Motoring down the road to strategic partnerships

From left: Yu, Gu, Dr Tan, Dr Lai, Dr Lo, Yang, Dr Chen, Dr Teh, Dr Yap, Prof Choong, Prof Lu, Prof Ewe, Wang, Dr Au Yong, Chen, Dr Liew and Dr Lee giving their thumbs up

Delegates from both Mingtai Investment Development Group (MiTime Group 铭泰集团) and the University of Sanya (USY), China called on UTAR Kampar Campus on 10 September 2019.

Leading the delegation was MiTime Group Chairman Wang Xinggui. Also among the delegates were MiTime Group Vice-Chairman-cum-USY President Prof Lu Dan, MiTime Group Vice-Chairman of Finance Chen Shengjie, Assistant to USY President Gu Bin, USY President’s Office General Office Section Chief Yang Fan and USY President’s Secretary Yu Qiong.

They were cordially welcomed by UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) Dean Assoc Prof Dr Yap Vooi Voon, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT) Dean Ts Assoc Prof Dr Liew Soung Yue, Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) Dean Dr Au Yong Hui Nee, and Division of Community and International Networking (DCInterNet) Director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn. Also present were DCInterNet Deputy Director Dr Chen I-Chi, FICT Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Ts Dr Lee Wai Kong, FEGT Deputy Deans Dr Tan Kok Tat and Dr Lo Po Kim, and FEGT Department of Electronic Engineering Head Ir Dr Teh Peh Chiong. 

Also joining the meeting via video conference from the Sungai Long Campus were Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Dean Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min and Deputy Deans Ir Prof Dr Yow Ho Kwang, Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yap Wun She, and Ir Dr Lim Jee Hock. 

Shedding light on UTAR’s genesis, background as a not-for-profit private higher learning institution and the achievements thus far, Prof Ewe said, “Through the concerted efforts of the staff and students, the University has been able to rise above challenges and also attain impressive accomplishments in international rankings.” Prof Ewe also mentioned that as a comprehensive university which places great emphasis on education with far-reaching transformative societal impact, UTAR constantly offers new programmes which are relevant to the changing needs of the industry as reflected by FEGT’s new undergraduate programmes such as Electronic Systems and also Industrial Management. “Some of the new programmes in the pipeline include FICT’s Digital Economy Technology as well as Intelligent System and Automation. The University is also open to joining hands with MiTime Group and USY to look into the prospect of introducing automotive technology and engineering-centric programmes,” he explained. 

“Further complementing the enrichment of the students’ learning experiences were the UTAR Soft Skills Development Certificate (USSDC) Programme, which is a certification system recognising students’ achievements and efforts to improve themselves in several soft skills areas; the UTAR Undergraduate Research Scheme (URS) which allows undergraduates to undergo a structured programme that exposes and trains them in various aspects of research project implementation; and the Student Mobility Programmes which include study tours, students exchanges, and community service programmes,” Prof Ewe added. He also touched on UTAR’s various international collaboration with the 66 universities in China spanning study tours and student exchanges, mutual credit recognition, cyber classroom, joint postgraduate supervision, global research network, professional training and others.

Several salient features of the University were also highlighted. They included the establishment of the Institute of Chinese Studies which currently houses a sizeable amount of academics and researchers in the areas of literature, history and philosophy, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students from Malaysia and overseas; the introduction of Chinese Medicine undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which also brought about the establishment of the China-Malaysia Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, a joint initiative between UTAR and Guangxi University of Medicine; the setting up of the Belt and Road Strategic Research  Centre; the establishment of the Institute of Management and Leadership Development which is also appointed by China’s State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs as one of the recognised overseas training providers; joint initiative with to train global e-commerce talents; collaboration with Huawei which spawned the establishment of the UTAR-Huawei Networking Lab, ongoing scholarship offers and also recruitment drives by Huawei; the invitation by Google Malaysia to join the Google Ignite training-to-internship programme focusing on the development of digital marketing skills on Google platforms for final year or internship-ready students; the introduction of cyber classrooms with several foreign universities; the collaboration programme of UTAR-Qinzhou Industrial Park to train and produce talents the mutual credit recognition of Master’s Programme between UTAR and Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule (OTH) Regensburg, Germany; and the success of the MIT Externship Programme at UTAR.

The delegates were also given a glimpse of UTAR’s research strengths across the areas of Society and Sustainable Living; Human Capital Development; Heritage and Culture Preservation; Healthcare, Medicine and Technology; Internet and Intelligent Systems; and Industry, Economy and International Relations by the 32 research centres. This was followed by a presentation on FEGT, FICT as well as LKC FES’s various collaborations with industry players and also the many remarkable achievements.

Prof Ewe (right) introducing UTAR’s various milestone achievements and international collaborations while Wang looks on

Discussions were also held to explore the prospective mutually beneficial collaborations which not only bridge the industry-university gap, but ultimately developing talents to support the needs of the automotive industry.

Thanking UTAR for hosting the visit, Wang told, “We’ve heard about UTAR’s many accomplishments in a span of 17 years. We really look up to all of you here and certainly look forward to picking your brains throughout this trip.” The Group Chairman also expressed his keen interest in understanding the concept of USSDC which is highly relevant and useful at workplace.

Also impressed by the potential collaboration which ranges from staff and students exchanges to the design of curriculum, Prof Lu mentioned that it would be an honour for both MiTime Group and USY to have UTAR on board as a collaborative partner. “The proposed collaborations are really worth exploring. Some such as the academic exchanges could be implemented instantly since both UTAR and USY are also memorandum of understanding partners,” he mentioned.

Wang (left) expressing his appreciation to UTAR for the warm hospitality and also his honour to learn from UTAR’s success as a young university

The meeting concluded with a souvenir presentation session and group photograph.

Prof Ewe (right) and Wang exchanging souvenirs

Prof Ewe (right) and Prof Lu exchanging souvenirs

The delegates also took a tour around the Kampar Campus where they visited several faculties as well as places of interest.

Prof Ewe (second from right) explaining the Kampar Campus layout to the delegates

From left: Group photo of Chen, Wang, Prof Ewe, Prof Lu and Prof Choong with the iconic Confucius-Einstein bronze sculptures

Prof Ewe (right) and Wang

Prof Ewe (left) and Wang sharing a light moment during a tour around Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik

From left: Group photo of Yang, Chen, Prof Choong, Wang, Prof Ewe, Prof Lu, Dr Lai, Gu, and Yu at the palatial Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik

Established in 2004 under global mobility technology group Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, MiTime Group’s focus areas include the investment and operational management of higher education, sports, cultural tourism as well as other businesses. Currently, MiTime Group is divided into three main sectors, namely Education, Sports, and Tourism. USY, along with Beijing Geely College and two other vocational colleges, namely Sanya Polytechnic College and Hunan Geely Automotive Vocational College, are established by MiTime Group to promote the development of education in the automotive industry.

From left: Yu, Gu, Dr Tan, Dr Lai, Dr Lo, Yang, Dr Chen, Dr Teh, Dr Yap, Prof Choong, Prof Lu, Prof Ewe, Wang, Dr Au Yong, Chen, Dr Liew and Dr Lee

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