Corporation.
The Ministry of Education has
also acknowledged the importance
of entrepreneurship by requiring the
yearly exposure of 8,000 students to
entrepreneurial activities besides academic
subjects and co-curricular courses on
entrepreneurship.
The ministry also requires that the
subject introduction to entrepreneurship be
made a core study at all local universities.
I am proud to say that we have been
meeting the ministrys key performance
indicator every year, contributing the
largest number of students exposed to
entrepreneurship after Universiti Teknologi
MARA with 30,000 students.
We have also successfully produced
about 120 entrepreneurs on average from
among our students. Last year, there were
320 entrepreneurs among our graduates,
which exceeded our target of 250
entrepreneurs.
I am confident that UUM will produce
at least 500 entrepreneur graduates in the
next two years.
The future of the business world is in
the hands of entrepreneurs who are the
agents of change as they will change the
way business is done through the invention
of new technologies, innovative products,
services and more efficient business
processes.
As a university, UUM will play its part
by providing the space, programmes,
networking opportunities, supervision
and financial resources that will encourage
our students to become successful
entrepreneurs.
n Prof Datuk Wira Dr Mohamed Mustafa
Ishak is the vice-chancellor of Universiti
Utara Malaysia.
At UUM, human capital development
remains one of the core thrusts of its
strategic plan.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

StarSpecial 5

6 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014


VC COLUMN

NE of the biggest
innovations in international
higher education in the
past 15 years or so has been the
growth in international branch
campuses.
That is not to suggest that
branch campuses are new on
the contrary, there is quite a
history of universities (mostly
private) establishing a presence
beyond their home countries.
But what has changed is the
scale of such activity and the
diversity of models.
Not all students are able to
travel abroad for higher education
and indeed, worldwide, the
proportion of students who are
internationally mobile is less than
5% of the total.
What this means is that despite
the growth in the number of
international students, most
people will continue to access
higher education in their home
country.
The development of
transnational education (TNE)
and branch campuses provides
an opportunity for a more
international experience for
students who do not want to
travel abroad.
Increasingly, commentators
describe this group as the glocal
students; they are part of the
emerging middle class, they
have an international outlook,
bold ambitions and a willingness
to invest significantly in their
education.
And their numbers are growing
within Asia in particular.
The growth in branch

Get a global local education


campuses broadens the choices
and the opportunities available to
these glocal students.
They can access a different
style of education and a different
type of experience from that
which is typical of their home
country, but without the costs
associated with travelling and
living in a different country.
And the branch campuses
themselves come in increasingly
diverse forms; trying to count
them depends first on how you
define them.
Perhaps the most traditional
format is the one in which a
university from one country
establishes a base in another
country where it teaches and
awards degrees (and so it is the
degree awarding powers that
provide quality assurance).
This is the format that is
familiar in Malaysia, with
Nottingham and Monash as
perhaps the best examples.
Both award degrees from
their home countries and
offer qualifications, which are
equivalent to those offered at their
home campus.
They are also typically
regulated in their host country
so students have the reassurance
that their degrees have been
subject to two forms of regulatory
oversight.

By PROF
CHRISTINE
ENNEW
But there are other interesting
variations on this model; an
increasingly common format is
associated with private providers
such as Manipal and Amity who
establish campuses internationally
under a common brand, but with
local degree awarding powers
(here only the quality assurance
comes from the host country but
supplemented by the institutional
brand).
And then we see the emergence
of the nationally sponsored
universities where a new
institution is established carrying
a country name and the country
name is the approach to providing
assurances of quality.
The most prominent example
of this approach comes with
the German University in Cairo
and other branches of German
Universities, which have been
established in a range of countries
around the world.
Technically these are not
branch campuses but they still
aspire to offer an international
experience to students in a
diversity of countries.

The numbers of branch or


international campuses have
grown dramatically in the last
15 years and as a glocal outlook
becomes more common, we
should expect to see not only
more of such campuses but also
more interesting models for the
provision of education.
Such developments will offer
greater choice to the students of
the future.
But those involved in managing
such developments will need
to give careful thought to how
best to help students make
good choices when faced with a

diversity of options for their higher


education.
More choices offer many
benefits but decisions about
education are complex and
high risk, so students (and
their parents) will need clear
information about the options
available and good advice about
the quality (and the quality
assurance) of the programmes
they are considering.
n Prof Christine Ennew is the chief
executive officer and provost of
The University of Nottingham
Malaysia Campus.

