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UTM’s Graduate Programs: Innovations, Quality, and Success Stories

Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah, UTM/ By Azizi / March 6, 2024 

JOHOR BAHRU, 6 March – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is a strong proponent of lifelong learning, offering unique graduate programs that add value to students’ future prospects. Over the years, our learning methods have evolved to keep pace with rapid changes in technology and the demands of the market.

With this in mind, UTM Newshub spoke with the Chair of School of Graduate Studies (Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah) at UTM, Associate. Professor. Dr. Noor Hazarina Hashim, to gain insights into what makes our programs unique, initiatives aimed at enhancing their quality, and the achievements of graduate students.

1. What makes UTM unique in terms of its graduate program offerings?

The uniqueness of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) graduate program offerings lies in its pioneering approach to academic programs. UTM takes pride in being at the forefront of innovation within Malaysian academia.

Notably, UTM has led the way by introducing groundbreaking initiatives such as the industrial Ph.D. program, which was a pioneering venture in Malaysia. Additionally, UTM holds the distinction of being the first institution to offer a fully online Open and Distance Learning program, setting a precedent for accessible and flexible education in the country. Soon, we will be offering a new professional doctorate program, Doctor of Professional Practice, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

UTM’s graduate programs are widely recognized for their emphasis on innovation and their direct relevance to industry needs. This focus ensures that students have ample opportunities to engage in hands-on research, where they can integrate cutting-edge academic knowledge with practical applications in the fields of technology and engineering. Collaborative projects with industry partners further enrich the learning experience, allowing students to apply their skills and knowledge to real-world challenges.

This unique approach to graduate education, which emphasizes the seamless integration of research and industry application, has produced graduates who are exceptionally adept at navigating their fields. By being actively involved in the application of research to industry settings, UTM’s graduates emerge with a practical understanding of how to develop innovative solutions and address the challenges faced by various industries.

In essence, UTM’s graduate programs not only equip students with theoretical knowledge but also empower them to become hands-on contributors in their respective fields. Through a combination of pioneering academic initiatives and industry-focused learning experiences, UTM cultivates a new generation of professionals who are well-prepared to drive innovation and make meaningful contributions to industry and society.

2. What initiatives has UTMs School of Graduate Studies undertaken to enhance the quality and relevance of graduate education and research within the university?

For taught courses and mixed-mode programs, we prioritize compliance with the curriculum review process to ensure the highest quality of education. During this meticulous procedure, the School of Graduate Studies collaborates closely with departments such as CAQ, CDex, ACE, and faculty members to review and update program curricula. This entails integrating new courses, syllabus, and innovative teaching methodologies to enhance the overall learning experience.

In research programs, we introduced new approaches to program delivery. Over the years, we have championed interdisciplinary research by fostering collaborative projects and facilitating joint supervision arrangements either with academic institution or industry. These initiatives empower students to explore diverse perspectives and methodologies, enriching their academic pursuits. To support this, we’ve undertaken a comprehensive revision of our supervision policy and allocated funding to facilitate such activities.

Recognizing the importance of ongoing professional development, UTM’s School of Graduate Studies offers tailored programs to meet the specific needs of graduate students. These programs cover essential skills in areas such as communication, leadership, and project management, ensuring that students are well-prepared for the demands of their academic and professional endeavors. Moreover, each faculty and school, through their respective postgraduate student societies, receives funding to organize courses, training sessions, and activities customized to the research needs of students within the faculty.

In addition to student-focused training, we also prioritize the development of our lecturers. Through targeted programs aimed at enhancing supervision styles, publication strategies, and the management of long-distance students, we empower our faculty members to excel in their roles.

As a testament to the success of these initiatives, we are proud to share that three of our lecturers were honored with the UK Council for Graduate Education Research Supervision Recognition last year, acknowledging their exemplary practices in supervision.

3. How does UTMs School of Graduate Studies support the professional and academic development of its graduate students, particularly in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration and career readiness?

The current system and practices at our institution strongly support interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research activities by facilitating the collaboration between students and supervisors across different faculties. For instance, we have Engineering students currently working on legal building issues under the co-supervision of Law lecturers from faculties such as the Faculty of Management, Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying and Azman Hashim International Business School. Additionally, our Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Education program exemplifies our commitment to interdisciplinary education, as it combines supervision expertise from both engineering and engineering education disciplines.

In terms of professional development, we prioritize the involvement of industrial supervisors in students’ research. We believe that industry supervisors can offer invaluable practical insights into research projects. In line with this, we are initiating the promotion and organization of industry immersion programs and internships this year. These programs are designed to provide graduate students with hands-on experience in their respective fields of study, offering them valuable insights into industry practices and helping them develop practical skills relevant to their future careers.

