Partnering to meet nation’s demand for engineering talents

WOU, one of the nation’s pioneer open distance learning (ODL) institutions, is partnering with the oldest technical institute in Malaysia for the purpose of building human capital in Penang in the field of engineering. 

WOU lecturer Dr Mohamed Hushnie Haron, as emcee, welcomes the guests.

This collaboration was formalised with the signing of the Note of Understanding between the University and SM Teknik Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra (SMT TAR PUTRA), formerly known as Technical Institute of Penang (TI Penang), which offers engineering courses.

The signatories were Prof Dr Lily Chan, Vice Chancellor of WOU, and Mohd Salim Mohamed Yusoof, Principal of SMT TAR PUTRA. The partnership paves the way for WOU’s School of Technology and Engineering Science (STE) to share its expertise and programmes with the staff and students/alumni of the school.

Signing by Prof Chan and Mohd Salim (left).

In his opening remarks, Mohd Salim remarked that the combined efforts of WOU and his school will help to produce “the best human capital”, as required by the country.

He said the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) and the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated changes to education, while the world is now facing the emergence of artificial intelligence and its applications. He stressed that learning never stops and applauded the lifelong learning mentality of the students at WOU.

Mohd Salim talks about his school.

He said WOU delivers affordable and flexible education, which is open to everyone. “We prepare students to enter universities, while WOU prepares students for the job market. WOU can benefit especially from our alumni.”

Mohd Salim said the school currently has an enrolment of about 600 students in Forms Four and Five, with the majority coming from Kedah and Perak. “Our employability is always 90-95%. They enrol in universities and have good positions.”

He said the school is confronted with challenges in recruiting students from Penang because many big industry players have their own training institutes for employees. “We however provide a good foundation in STEM and technical studies before they go into industries.”

Forging of a partnership - Mohd Salim and Prof Chan shake hands.

He said his school in Jelutong is the only technical school in Penang, and one out of nine nationwide. The school was officially opened in 1958 by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, and is named after him.

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