The growth of branch campuses gives students wider choices and more
opportunities.

Advancing your business career


AS Malaysia moves towards a
developed nation status, one of
the most in-demand professions,
accounting and finance, remains a
top preference.
Professional accountants
and financial consultants have
a key role to play in developing
accounting standards and
expanding their expertise
in various areas of business,
including service industries and
the banking sector and being
equipped to work in governmentlinked companies.
HELP Universitys Master in
Accounting and Finance (MAF) is
an advanced study programme
of accounting and financial
management that enables
accounting and finance graduates
to gain specialised skills.
For those with professional
qualifications, the masters
programme gives them the
opportunity to stand out
and develop deep theoretical
understanding of financial
issues, accounting and auditing
standards.
Dr Yap Kim Len, head of HELP
Universitys School of Accounting
and Finance, part of ELM
(Entrepreneurship, Leadership and
Management) Business School,
says that the MAF programme
is designed to deliver outcomes
essential in developing leadership
and managerial skills.
These skills include strong
analytical ability, improved
articulation and communication
in the area of financial reporting,
and problem-solving of financial
and risk management issues.

Dr Yap says that the MAF


programme is designed
to deliver outcomes
that are essential in
developing leadership
and management skills.

Dr Yap is involved in the


development of accounting
standards processes and currently
holds the position of technical
director of Deloitte Malaysia.
As an active contributor to the
Malaysian Accounting Standards
Boards (MASB) in developing
exposure drafts, accounting
standards and other regulatory
matters and technical forums, Dr
Yap encourages graduates to go
beyond and develop their skills
and capabilities at a broader level.
MAF lecturers are experts

in their field and have relevant


industry experience, thus
ensuring that MAF students
receive updated information in
their course.
Lecturers are encouraged to
use real-life examples in class
discussions to enhance students
knowledge and develop better
analytical and communications
skills.
The wide range of subjects
ensure student exposure to
current topics such as corporate
governance and accountability,

financial reporting and


disclosure, current issues in
financial accounting, corporate
finance, international financial
management and business
economics.
Accounting and finance
electives include accounting
for managerial decisions,
business analysis, money
and capital markets and
portfolio construction and risk
management.
The duration of the MAF course
is 18 months and the assessment

mode includes exams and


assignments.
Dr Yap says that the
examination and coursework are
skewed towards problem-solving
in real-life situations.
Since the inception of the
MAF programme, more than 150
graduates have graduated and
are employed in corporations,
including investment banks and
accounting firms, while some
take up positions in international
firms in Shanghai and Beijing, for
example.
Yau Pow Jack, Foong Yoke
Sim and Justin Huan Tzeh Yih,
are some of the successful local
graduates of the MAF programme
at HELP, who are currently
employed at Deloitte Malaysia.
Many MAF graduates have
gone on to work in diverse
environments where their newly
acquired skills have allowed them
to take on challenging careers in
finance or accounting.
In the accounting world, it
is important to be continuously
updated on the latest
developments in both national and
international financial reporting
and also challenges as the business
world is dynamic.
Being able to respond
efficiently to these changes is
important and this is what we
teach in the classroom, says Dr
Yap.
n For more information,
call Aw Kong Hwee,
03-2711 2000 ext 1502 or
e-mail awkh@help.edu.my
or visit elm.help.edu.my

Tuesday 16 December 2014

StarSpecial 7

8 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

E-learning innovations on exhibit


O

PEN University Malaysia (OUM)


recently launched its e-learning
innovation during a ceremony at Le
Meridien, Kuala Lumpur.
The ceremony, officiated by Datuk Seri
Idris Jusoh, Education Minister ll, was a
formality to showcase the new technologies
that were developed by the university.
Among its accomplishments are myVLE,
OUM App, OUMobile and OUM MOOCs.
l myVLE is a learning platform that was
developed by OUM in 2012.
This platform enables learning to be
conducted online and all its students have
access to this platform.
l OUM App is a mobile application
available for students to access more than
90 modules. The app contains e-tutorials,
videos, notes and a host of other learning
materials. Most of the modules consist
of business-related programmes and is
compatible for both Apple and Android
software.
l OUMobile allows students to use
smartphones to access more than 100
programmes that are made available on the
myVLE platform.
l OUMs latest innovation MOOC
(Massive Open Online Courses) is only
accessible on iTunes. As of Oct 29, more
than 4,400 downloads have been made.
According to the iTunes report, most of the
downloads were from the United States,
Malaysia and China.
Most of the visitors are the crme de la
crme of the workforce, aged between 25
and 49, who mostly download strategic
management, thinking skills and problem-

