Institutional linkages and partnerships among Universities have become a crucial lifeline to growth and development. Student Mobility, in particular, is a vital component of a modern Universitys profile. It enables a University to establish and sustain reciprocally rewarding contacts with foreign institutions. The benefits that can be accredited to a University when it determines to internationalise its campus are many and far-reaching.
Hosting international students on campus, for example, invigorates all the processes of achievement and excellence. By participating in the Universitys life and culture, foreign students expand their horizons and broaden perspective; they affect the prevailing structures of thinking, heighten self-awareness and open minds to new outlooks.
Considering the numerous impact of such Mobility programme, Universiti Kuala Lumpur via Malaysian Institute of Information Technology (UniKL MIIT) started the initiative to encourage many international students to pursue their one-semester Exchange Programme and various short courses such as English as a Second Language (ESL), Edu-Tourism, internship, joint-project supervisions and many more activities.
Similarly, UniKL MIIT – which specialises in the areas of Information Technology, Multimedia and Animation – has also nominated and sent out countless of its faculty members and students to various university partners in Austria, Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and particularly, South Korea via its Global Mobilisation Programme (GMP) initiated in 2008.
“We encourage our students to join such Mobility programme during their Final semester, in which they are also required to undergo their Industrial Internship. This way, the students will benefit the most as not only they undergo a different cultural experience, but also enhance their academic maturity and technical skills. Such programmes also enable our students to reappraise their goals which include post-graduate studies via the many scholarship opportunities offered by the host universities,” claims Samratul Janin Sidal, Head of Section for International Partnership, UniKL MIIT.
Samratul states that when it comes to Internship and further studies, most of UniKL MIIT students opt for Korean university partners.
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Why Korea? This is hardly surprising as South Korea is a leader in IT and robotics expertise, making the country an irresistible place to study, especially for those with Engineering Technology backgrounds. An opportunity to study in Korea, even if for a short period, shall definitely benefit the students, especially when it comes to technology transfer as most of the universities in Korea are equipped with incubators or technology hubs that allow the students to conduct their research and experiment without having to leave the university compound.
Samratul claims that they are honoured to be associated with many prestigious universities in South Korea.
“Sungkyunkwan University– better known as Samsung University – is known for its affiliation with Samsung; Hanyang University has a special campus known as ERICA or Education Research and Industry Cluster of Ansan, which functions as a research centre and provide hands-on experience on technology to its students. Ewha, an all women university, is known for its women empowerment while Semyung University is recognised for its transportation industry. On top of scholarships and further study opportunities, such prestigious affiliations further motivate UniKL MIIT students to attempt their internship in Korea,” says Samratul.
To better equip the students in adapting to their new environment in Korea, UniKL MIIT also offers Korean language class, on top of English and Mandarin, to its students.
Nur Amira Abdul Razak, a Bachelor in Computer Entrepreneurial Management (BCEM) student of UniKL MIIT, finds the language ability to be most useful especially when communicating with new friends and lecturers at Semyung University during her four-month Internship programme last year.
“Koreans are very patriotic and would speak Korean as much as possible. Initially, I had difficulty in conversing with my classmates especially during the first month but I managed to improve on my language skills at the end of my stay. My friends and I participated in a Hangul Writing Competition which required us to write a short essay in Korean. It was fun!”
Nur Amira also found the Korean students to be very focused in studies other than being extremely punctual. Those are the traits that Amira and the rest of the Malaysian students came to admire and emulate.
Afiq Asnawi Norsham, formerly a Diploma in Engineering Technology student of UniKL MIIT, speaks of his experience in doing his Third and Final Year Bachelor Programme at Semyung University.
Currently enrolled in Computer Science and Information Communication programme, Afiq is one of the participants for ACE Global Scholarship Programme (AGSP) conducted at Semyung University. The scholarship has benefited 23 UniKL MIIT Diploma students as it enables them to further their studies for two years at Semyung and be awarded with a Degree upon completion of the programme. Via such Mobility programme, students then return to Universiti Kuala Lumpur for another academic year and be conferred with another Degree by UniKL.
“Semyung’s affiliation with many high-profiled industries is an advantage, one of the very reasons why I am here. Of course, there are challenges that I must face, such as most of my classes are conducted in Korean. Thus, I must double my effort when it comes to studying. I make it a point to study the topic prior to a class so I would be able to understand the lecture when it is taking place. Similarly, I shall revise the topic after class including meeting the lecturer for consultation. I hope to complete my study in three more semesters,” says Afiq who scored all A’s in his recent examination.
Both Amira and Afiq’s enthusiasm is also felt by another 18 UniKL MIIT students who would be undergoing their Internship at various countries namely South Korea, Denmark, Cambodia and Russia effective March 2017.
UniKL MIIT Media Coverage for International Exchange Matters
Abdullah ‘Afifi Abdul Aziz, a Bachelor in Computer Systems and Security (BCSS) Final Year student, strongly believes that studying abroad is something that every student should experience as it will help them to think outside the box. Born and raised in Jordan, ‘Afifi chooses Universiti Kuala Lumpur for its high academic standards, employment success and a prime location. Together with ten other UniKL MIIT colleagues of various academic backgrounds, ‘Afifi will be undertaking his internship in South Korea.
‘Afifi’s view is shared by Ahmad Faiz Ahmed Riad, a Bachelor in Computer Engineering ( BCE ) student who has been offered partial scholarship by Business Academy Aarhus, Denmark.
“Why Denmark? It is a rare opportunity and one that I must seize!” says Faiz.
Some of UniKL MIIT students choose to do their Internship in ASEAN countries such as Cambodia. Nabilah Mahadzir, a Bachelor in Interactive Multimedia Design (BIMD) student looks forward to her time at Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), Cambodia along with four more UniKL MIIT young ambassadors.
“Unlike South Korea which is more advanced, Cambodia provides me with an opportunity to serve the community. And of course, I have always been intrigued with Angkor Watt and its structure,” claims Nabilah.
To date, UniKL MIIT’s Global Mobilisation Programme (GMP) has benefited hundreds of its students and staff, with many are eyeing for more similar opportunities in the future. Other than establishing and strengthening network opportunity between the participating Universities, such Mobility programme enables transfer of knowledge, technology and skills; produces opportunities for future academic/ research advancement; polishes students’ professional skills for future career opportunities as well as increases students’ self-esteem and goal achievement.
SAMRATUL JANIN HJ SIDAL
Universiti Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Institute of Information Technology
English as a Second Language (ESL) Initiative
ESL 2015 is an Edu-Tourism initiative particularly to strengthen the collaboration between Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Information Technology (UniKL MIIT) and its international partners, especially Semyung University and Dongyang Mirae University, South Korea. Conducted by the International, Industrial and Institutional Partnership (IIIP) Unit of UniKL MIIT, the one-month programme is designed to enable the international students to improve their English language proficiency while experiencing Malaysian beautiful culture and scenery at the same time.
Led by Ms Samratul Janin Sidal (Coordinator of International Partnership Unit, UniKL MIIT), the annual programme has seen many successful stories ever since it was first introduced in 2013.