(From left) Siemens German senior director of foreign sales automation factory Sascha Maenni and Siemens senior vice president and head of digital industries Adam Yee at the Letter of Intent signing ceremony with UniMAP deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Rezuwan Kamaruddin (second from right) and UniMAP dean, Faculty of Engineering Technology Associate Professor Dr Abu Hassan Abdullah (right).

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) diploma holders can now pursue their studies in a new bachelor’s degree programme at four universities under the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN).

The Bachelor of Technology (Hons) Degree in Industrial Electronic Automation was introduced at the Letter of Intent (LoI) signing ceremony between Siemens Malaysia and MTUN — Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) recently.

The LoI is a precursor to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will be signed later in October.

UniMAP deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Rezuwan Kamaruddin said that the degree programme will provide a path for TVET diploma holders to gain higher academic recognition.

“This is also a platform to produce a highly competent workforce and enhance the students’ skill sets in the future,” he said.

Siemens Malaysia senior vice president and head of digital industries Adam Yee said that the new degree aims to produce fresh graduates specialised in the roles of system integration.

“It is a truly one-of-a-kind industry-academia collaboration in which the graduates will not only receive their Honours degree certificates but also a professional training qualification from Siemens, which will greatly aid in employment opportunities and careers within different organisations and the industry.

“We will ensure that the resources and training provided are fully sufficient and sustainable so that the universities can do their best in the course delivery,” he said.

According to Yee, in order for the industry to support education, the cooperation with partners in the education sector is highly essential.

“The road to Industry 4.0 is only possible with digitalisation and for that, this requires quality education that is industry-adaptive and skilled human resource.

“In fact, this Bachelor’s degree course is an extension of yet another initiative from our original SITRAIN - Digital Industry Academy programme, which was first launched in 2012 when we realise the need to customise training in order to address existing skills gap between the system integrator and end users.

“Being a strong supporter of TVET as a mandatory criterion in the industry infrastructure, we have also established our Siemens Innovative and Resources Training Centre (SIRTC) which encompasses several labs that have been developed for the Industrial Revolution 4.0,” he added.

The degree programme will see Siemens’ Total Integrated Automation modules being taught across different disciplines as the syllabus has been co-developed between Siemens Malaysia and the universities.

UTHM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman said that there will also be a two-way Training of Trainers to further reinforce the curriculum.

“Siemens will help to train our lecturer in terms of practical knowledge. At the same time, our lecturers will also provide trainings for Siemens in pedagogical area to ease the process of teaching and learning,” he continued.

UniMAP Faculty of Engineering Technology (Electronic Department) lecturer Ahmad Nasir Che Rosli who has been involved in jointly devising and curating this new programme said this collaboration will open up opportunities for the MTUN students to undergo Industrial Attachment with Siemens partners and customers.

“The involvement of industries in developing the curriculum has been very encouraging. We will have a series of workshop and meeting be it at MTUN level or the university level itself,” he said.

Also present at the LoI signing ceremony were representatives from MTUN.

UniMAP and UTHM will be welcoming their new intake of students for this programme on September 1 while UTeM and UMP will follow thereafter.

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