Emeritus Prof Tan Sri Anuwar Ali (left) sharing the latest information on e-learning innovations with Dato Seri Idris Jusoh.
solving programmes. OUMs latest addition
appears to be a visual arts programme that
has already been made available.
In his speech at the ceremony, Datuk
Seri Idris said that the ministry is always
attentive to the initiatives and development
of new and advanced learning technologies

Going to the next level


BURHANUDIN Noordin Ali was an MBA
student of the University of Strathclyde who
graduated with distinction.
Here, he shares about his experience
studying as a postgraduate student in the
University of Strathclyde.
This qualification has equipped me with
the necessary business management skills
to progress further in my career.
The combination of prior technical
experiences and an MBA provides a
strategic advantage in the operation and
management of any organisation. In my
case, it has certainly opened doors in terms
of career progression and opportunities.
There were a number of institutions
in the Klang Valley that offered MBA
programmes but I wanted an MBA from a
reputable university.
The triple accreditation and the
availability of experienced faculty
members from the United Kingdom
heavily influenced my decision to go to the
University of Strathclyde.
I was convinced that the Strathclyde
MBA programme was value-for-money.
The knowledge and skills that I have gained
from the MBA programme has certainly
helped in the overall management of my
business division.
The part-time MBA programme
offered suited my schedule as a working
professional. My weekdays were primarily
focused on work while most of my
weekends were devoted to my studies.
The Strathclyde MBA is regarded as one
of the best in the world that specialises
in corporate strategy and business
management fundamentals such as finance,
accounting, marketing, human resource,
and operations.
I enrolled in the MBA programme with
14 years of work experience under my belt.
In my opinion, a certain level of maturity
and working experience is needed to
understand the relevance and value of a
postgraduate course.
The timing was right for me as I was

transitioning from a technical role to a


management role in my career. It was a bit
difficult for me to adjust to studying again.
Pursuing a part-time MBA course
meant spending most weekends and
evenings attending classes and completing
assignments. Juggling work, studies and
family life was a real challenge.
I had to adapt and divide my time
accordingly every single day. Being a very
disciplined and structured person certainly
helps.
I also have my wife to thank for being so
supportive and understanding while I was
pursuing my MBA.
The best part of the programme is where
real life case studies demonstrated how
theoretical knowledge can be applied in
certain business areas.
I currently manage and lead the
aerospace and defence division in the
company that I work for.
The knowledge that I have gained from
the MBA programme has certainly helped
in terms of business planning, management
and operations of the division.
Gaining an MBA is a
worthwhile and lifeenriching experience but
will require perseverance
and hard work.

that will pique the interest of learners of


all ages.
He added that the enrichment of life
nowadays does not revolve around raw
materials such as petroleum, palm oil or
mineral resources but rather in the ideas,
creativity and skilled innovation of new
and ground-breaking development.
He congratulated OUM in its efforts
to enhance the quality of teaching and
learning especially for learners and the
general public.
This is in line with our target of
having 15% of lectures conducted at local
universities to be done via MOOC by next
year and 30% by 2020.
The purpose of this is to upgrade the
standard of education in the country
as Malaysia is fast becoming a top 10
destination for foreign students to further
their studies.
Recently, the experience of developing
the National Centre for e-Learning and
Distance Learning (NCeL) in Riyadh for the
Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia was one of OUMs proudest
achievements.
The centre provides expertise and
application systems to all universities in
the kingdom.
This serves as a testament to OUMs
capability and capacity to build learning
hubs and delivery methods specifically for
MOOCs, both internationally and locally.
It established the National Centre for
e-Learning and Distance Learning (NCeL)
under the Ministry of Higher Education,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We are also involved in the growth

n For more information,


call 03-76608950 or visit
www.cdc.edu.my

Burhanudin
Noordin
Ali.

Datuk Seri Idris visiting OUM booths at the launch.

