UTAR participates in Alibaba.com GET programme

Students attending the Alibaba.com GET programme training 

The Global E-commerce Talent (GET) programme is powered by Alibaba.com and is aimed at helping  teachers, students, entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to learn more about e-commerce, the required competitive skills and available essential resources to build their mettle in the global e-commerce industry. The GET certification will help those who undergo the training programme to get access to Alibaba.com’s ecosystem to start their own online business or obtain a better opportunity to get e- commerce related jobs.

UTAR has continuously strived to improve the intellectual and personal development of staff and students and nurture them in the right direction in response to professional and community needs in the e-commerce industry.  For that reason, UTAR signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Alibaba.com, a leading B2B marketplace for global trading under the Alibaba Group, on 6 September 2016 at UTAR Kampar Campus.

With this MoU, UTAR staff and students can begin collaborations with the e-commerce giant Alibaba.com. Right after the signing of the MoU, UTAR sent 30 lecturers to take part in the GET training conducted by Alibaba.com. The 30 lecturers passed the test and became the first batch of Alibaba.com Global E-commerce Talent (GET) certified trainers in Malaysia.

UTAR Faculty of Information Communication Technology (FICT), Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF), Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM), and Department of Soft Skills Competency (DSSC) are also participating in the Alibaba.com GET programme to ensure that our staff and students have enough opportunities to broaden their reach to current and future business decision makers in the community and nationwide. Currently, there are 177 UTAR students who have been awarded the Alibaba.com GET Preliminary Certification.

The FICT, being the liaison faculty as well as the account manager, provides free training accounts (given by Alibaba.com) across UTAR for the various other faculties to participate in this e-commerce project. The FBF has integrated Alibaba.com’s B2B platform into the degree programme incorporating relevant tutorials, group assignments and coursework presentation. LKC FES is also undergoing a syllabus revision in order to include practical hands-on for the Alibaba B2B platform in a few courses. The FAM is the consultant and advisor to students who are involved in the Alibaba Entrepreneur Project whereby students post products online via Lazada, 11Street, Facebook, Instagram and more. FICT also works with DSSC to provide training to students who are participating in the e-commerce New Village project.  With this training provided, DSSC then works closely with the New Village community especially the SMEs to help them promote their local products on e-commerce platforms. On 3 November 2017, about 40 reporters from China and Hong Kong conducted an interview session at Sungai Long campus with students and lecturers under the Alibaba.com GET programme.

In a 14-week e-commerce project, UTAR students managed to obtain sales worth more than RM18,000. DSSC Sungai Long Campus Head Fook Oi Yee remarked, “The Alibaba.com GET programme managed to provide the relevant knowledge and a new promotional platform for the sales of traditional products in the New Villages. There is a lot of SMEs operating in the New Villages and their products should be introduced to a wider market. Besides that, we also managed to educate the older  villagers who are not so technology savvy that e-commerce is not difficult and can be done with ease and security.”

LKC FES Head of Programme for Master of Information Systems Dr Wong Whee Yen said, “The Alibaba.com GET programme provided our software engineering programme students with an early exposure to commercial e-commerce projects. It was not an industrial training for our students, but it allowed our students to participate in the first e-commerce project where our students sold IT gadgets and Malaysian local products on the e-commerce platform, social networking platform, and brick and mortar platform in collaboration with E-Business Association Malaysia (EBAM) and APR Electronic Services Sdn Bhd. I believe our students have learnt a lot through this hands-on project.”

Computer Science student Yap Ming Lake said, “This programme provided me with the relevant e-commerce knowledge and gave me the practical real-life training i needed. I learnt a lot about and I hope other students will also participate in the programmer which will benefit them greatly.”

Electronic Engineering student Lee Si Min remarked, “I am involved in the e-commerce New Village project and this project is really meaningful to the villagers because it helped them to widen their product market reach and increase their sales revenue. This is my first time being hands-on in e-commerce. Before this, I only know how to shop online and I was curious about the process involved in e-commerce. This programme gave me the opportunity to learn the in-depth ecosystems of e-commerce.”

“I think this is a very good programme because it provides an opportunity for our students to acquire new knowledge, besides the certification, in the field of e-commerce. The Alibaba.com GET programme enables the students to be equipped with the skill sets required by today’s digital economy. With such skill sets, students are able to assist the SMEs to tap into the vast opportunities offered by the e-commerce. At the same time, it also helps students to understand how the ecosystem of e-commerce works in the current cross border markets and businesses,” said Dr Hen Kai Wah, FAM Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes.

FAM lecturer Tang Kin Leong supervising a student during the Alibaba.com GET training

Dr Winnie (front row, fifth from left) with her students at APR Electronic Services Sdn Bhd. The students worked with APR Electronic Services on the products for their e-commerce project

Some of the New Village products sold on the e-commerce platform under the New Village Project

Student (right) explaining about the e-commerce platform to a New Village enterprise owner

UTAR staff certified as Alibaba.com GET trainers

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