Exploring joint academic initiatives with TUT

Wawasan Open University hosted a delegation of three from Toyohashi University of Technology (TUT) who visited the main campus today to promote their university and reinforce their university’s commitment to Penang.

The delegation comprised Prof Mitsuteru Inoue, Executive Trustee/Vice President, TUT; Associate Prof Dr Lim Pang Boey, Centre for International Education, TUT; and Mr Kiyohiko Kuroda, Administrative Head of Global Education, TUT-Penang. Dato’ Seri Kelvin Kiew, Chairman and President of Mini Circuits Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, accompanied the TUT delegation on this visit.

The visitors with WOU’s senior management.

The visitors with WOU’s senior management.

The visitors met with WOU’s senior Board members and top management, which included Wawasan Education Foundation Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, as well as relevant faculty members from the School of Science and Technology (SST).


In his briefing, Prof Inoue shared that TUT, founded in 1976, is a national science and engineering-oriented university, fully financed by the Japanese government. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, but mainly in engineering. It has 199 academic staff and some 2,200 students, including 200 international students of which 60 are from Malaysia.

Prof Inoue elaborates on TUT’s activities.

Prof Inoue elaborates on TUT’s activities.

He spoke of TUT’s excellent research facilities, namely the recently opened Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute (EIRIS) and a robotics research centre.

The university opened its first overseas education base, the TUT-USM Penang centre, last December through collaboration with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). This centre seeks to provide Southeast Asian students with best engineering degree programmes, where lectures are conducted by TUT’s engineering faculty trained to teach in English.

TUT has 21 final year undergraduate engineering students doing a six-month internship at a few multinational corporations in Penang and attending seminars at TUT-USM Penang.

Getting to know each other’s university.

Getting to know each other’s university.

TUT, in extending its commitment to Penang, is now seeking partners like WOU, which “is strong in delivery of higher education” to collaborate since it plans to eventually set up a full-fledged independent Japanese university in the state. Prof Inoue said TUT aims to start with undergraduate studies, hoping to draw students from Malaysia and ASEAN countries.

Dr Koh suggested that TUT could perhaps liaise with WOU’s School of Science and Technology on the proposed university in Penang since SST offers programmes in computer science and IT. Dato’ Seri Stephen remarked that DISTED College could explore options in offering TUT’s full-time engineering degree programmes.