The ministry is always


attentive towards the
initiatives and development
of new and advanced
learning technologies that
will pique the interest of
learners of all ages.
Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh
of e-learning systems for many local
and international institutions, including
University of Science and Technology
Sanaa, Yemen; Villa College, Maldives; and
the Trisakti University, Indonesia, said
Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, president and vicechancellor of OUM at the launch.
Now we have been given the honour to
host and sponsor the Annual Conference of
the Asian Association of Open Universities
2015 and the Pan Commonwealth Forum
2016, he added.
This places OUM as one of the major
contributors and leading providers of open
and distance learning in the Asian region
and internationally.
With 34 learning centres nationwide,
10 international learning centres and more
than 140,000 students since 2001, OUM is
set to transform the concept of learning.
Many members of the press and
ministry came together at the launch
along with members of OUM to witness
its various developments and creation of
cutting-edge technologies.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

StarSpecial 9

10 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

ODERN firms need efficient


managers who are critical
thinkers and professional
problem-solvers.
Critical thinking is undeniably
the key skill that business
organisations expect of their
managers. Although operations
managers who have risen through
the companys ranks are adept
in getting routine things done,
they are not necessarily critical
thinkers.
An MBA qualification does not
guarantee a top job. The question
is how can business schools
produce critical thinkers who can
professionally deal with ambiguity
and solve complex problems in a
dynamic business environment?
To achieve such organisational
needs, an appropriate pedagogical
approach is to syncretise workrelevant curriculum and students.
Work-relevant MBAs depend
on two factors students are
working adults who work while
studying and the theories and
concepts acquired in class
are readily applicable to their
workplaces.

Work-relevant studies

Victoria University MBA provides practical business experience for its graduates.
The syllabi of MBA programmes
are similar across the various
programmes.
The differences lie in their
delivery and assessment methods,
which are critical to nurturing
work-ready graduates for the sake

of organisational performance.
Theory has most value when
it can be explored in practice.
So, students ought to be taught
requisite competences through
live case studies, work-relevant
workshops and coursework.

To achieve managerial
competences, the MBA
curriculum ought to teach
students how to evaluate
business dilemmas and
formulate the best plan of
action.
These competences include
analysis, problem-solving,
creativity and decision-making.
In this way, the subjects
learning objectives are
to strengthen and hone
interpersonal, communication
and leadership abilities all
of which prepare the working
students for success in their
organisations.
For example, a competent
manager does not only evaluate
a business by looking at its
financials, but also asks if the
numbers make sense in the
bigger context.
The students are taught
to conduct business research
to frame problems, ask
questions, collect data, analyse
information and propose and
justify feasible solutions.
Therefore, they learn to
answer more than just stock

questions and gain experience.


Through practice, they will
be able to deal with ambiguity
and create changes that will
help their firms to thrive in a
competitive environment.
Victoria University MBA
(VUMBA) is a work-relevant
MBA programme.
It has an invaluable business
network of 120 active students
and more than 500 alumni.
Work-relevant subjects
include organisation change
management, supply chain
& logistics management,
marketing management,
financial analysis, and art &
practice of leadership.
SAP is used as the teaching
software.
Also, VUMBA provides a
practical research experience
where after six weeks of
workshops on business research
methods, students are equipped
to carry out consultancy-based
projects.
n For more details, e-mail
Dr Hendry Ng at
hendryng@sunway.edu.my

Meeting current needs


AS a university of choice,
The Management & Science
University (MSU) focuses
strongly on critical areas
of studies that encompass
medicine, pharmacy, health and
life sciences, nursing, business,
management, accounting,
hospitality, information
sciences, and engineering.
The Graduate School of
Management (GSM) of MSU
recognises that todays global
companies require managers
with a broader outlook.
Through its
internationalisation efforts,
MSU attracts top students and
employs faculty members with
overseas experience while
forming effective links with
businesses.
The MSU-MBA programme
offers student an experiential
learning through crosscultural communications, the
opportunity to build a global
network and the possibility
to create future international
career opportunities.
In addition, students have
the opportunities to develop
management skills and
techniques, obtain strategic

MBA students at MSU are trained


to become successful leaders and
entrepreneurial-driven thinkers.

