Swinburne Sarawak steps up research activities

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Professor Ken Heskin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak
About 12 years ago, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia ventured  into the verdant state of Sarawak with the aim of making its  high standard of education available in Malaysia.

Since then, the Sarawak campus has seen hundreds of its students graduate, including  400 last year. About 500 will receive their scroll at its ninth graduation ceremony this year. Its programmes in engineering, business, computing, biotechnology and design are offered at a third of the cost involved in studying in Australia.

Besides offering a wide range of programmes from foundation to postgraduate studies, Swinburne Sarawak has been steadily building its research capabilities since it was established in 2000. Its fields of research currently include biotechnology, mechatronics, civil and mechanical engineering and software engineering. The Sarawak government recently committed RM20 million over the next five years to support the university’s on-campus research activities while Swinburne Melbourne has pledged an additional RM20 million over the same period to support joint research activities between the two campuses.

The  Sarawak government has a particular interest in increasing expertise in engineering and technical sectors as this is in line with the state’s  industrialisation plans. The funding will certainly allow the campus to expand upon existing research and development collaborations with foreign partners, such as  the Study on Urban Kuching Traffic (2010-2030) project,  conducted in conjunction with AECOM, a US consultancy with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, and Perunding SL, a local Sarawak engineering consultancy.

The 250 students involved in this study participated in a training session and workshop presented by a team from AECOM Hong Kong before undertaking comprehensive surveys of the flow of traffic in and around Kuching. AECOM is also involved in other civil engineering projects in Malaysia, such the River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur.

To provide the crucial human capital to local industry ventures, such as those in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Swinburne Sarawak  relies on its industry-engaged learning (IEL) programmes which expose students to real-world scenarios to prepare them for their professional life.  The university also emphasises “soft skills” such as communication, team building and the use of  English.

“[Swinburne Melbourne] has invested a phenomenal amount of time and effort to develop in Kuching a standard of education that is totally comparable with what students are getting in Melbourne”, Professor Ken Heskin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak told Inside Investor.

Swinburne Sarawak offers multiple options for its undergraduates to experience various career tracks via local industry partners. The IEL programme at Swinburne Sarawak includes such companies as Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysian Airline System, X-Fab Sarawak Sdn Bhd, Radio & Television Malaysia, Naim Cendera Sdn Bhd, SCIB Concrete Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Jabatan Kerja Raya, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, Petronas Malaysia Liquified Natural Gas (MLNG) Sdn Bhd and Samina-SCI Corporation (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Attracting highly qualified staff has been given much significant attention and both Swinburne Melbourne and Swinburne Sarawak can boast of an international team of academics.

“If you look at the faculty of engineering here and at the faculty of engineering in Melbourne, they actually don’t look much different”, noted Professor Heskin.

“They are well qualified people from all over the world. “

Swinburne Sarawak has approximately 4,000 students, and 20 per cent are international from 52 countries. At present, the university is working closely with the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia to promote themselves as the destination for students from Islamic countries. Currently, students  from Oman, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan are pursuing a range of programmes at Swinburne Sarawak.

“Governments in the Middle East find Sarawak a good place to send students”, says Professor Heskin.

“It meets their needs in terms of safety, cultural similarity and lack of crime.”

Swinburne is ranked among the top 500 universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the Times Higher Education Ranking of World Universities, and the QS World University Rankings. The ARWU has also ranked Swinburne as one of the top 100 universities in the world for research in physics.

Swinburne has a number of collaborations with educational institutions in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.

Swinburne Sarawak has recently opened an office in Subang Jaya to increase the intake of students from Peninsular Malaysia.

 

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Professor Ken Heskin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak
About 12 years ago, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia ventured  into the verdant state of Sarawak with the aim of making its  high standard of education available in Malaysia.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Professor Ken Heskin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak
About 12 years ago, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia ventured  into the verdant state of Sarawak with the aim of making its  high standard of education available in Malaysia.

Since then, the Sarawak campus has seen hundreds of its students graduate, including  400 last year. About 500 will receive their scroll at its ninth graduation ceremony this year. Its programmes in engineering, business, computing, biotechnology and design are offered at a third of the cost involved in studying in Australia.

Besides offering a wide range of programmes from foundation to postgraduate studies, Swinburne Sarawak has been steadily building its research capabilities since it was established in 2000. Its fields of research currently include biotechnology, mechatronics, civil and mechanical engineering and software engineering. The Sarawak government recently committed RM20 million over the next five years to support the university’s on-campus research activities while Swinburne Melbourne has pledged an additional RM20 million over the same period to support joint research activities between the two campuses.

The  Sarawak government has a particular interest in increasing expertise in engineering and technical sectors as this is in line with the state’s  industrialisation plans. The funding will certainly allow the campus to expand upon existing research and development collaborations with foreign partners, such as  the Study on Urban Kuching Traffic (2010-2030) project,  conducted in conjunction with AECOM, a US consultancy with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, and Perunding SL, a local Sarawak engineering consultancy.

The 250 students involved in this study participated in a training session and workshop presented by a team from AECOM Hong Kong before undertaking comprehensive surveys of the flow of traffic in and around Kuching. AECOM is also involved in other civil engineering projects in Malaysia, such the River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur.

To provide the crucial human capital to local industry ventures, such as those in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Swinburne Sarawak  relies on its industry-engaged learning (IEL) programmes which expose students to real-world scenarios to prepare them for their professional life.  The university also emphasises “soft skills” such as communication, team building and the use of  English.

“[Swinburne Melbourne] has invested a phenomenal amount of time and effort to develop in Kuching a standard of education that is totally comparable with what students are getting in Melbourne”, Professor Ken Heskin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Swinburne Sarawak told Inside Investor.

Swinburne Sarawak offers multiple options for its undergraduates to experience various career tracks via local industry partners. The IEL programme at Swinburne Sarawak includes such companies as Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysian Airline System, X-Fab Sarawak Sdn Bhd, Radio & Television Malaysia, Naim Cendera Sdn Bhd, SCIB Concrete Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, Jabatan Kerja Raya, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, Petronas Malaysia Liquified Natural Gas (MLNG) Sdn Bhd and Samina-SCI Corporation (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Attracting highly qualified staff has been given much significant attention and both Swinburne Melbourne and Swinburne Sarawak can boast of an international team of academics.

“If you look at the faculty of engineering here and at the faculty of engineering in Melbourne, they actually don’t look much different”, noted Professor Heskin.

“They are well qualified people from all over the world. “

Swinburne Sarawak has approximately 4,000 students, and 20 per cent are international from 52 countries. At present, the university is working closely with the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia to promote themselves as the destination for students from Islamic countries. Currently, students  from Oman, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan are pursuing a range of programmes at Swinburne Sarawak.

“Governments in the Middle East find Sarawak a good place to send students”, says Professor Heskin.

“It meets their needs in terms of safety, cultural similarity and lack of crime.”

Swinburne is ranked among the top 500 universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the Times Higher Education Ranking of World Universities, and the QS World University Rankings. The ARWU has also ranked Swinburne as one of the top 100 universities in the world for research in physics.

Swinburne has a number of collaborations with educational institutions in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.

Swinburne Sarawak has recently opened an office in Subang Jaya to increase the intake of students from Peninsular Malaysia.

 

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