Wawasan Open University (WOU) further expanded on its collaboration with the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) during the visit of four representatives to the main campus.
The delegation comprised of FMM Penang branch manager Lee Saw See, FMM Institute Penang branch executives Nazliza Kamaldin and Rahayu Sakedan, and executive assistant Felicia Tham
In his introductory address, WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations) Dr Seah Soo Aun mentioned the MoU signed between the university and FMM in March 2008 to accelerate the development of skilled labour in the manufacturing and services industry.
He said the WOU-FMM partnership must be taken to the next level in the three major areas of collaboration – the provision of advanced-level training and educational opportunities to FMM members’ staff and their families; FMM participation in WOU’s Valued Partner Programme to enjoy its benefits; and the use of the FMM facilities to run mutually-agreed WOU undergraduate programmes.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, in his briefing, explained about the programmes offered at WOU, highlighting the flexible study pathway and exit system that allows students to change studies mid-way or opt out anytime.
This was followed by informal discussions to explore collaborative efforts between the FMM Institute and WOU. Prof Ho suggested that WOU’s Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE) could work with the FMM Institute to run short-term professional courses for workers.
Other possible areas of collaboration include providing advance standing recognition for courses offered by FMM, and the adoption of WOU’s Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma pathways as part of FMM offerings to their members. As WOU’s Strategic Academic Partner, FMM also agreed to promote WOU’s degree programmes to its members. A WOU programme preview will be held in conjunction with this partnership at the FMM Penang branch premise soon.
Dr Seah informed the visitors that WOU is a registered e-learning provider, and so employers can pay for workers to undertake programmes or short courses at WOU, and then claim these costs under the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF). He also shared about the financial incentives extended to students who register for studies at WOU through the FMM branches, adding that “it is a win-win partnership for both organisations”.
The FMM Institute is an approved training provider for the manufacturing industry, offering continuous professional development for workers through certificate, diploma and higher-level programmes.