To further prepare our graduates for the workforce, the School of Graduate Studies consistently provides exposure through various training sessions and discussions with experts. Communication skills are deemed crucial, and thus, we have organized workshops and seminars aimed at enhancing written and oral communication skills. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including academic writing, presentation skills, and effective communication in professional settings. Additionally, we offer training programs focused on developing leadership skills, which include workshops on team management, conflict resolution, and decision-making.

Moreover, through our Industrial Professional Colloquium, the School of Graduate Studies organizes networking events where graduate students can interact with alumni, industry professionals, and potential employers. These events serve as invaluable platforms for students to expand their professional networks and gain insights from experienced professionals in their fields. Additionally, we collaborate closely with the UTM Career Centre to promote job opportunities and facilitate skills development, ensuring that our graduates are well-equipped for success in the workforce.

4.How does UTMs School of Graduate Studies engage with industry partners, governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to promote research collaboration, technology transfer, and innovation?

UTM’s School of Graduate Studies plays an active role in fostering partnerships and collaborations with industry partners, governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to promote research collaboration, technology transfer, and innovation. These efforts are facilitated through various channels, including direct communication initiated by the School of Graduate Studies (SPS) office and coordination with the Deputy-Vice Chancellor Research and Innovations (DVCRI) office.

Bilateral visits and discussions serve as important mechanisms for building and strengthening relationships with external partners. These visits are organized to facilitate dialogue and exchange between UTM and external stakeholders, during which the School of Graduate Studies showcases its programs and opportunities for collaboration. Through these interactions, UTM aims to identify common areas of interest, explore potential research collaborations, and discuss opportunities for technology transfer and innovation.

Additionally, the School of Graduate Studies actively participates in industry forums, conferences, and exhibitions to showcase its research capabilities and expertise. These events provide valuable platforms for networking and knowledge exchange, enabling UTM to establish connections with key stakeholders and stay abreast of industry trends and developments. One successful example was through the NEXPO program under the DVCRI  last year.

5.Could you highlight some recent research or academic achievements of graduate students and faculty members affiliated with UTMs School of Graduate Studies that have made significant contributions to their respective fields or to society?

Our graduates and staff have demonstrated remarkable achievements and have made significant contributions to society through their research endeavors.

Last year, our research students garnered numerous accolades on both international and national platforms. Notably, Syaza Soraya Bt Sauli from the School of Education, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, emerged as the recipient of the prestigious Merdeka Award Grant and the Australia Virtual PhD Internship Program. Additionally, Kugambika Vangetaraman from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering clinched first place in the National Materials Lecture Competition.

Beyond their academic pursuits, our alumni continue to make meaningful contributions to society following their graduation. The list of their achievements is extensive, and attempting to enumerate each name would be an impossible task. However, it is undeniable that our alumni consistently showcase their expertise and dedication in various agencies, departments, and organizations. Whether it be in the realms of education, research, industry, or public service, our alumni stand as shining examples of the impact of our institution’s education and training.

Associate Professor Dr. Noor Hazarina Hashim is the Chair of UTM’s School of Graduate Studies. She  is also a faculty member of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Management. Her research focuses on Tourism, Hospitality, and Destination Marketing, Online Consumer Behavior, and Digital Marketing. Specifically, she investigates how technology influences destination image formation and affects travelers’ behavior.

UTM and Nplus S.r.l, Italy, to Collaborate on Structural Health Monitoring

Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah, UTM/ By AZIZI / MARCH 3, 2024 

JOHOR BAHRU, 27 Feb – UTM’s commitment to strengthen its international strategic collaboration is realized today through a fruitful visit and engagement by Nplus S.r.l, an energy and lighting company headquartered in Italy, for discussions on potential academic, research, and business collaborations.

The meeting was initiated by Dr. Yon Kong Chen, Director of VRG Dinamik Sdn Bhd, a UTM alumnus. He was first approached by Nplus to establish a business partnership in the field of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Having graduated from UTM’s Faculty of Civil Engineering and under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norhisham Bakhary, Dr. Yon chose the entrepreneurial path to further his expertise in SHM. VRG Dinamik Sdn. Bhd. has since developed a client base including Dyson and MRT Corporation.

The seven-hour meeting focused on potential collaborations, including the possibility of sending undergraduate, postgraduate, and staff members for international internships in Italy. Nplus S.r.l expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and anticipates formal collaboration. Both parties agreed to sign an MoU and exchange proposals for Nplus to finalize candidate selection. Nplus S.r.l was represented by President Giodarno Riello, SHM specialist Miss Francesca Brighenti, and Southeast Asia Business Development Officer Mr. Fabio Cardani. UTM’s delegation included the Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suhaimi bin Abu Bakar @ Mohd Ramli, along with his team, and representation from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s office, including the Chair of the School of Graduate Studies, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noor Hazarina Hashim, and the Chair of the School of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Intan Zaurah Mat Darus.

