Nation-building through engineering and technology education
UNIVERSITI Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is committed to continue playing its role in nation development by focusing on the engineering and technology-related fields.
One of the leading research-based universities in the world, UTM is on the right platform to achieve that objective with the setting up of the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT).
MJIIT-UTM was established with the approval of the Cabinet meeting of May 26, 2010, under the University and University Colleges Act (AUKU) amendment (2009) with full autonomy in terms of governance and finance.
“We are allowed to take students without quota based on supply and demand but the number of foreign students does not exceed 50 percent,’’ said MJIIT-UTM dean Prof Dr. Ali Selamat.
He said presently there are 426 active post-graduate students and it is expected that the enrolment will be increased by up to 560 students by 2025.
Its postgraduate studies consist of four main disciplines namely mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, chemical and environment engineering and management of technology.
“These are the three main engineering branches and Japan is known the world over as a leading country when it comes to these three engineering fields,’’ said Prof. Ali.
He added that the study of the management of technology has been specially designed and tailored to develop and produce leaders and technocrats in the business world.
Prof. Ali said career prospects were good for MJIIT graduates based on the fact that the majority of them were employed by multinational corporations (MNCs) and big companies upon graduating.
He added that demand for graduates in the mechanical, electronic and chemical and environment engineering fields was good not only in Malaysia but also in other countries.
“Our graduates have an added advantage as they are exposed to the Japanese style of education,’’ said Prof. Ali.
Precision and punctuality were very important in the Japanese work ethic, he added, and MJIIT students and graduates were expected to adapt and adopt the good traits and be able to work hard.
Prof. Ali elaborated that UTM teaching staff also has many opportunities for cooperation with the Japanese companies.
Students and the institution also benefited from the close cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and 29 Japanese University Consortium (JUC) organisations in terms of receiving research grants, staff exchanges and research cooperation.
Leave a Nest Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director, Abdul Hakim Sahidi, obtained a Diploma in Electronic Engineering after three years at the UTM Jalan Semarak Campus in Kuala Lumpur before pursuing a Bachelor’s in Electronic System Engineering at MJIIT for another three years.
“I’m always fascinated with how technologies are created by studying electronics — I could become a tech innovator,’’ he said.
Abdul Hakim, who hails from Kuala Terengganu, said he chose MJIIT due to the uniqueness that it has to offer in terms of the Japanese style engineering education.
“I went to Japan three times during my study at MJIIT under the student exchange programmes and it was an eye-opener for me’’ he said.
Abdul Hakim joined the company in September 2016, upon graduating from MJIIT and was promoted to managing director in May 2019.
Aimisyahmi Harith will report to work as a sales engineer at a solar industry company in Tokyo in February 2021, after his graduation at MJIIT in October this year.
“I went for the interview this March and the interviewers were impressed with me and offered the position,’’ said the Negeri Sembilan lass.
Aimisyahmi is a final year student at MJIIT, doing a Bachelor’s in Chemical Process Engineering.
He plans to work with the Tokyo-based company Afterfit for at least five to 10 years and is likely to be appointed as the company’s representative in Malaysia which has plans to set operations in the country.
“One of the subjects that we learn at MJIIT is Ningen Ryoku which teaches us leadership, decisiveness, a challenging spirit, cooperativeness, and adaptability which are useful when we enter the working world,’’ said Aimisyahmi.
Prof Ali pointed out that in 2020, MJIIT will distribute Financial Assistance (FA) totaling RM5 million to assist B40 low-income groups and M40 middle-class outstanding students.
Prof. Ali mentioned this FA was up to RM7,800 per year.
As long as graduates who qualify for the scholarship in the Matriculation, Foundation, Malaysian Diploma of Advanced Education (STPM), Diploma or A-levels, they can apply for this financial assistance (FA). Only Malaysians who wish to take full-time UG programmes at MJIIT — the Bachelor of Mechanical Precision Engineering, Electrical System Engineering & Chemical Process Engineering — are eligible for the FA.