orientation and implement the


strategies formulated.
The MSU-MBA programme
helps student develop skills in
leadership, entrepreneurship,
strategic management and
decision-making, and trains
them to become successful
leaders in their chosen fields
and entrepreneurial driven
thinker.
The MSU-MBA aims to build
on the foundations of work
experience and by providing
new skills and knowledge,
enable students to gain a higher
level of responsibility.
The MSU-MBA provides
sufficient knowledge to
students to understand the
various facets of an organisation
for formulating successful
strategies. It also instils a great
deal of confidence.
MSU-GSM has established
collaborative educational links
with a number of top overseas
universities, including those in
the United Kingdom, United
States, Australia, New Zealand,
South Korea, Japan, Germany,
Russia and China.
Professors of the MSU-MBA
are accomplished teachers
who have made significant
contributions to the business
world as academics and
working professionals.
They conduct research and
published articles across a
broad range of business and
professional areas.
They have also taught
university-level business
courses abroad and bringing
with them their rich multicultural heritage.
Professors at MSU are
rigorously selected worldwide
from among the best
consultants and professionals in
their fields.
n For more information,
call 03-2273 6410, e-mail
gsm@msu.edu.my or visit
www.msu.edu.my

Tuesday 16 December 2014

StarSpecial 11

12 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

Building your brand


B

IG companies have been


doing it for years and have
turned it into an art form.
Developing a brand is not just
the domain of big businesses
though.
As a fresh graduate, your
personal brand is more
important than ever.
Controlling what you are
known for in the marketplace
is a powerful ability. In an age
where people can research who
you are with just a few clicks
of a mouse, developing your
personal brand and being
known for all the right things
is essential.
As Tom Peters, a business
management practices writer,
famously said in 1997: You are
the head marketer of the brand
called You.
Peters recognised that

working on your personal brand


is an important part of doing
business and his words are more
relevant today than ever.
This is especially true in
the accounting sector where
accountants need to evolve
beyond compliance work
to become trusted financial
advisors.
As this develops, the personal
connection will continue to
grow in importance.
If an accountant aims to
move into a business advisory
role, it is good to note that
people buy from people they
dont buy from companies.
Someone looking for
business advice can perform a
Google search on someone, look
at their LinkedIn profile and do
some due diligence before they
get to meet them and see if they

Developing a brand is not


just the domain of big
businesses anymore.

like them, says Linda Coles,


social media trainer from New
Zealand-based Blue Banana.
Building your brand profile
on sites such as LinkedIn
can greatly enhance your
reputation.
Noting professional
certification such as the CPA
designation and showcasing
your skills and expertise
can not only develop your
brand, but also improve your
employability.
Outside of professional
networking, it is very
important to consider your
voice in other social sites as
well.
When it comes to what
youre putting out on Facebook
or Twitter, or what youre
putting in an e-mail down to
the grammar, the spelling, the
words you use and the tone
it all wraps itself up into the
package that is you, says Coles.
Consistency in building
your brand is key from what
you put out there in the social
space, to your interactions
with colleagues, clients and
potential employers. A really
consistent message reinforces
the brand that is you.
Find out more about
building your brand profile at
www.intheblack.com
INTHEBLACK is a publication
of CPA Australia.
n To learn more about
CPA Australia or the
CPA Program, visit
www.cpaaustralia.
com.au

Professional
certification
such as the CPA
designation
and showcasing
your skills
and expertise
can not only
develop your
brand, but also
improve your
employability.
Outside of
professional
networking, it is
very important
to consider your
voice in other
social sites as
well.

StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

POSTGRADUATE 13

The Putra Sarjana learning support programme helps graduate students develop into successful
professionals.

Developing
graduate skills
U

NIVERSITI Putra Malaysia is the first


university in Malaysia to provide
an official support programme that
has facilitated learning and enhanced
postgraduate studies since 2009.
The Putra Sarjana learning support
programme is designed to help graduate
students in Universiti Putra Malaysia
develop a range of necessary skills such
as communication and leadership skills as
well as creating awareness of social and
community activities that they can apply in
their research activities, academic life and
future careers.
Besides seminars and workshops that
target specific research skills, Putra Sarjana
also encompasses skills training in the
cognitive, affective, psychomotor and social
domains.
The Putra Sarjana programme is
expected to produce quality graduates who
are knowledgeable not just in academic
activities and equipped with enhanced soft
skills.
They will be developed to hone their
abilities to lead, communicate, think
critically and problem-solve.
The School of Graduate Studies is
committed to enhancing students learning
experience and providing a competitive
edge when seeking employment.
The support provided in writing research
proposals and manuscript writing is
coupled with motivational talks, aimed
to boost the standard of research and
innovation achievements to an international
level and facilitating the journey to a
successful education.
The Putra Sarjana programme will
be conducted in four clusters: academic
development, professional development,
ethics and moral, as well as community
services and the support that is provided
by the Centre for the Advancement of
Language (CALC).
l Cluster 1: Academic development
Academic writing, publication, proposal
writing, effective presentation, abstract
preparation for seminars or conferences,
software application, poster preparation
and exhibit preparation
l Cluster 2: Professional development
Honesty in knowledge and plagiarism
l Cluster 3: Ethics and moral
Leadership skills, teamwork,
communication skills, public speaking
skills, spiritual enhancement and