This initiative marks the first collaboration between Nplus S.r.l and UTM, signifying a significant step towards fostering interdisciplinary partnerships to advance research and business goals. Leveraging each other’s expertise and resources, this collaboration holds promise for driving innovation and creating tangible impact in the field of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). As both entities proceed with this partnership, they exemplify a commitment to excellence and a shared vision for progress through strategic collaborations.

SPS UTM Anjur Siri Webinar Bantu Pelajar Pascasiswazah dalam Penulisan Tesis dan Jurnal Berimpak Tinggi

Jabatan Timbalan Naib Canselor (Akademik dan Antarabangsa), Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah, Sorotan Upacara UTM, Umum / By NOR AZFALELA JAMALUDIN / Oktober 31, 2022 / 2 minutes of reading
Oleh: Nor Azfalela Jamaludin dan Nor Kamsiah Manan

Penerbitan artikel jurnal merupakan keperluan pengijazahan bagi pelajar pascasiswazah mod penyelidikan di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Namun, wujud cabaran bagi sesetengah pelajar dalam penerbitan artikel jurnal mahupun penulisan tesis.

Menyedari isu tersebut, pada tahun 2022, Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah (SPS) telah berjaya mengadakan kolaborasi bersama Dr. Thavamaran Kanesan, Chief Editor dan Founder Proofreading By A UK PhD dengan menganjurkan empat sesi webinar bagi membantu pelajar-pelajar UTM seperti berikut :

    1. Thesis Development Journey for PhD and Masters : 21 Februari 2022
    2. High Impact Publishing Class For Students & Academician : 11 April 2022
    3. Systematic Literature Review to Support Extraction Process : 14 Julai 2022
    4. A Hand’s on Class to Convert Proposal-to-Review-Journal: The Finale for 2022! : 7 September 2022

Webinar ini telah menarik minat komuniti pascasiswazah khususnya untuk turut serta dengan purata kehadiran melebihi 100 orang bagi setiap webinar dan peserta-peserta terdiri daripada pelajar dan staf UTM serta pelajar dari universiti awam/swasta yang lain.

Webinar ini juga merupakan salah satu usaha tanggungjawab sosial korporat (CSR) dari Proofreading By A UK PhD dengan objektif utama memberi pendedahan mengenai strategi penulisan tesis yang optimum dan meningkatkan kesedaran di kalangan komuniti pascasiswazah tentang langkah terbaik yang perlu dilakukan untuk mencapai garis akhir pengajian dengan penerbitan artikel jurnal yang mantap.

Gambar 1: Penerangan tentang “Why Systematic Review?”

Sesi webinar telah dijalankan secara dua hala dan interaktif bersama semua peserta bagi membantu memberi arah tuju kepada penceramah agar kandungan ceramah dapat disampaikan dengan berkesan, memandangkan para peserta berasal dari pelbagai bidang dan fasa (peringkat penulisan kertas kerja, peringkat penulisan tesis dan lain-lain) dalam pengajian sarjana dan doktor falsafah.

Melalui siri webinar ini juga, banyak tips serta teori telah diberi kepada peserta yang hadir dan berdasarkan tahap kepuasan peserta, majoritinya amat berpuas hati dengan cara penyampaian serta kandungan webinar yang disampaikan.

Gambar 2: Penerangan tentang “Editorial Processes”

Penceramah yang tidak asing dengan penerbitan artikel jurnal ini juga rajin berkongsi maklumat berkaitan video-video kuliah beliau yang telah tersedia di Facebook melalui pautan: https://www.facebook.com/proofreadingbyPhD/ serta bahan rujukan yang lain seperti nota dan contoh kertas kerja boleh diakses secara percuma melalui platform Telegram beliau melalui: https://t.me/DrThavaChannel.

SPS dengan sokongan dari Post Graduate Student Society (PGSS) akan terus menganjurkan program-program sebegini untuk manfaat semua pelajar. Dengan misi #From Students to Students, sudah pastinya program-program anjuran PGSS dan SPS ini boleh disertai oleh semua pelajar UTM secara percuma (tertakluk kepada jenis aktiviti).

Warga UTM dipelawa untuk melayari laman web PGSS: https://sps.utm.my/pgss/ dan mengikuti laman Facebook PGSS UTM: https://www.facebook.com/PGSSUTM untuk mengakses jadual, maklumat aktiviti serta berita penganjuran program yang telah dilaksana.

Gambar 3: Penceramah dan peserta yang terlibat