KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — The Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), a faculty under Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) campus here and the first Japanese engineering-oriented education institution established in Malaysia, has been elevated to become a disaster management hub in the ASEAN region.

MJIIT was established in 2011 as an education and human capital development initiative under Malaysia’s Look East Policy and supported by a consortium of 29 Japanese universities.

According to Prof Dr Muhamad Ali Muhammad Yuzir, UTM and MJIIT Coordinator for Disaster Management, the institute recently organised the 9th Regional Conference on Natural Disaster (RCND), under the auspicies of the ASEAN University Network/Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network (AUN/SEED)

AUN/SEED is a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project to enable Southeast Asia and Japan to develop sustainably through the innovative and highly skilled human resources in the engineering field. 

 “The importance of having Japanese counterparts in disaster management shall allow Malaysia to prosper in disaster preparedness and resilience. Japan, as you know, has vast experience and advanced technologies in mitigating disaster occurrences,” he told Bernama.

“MJIIT’s role is widened through this collegial cooperation, not only we organised and exchanged the knowledge through our conferences, we also welcomed post-graduate students from ASEAN region to be part of the Collaborative Education Programme (CEP) for Sustainable Engineering Network (SEEN) young scholars programme, whereby eligible students received scholarships from MJIIT through JICA, and AUN/SEED-Net.”

Muhamad Ali said the programme allows the young scholars to conduct internship and industrial attachment in Japan and Indonesia as part of their research project requirements.

“We also have a joint-degree programme, Master of Sustainable and Environmental Science, inked between University of Tsukuba and MJIIT. The academic curriculum of the programme is accredited by Malaysian Qualifications Agency which is recognised by the Government of Malaysia. Students shall spend one year at MJIIT prior to spending another one year in Tsukuba. The students shall receive one Master’s degree which is conferred by both universities,” he said

In addition to the Japanese-oriented engineering programmes provided by MJIIT, students are exposed to embracing the Japanese culture, language and skills to prepare them for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (4IR) as well as to cater to the Look East Policy (LEP) 2.0.

The Look East Policy is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, and this strong foundation in Japanese engineering-oriented education built thus far will pave the way for MJIIT to further develop into a regional education hub in ASEAN region.

Fatin Syahirah Othman recently graduated with a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering MJIIT.

“After I completed my undergraduate studies, UTM has encouraged me to pursue a fast-track PhD programme which means that I would skip the Master’s degree, and directly proceed to PhD.  I chose MJIIT because of its vast networking enabling interaction with other international students promoting the development of my professional networking which will be useful for my future career.

“We have over 74 research and teaching laboratories, with dedicated i-Kohza (Japanese education and research group), and each i-Kohza definitely caters for international students from various countries. This research environment is truly unique, having to have your very own global studying environment without having to go abroad,” she said.

MJIIT’s PhD candidate, Laila Dina Amalia Putra, from Indonesia, is being sponsored by MJIIT for her Masters and PhD, also under the auspices of CEP-SEEN.

“When I did my Masters, the research focus revolved around laboratory works promoting advanced wastewater treatment in the field of environmental science. This topic specifically can be developed further as there are many opportunities for collaborative work between the university and industries,” she said.

Laila looks forward to completing her PhD research by this year.

MJIIT has produced about 935 undergraduates and about 558 postgraduates since 2015 and the majority have secured jobs in Japan, Malaysia and other regions.


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