cultural awareness
l Cluster 4: Community service
Charity, philanthropy and community work
These clusters are meant to address
a number of research attributes that all
candidates should possess:
l Academic literacy Relates to
a strong general knowledge core and
an understanding of the values and
assumptions underlying all knowledge
presented in the form of academic writing.
l Research literacy Relates to the basic
skills required to research a topic, including
knowing where and how to acquire
research data as well as how to analyse,
interpret and synthesise data.
l Digital literacy Relates to the usage
of the Internet as a means of studying, data
acquisition and keeping up-to-date with
hardware and software innovations.
l Global citizenship Relates to the
larger social impact of research and the
pioneering role that research activities and
results play in the community.
l Critical and personal self-awareness
Relates to self-knowing in terms of
considering ones own assumptions,
motives, prejudices and biases when
obtaining or disseminating knowledge.
The Putra Sarjana programme will help
students develop the emotional intelligence
and sense of professional ethics necessary
for personal, academic and career success.
n For more information, call 03-8946 4229
or e-mail putrasarjana2014@gmail.com or
visit www.sgs.upm.edu.my

The Putra Sarjana learning support programme


often organises seminars and workshops for
students.

14 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

An MBA to suit your lifestyle


W

ORKING adults who wish


to pursue a masters in
business administration
often face the problem of
accommodating their studies,
work and family.
With the use of technology,
SEGi University is now offering
an MBA (general management)
for students to pursue at their
own convenience, anywhere and
anytime.
Professional and Continuing
Education (PACE) is the online
learning campus of SEGi
University that enables students
to learn at their own pace and
complete their studies with
assurance that they can still
attend to other obligations and
have a fulfilling work-life balance.
Instead of attending scheduled
classes at a physical venue, which
requires additional time, cost and
effort to commute, students can
conveniently log in to their classes
at any time of the day, anywhere
with access to the Internet.
Unlike other online
programmes, PACE provides
students with guided learning and
independent learning.
This means students attend
classes once a month and revision
classes are also provided for one
weekend per semester for one
particular subject.
Students are also given the
opportunity to network with
fellow coursemates, meet their
lecturers and gain any additional
support that they may need.

The SEGi Professional and


Continuing Education (PACE)
enables students to learn at
their own pace and complete
their studies while still having
a fulfilling work-life balance.
Graduates will obtain the
same parchment as the ones SEGi
on-campus students receive and
they also share the same lecturers.
SEGi also offers an MBA
programme on-campus for those
who prefer to attend classes at the
university.
SEGi University in Kota
Damansara offers a wide range of
MBAs that cultivate tomorrows
business leaders.
MBA candidates have three

Unlike other online


programmes,
PACE provides
students with
guided learning
and independent
learning.
options of specialisation global
business, entrepreneurship or

general management.
The SEGi University MBA
(Global Business) prepares its
graduates for todays competitive
business environment on a
globalised scale.
In addition, graduates will learn
to solve business problems with
international implications.
SEGi University and Colleges
has been equipping bright young
minds with a solid business
education for nearly 40 years.

The university now offers


a wide range of programmes
under its Faculty of Business and
Accounting, including the MBA.
Through SEGis qualified
academicians and renowned
business leaders and
advisors, graduates under
the SEGi University MBA
(Entrepreneurship) will learn
to launch their own start-up
companies and begin their careers
in the venture capital industry.
To enhance competency in
strategic management in the
corporate world, individuals can
take up the SEGi University MBA
(General Management).
Graduates of this course will be
readied in the various aspects of
a company such as sales, human
resources, finance and economics
while learning the latest theories
and best practices in business.
There are also MBAs offered
by SEGis international partner
universities such as:
l University of Southern
Queensland, Australia
l University of Sunderland,
United Kingdom
l University of Greenwich,
United Kingdom (for MBA
(International Business)
These MBAs can be fully
obtained in Malaysia via SEGi
campuses across the country.
n For more information on these
MBAs call 03-6145 1777 or
1800 887 344, e-mail askme@segi.
edu.my or visit www.segi.edu.my

StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

POSTGRADUATE 15

Educating leaders of the world


A

SIA e University (AeU) recently held


its fourth convocation ceremony at
the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala
Lumpur.
Attendees included graduates from
around the world as well as ambassadors
and representatives from foreign
embassies, particularly from the 33 Asia
Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) countries.
More than 1,200 graduates from around
the world received their scrolls and
celebrated their success with their families
and friends.
Among AeUs convocation highlights
was the conferment of a doctor of
philosophy degree to the honorable Dr
David Richard Namwandi, minister of
education of the Republic of Namibia.
A notable figure who has received
many awards for his efforts in advancing
higher education systems in Namibia,
Dr Namwandi believes wholeheartedly
in equality and quality education for all
Namibians.
Born in Okapya village of the Ondangwa
District, Oshana Region, Namibia,
Dr Namwandi was elected as a member
of national assembly at the age of 60
and appointed as the deputy minister of
education of the Republic of Namibia in
March 2010.
In addition, he was a central committee
member of the ruling SWAPO (South West
Africa Peoples Organization) Party in
Namibia. He was officially appointed as the
minister of education last year.
Dr Namwandi has been a PhD student of
AeU since 2007. His thesis, Implementation
of the Southern African Development
Community Protocol on Education and
Training and its Impact on Economic
Development: A Case Study of Namibia and
Zimbabwe, studied the reasons behind the
failure to implement the Southern African
Development Community Protocol on
Education and Training (SADC-PET).
The study revealed the significant
factors that hampered the implementation
of SADC-PET despite its clear goals of
developing comparable and harmonised
education and training policies across all
SADC countries.
Dr Namwandi is convinced that AeUs
PhD programme has enhanced his learning
aptitude and knowledge about Asia, the
northern and Sub-Sahara African regions
and beyond.
The programme has changed my
outlook in life. I have learned a great
deal about the research in education
administration that I find very useful.
In a PhD course, always give yourself
a chance to pursue a lifelong learning
experience and find a balance between
your work, studies and family, says Dr
Namwandi.
Another distinguished PhD recipient at
the event was Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Syed
Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar.
Dr Syed has been a student of AeU since
2011 and strongly believes that the PhD
degree has given him a better intellectual
insight and is an achievement that he did
not expect to gain at the age of 70.
His thesis entitled National Interest in
the Foreign Policy of Malaysia: The Mahathir
Era (1981-2003) showed how Malaysia was
allowed to play a leadership role among the
countries in the South-South Cooperation,
Islamic Ummah and East Asia (including
Asean).
His research findings indicate that
domestic factors had influenced the foreign
policy of Malaysia.
As a leading provider of open and
distance learning universities in Asia,
AeU provides working adults with the
opportunity to further their studies
at different levels from diploma to
postgraduate through a flexible mode of
learning.

The programme has


changed my outlook
in life. I have learned
a great deal about the
research in education
administration that I
find very useful.
In a PhD course, always
give yourself a chance
to pursue a lifelong
learning experience and
find a balance between
your work, studies and
family.
Dr Richard Namwandi
Raising excellent graduates
Established in 2007, AeU has grown to
become one of the leading providers of
open and distance learning (ODL) in Asia.
As an ODL institution, AeUs focus is to
provide accessible and affordable higher
education for all.
AeU has garnered several awards such
as the BrandLaureate Award 2010 for Best
Brand in Education e-Education and
the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award
2010 in the Most Promising Entrepreneur
category.
Additionally, in 2012, the university was
announced as the best ACD Project during
the ACD Meeting in Kuwait.
It offers more than 40 academic
programmes at all levels through five
schools the School of Management,
School of Education & Cognitive Science,
School of Information & Communications
Technology, School of Arts, Humanities
& Social Sciences and School of Graduate
Studies.
All academic programmes are
internationally benchmarked, approved by
the Malaysian Ministry of Education and
accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications
Agency.
In addition, AeUs academic
programmes are recognised by several
ACD countries as well as non-ACD
countries.
The university also offers more
than 200 executive and professional
programmes through the School of
Professional & Executive Education and
School of Technical Education, Engineering
& Re-skilling.
AeU is one of the first few institutions
in Malaysia to implement an open
entry system that allows entry for
individuals who wish to pursue their
tertiary education with minimal formal
credentials. This is done by assessing their
prior learning acquired through formal
and informal training as well as work
experiences that can compensate for the
lack of basic paper qualifications.
Apart from its main campus, AeU has
established a strong network of learning
centres, which are strategically located
in major cities, towns and rural areas
throughout Malaysia.
AeU believes that collaboration with
renowned partner institutions abroad
is the best strategy in propelling its
programmes into the global arena.
In line with its mission, the university
collaborates with numerous universities,
institutions and corporations located in
ACD countries and non-ACD countries.
n For details or more information, visit
www.aeu.edu.my

AeU PhD degree recipients Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Albar (left) and Dr David Richard Namwandi at AeUs
fourth convocation.

16 POSTGRADUATE StarSpecial, Tuesday 16 December 2014

Leading the way in postgraduate research


U

CSIS deputy vice-chancellor


(research and postgraduate
studies) Prof Datuk Dr
Nizam Isa does a lot to bolster the
universitys research credentials.
A specialist in genomic
medicine and human genetics,
Prof Nizams pioneering work
in the field has garnered him
many firsts, including being the
founding director of the first
human genome centre in Malaysia
back in 1993.
I previously experienced
technological constraints, the lack
of research funding and public
awareness but now the path has
been paved for others to pursue
research, he says, adding that the
centre is still pursuing advanced
research in genomic medicine.
His wealth of experience and
passion for research saw him
being appointed to manage and
lead UCSIs Office of Research and
Postgraduate Studies.
Prof Nizam points out that UCSI
is already making an impact in
research that matters. Many of its
staff members are experienced
researchers with notable projects
and respected publications that
have been funded by local and
international research grants.
Other researchers from
the university have secured
research grants from Malaysias
Ministry of Science, Technology
and Innovation (MOSTI) and
Ministry of Education (MOE),
such as the eScienceFund and
the Fundamental Research Grant

UCSIs postgraduate programmes aim to groom the next generation of scientists.


With staff members who are experiencd researchers and by using cutting-edge lab
technology.
Scheme (FRGS).
Research within the university
stems from various fields such
as applied sciences, medicine,
pharmacy, business, information
science, engineering and
nanotechnology.
In line with Malaysias aim
to become a high-income and
innovative nation by 2020,
UCSI is ramping up its efforts
to boost the quality and

global competitiveness of its


postgraduate programmes.
The rationale is simple a
high-income nation is dependent
on an innovation-based economy
founded on high level knowledge
and creativity.
This was identified by the
National Higher Education
Strategic Plan: Beyond 2020.
UCSI is a strong advocate of this
national agenda.

msu
management &
science university

We match your drive to succeed with a


professional skill set that lets you stand out
from the competition.
Our unique approach has trained business
leaders for decades. Let us turn your potential
into reality with an MSU - MBA.

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POST GRADUATE STUDIES :
GRADUATE SCHOOL OF
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(MBA)
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Graduate School of Management (GSM),


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Level 4, Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03 - 2273 6410
Email : gsm@msu.edu.my Web : www.msu.edu.my

As a tertiary education
institution that grooms the minds
of the next generation, UCSI
realises it has a responsibility to
further research and innovation
through its postgraduate
programmes to enhance human
capital development.
UCSI has 20 postgraduate
programmes to date, with several
more to be made known soon.
To meet the needs of its
students, the postgraduate
programmes encompass research,
coursework and mix-mode
structures.
The university adheres to highquality and innovative teaching
and learning technology, and
student-centred learning.
UCSI also offers postgraduate
programmes that incorporate
management, entrepreneurship
and business.
To ensure that its postgraduate
programmes are accessible, the
university has also allocated
funds under the UCSI University
Trust Graduate Fellowship,
which offers both locally and
internationally qualified
postgraduate students
full or partial tuition fee
waivers.
Additionally, Prof
Nizam and his team
are constantly
looking for
means to help
students secure
postgraduate
sponsorship,

be it local, governmental or
international sources.
All graduates and working
individuals who are planning
to pursue their career through
higher education are encouraged
to explore the opportunities at
UCSI.
To find out more about UCSIs
research projects or postgraduate
programmes, visit its Open Day
on Dec 20, from 9am to 5pm at
the Kuala Lumpur Campus (South
Wing), Taman Connaught.
n For more information,
call 03-9102 4739 or visit
www.ucsiuniversity.edu.my/
onlineenquiry
As the founding
director of the first
Human Genome
Centre in Malaysia,
Prof Nizam does a
lot to bolster UCSIs
research credentials.