Archive for the ‘Industry 4.0’ Category

Competition to promote innovative ideas

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

(bottom row, eighth from left) Unimaker 2019 secretariat chairperson Prof Dr Rofina Yasmin Othman together with other secretariat members, participants and sponsors, after the Unimaker 2019 workshop.

IR 4.0 HAS brought with it many new technologies and disruptive new models that change the way we live.

However, what does all this mean for sustainable development and future-proofing ourselves?

This is the challenge Malaysia’s future graduates took on to figure out in the Unimaker National Innovation Competition 2019.

The competition is to promote innovative ideas created with the theme “Solving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Problems in the Era of IR4.0”.

“The Industrial 4.0 can make a considerable contribution to meet the SDGs. It advances human wellbeing in a range or areas such as healthcare, water, agriculture and livelihoods, natural resource management, energy and infrastructure,” says Higher Education Department director-general Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.

She adds that the theme is in line with the ministry’s tagline “University for Society” to reflect universities’ pivotal role within local and global communities.

The competition was initiated by her department and is in line with the seventh shift in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), which is Innovation Ecosystem., says Siti Hamisah.

She also says that the higher education sector must prepare graduates to handle new technologies and embrace IR 4.0.

“Thus the need to redesign the education system and transform the learning and teaching delivery as well as for industry sectors to enhance, reskill and upscale talents.”

She adds that although technology is pivotal for education in the 21st century, skills such as critical and creative thinking, and communicative skills cannot be taught by machines.

The Unimaker National Innovation Competition 2019 was organised by the Education Ministry’s Higher Education Department in collaboration with Universiti Malaya (UM) for the second year running.

More than 40 finalist teams from 20 public institutions of higher education (IPTAs) competed in the finals.

The finalists attended a preparation workshop to explore some of the modules including Design Thinking, Presentation and Hardware & Software Prototype.

The top three winners received cash prizes, prototype grants and guidance from sponsors, and sponsorship of a co-working space at MaGIC, facilities utilisation at Makers @ University, award plaques and certificates. They will also be listed in the Futurity initiative.

There was also an exhibition by the finalists at the Industrial Revolution 4.0 Education Colloquium to promote their innovative ideas.

The programme was funded by the Higher Education Department, sponsored by Futurise Sendirian Berhad, MyCRO, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) Global Entrepreneurship Movement Association, and e-fm was the official media channel.

It was jointly led by UM, representing the Central Zone, Universiti Sains Malaysia representing the Northern Zone, Southern Region by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia representing the Southern Zone and Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin representing the Eastern Zone.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak represented Sabah and Sarawak.

Competition to promote innovative ideas

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

(bottom row, eighth from left) Unimaker 2019 secretariat chairperson Prof Dr Rofina Yasmin Othman together with other secretariat members, participants and sponsors, after the Unimaker 2019 workshop.

IR 4.0 HAS brought with it many new technologies and disruptive new models that change the way we live.

However, what does all this mean for sustainable development and future-proofing ourselves?

This is the challenge Malaysia’s future graduates took on to figure out in the Unimaker National Innovation Competition 2019.

The competition is to promote innovative ideas created with the theme “Solving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Problems in the Era of IR4.0”.

“The Industrial 4.0 can make a considerable contribution to meet the SDGs. It advances human wellbeing in a range or areas such as healthcare, water, agriculture and livelihoods, natural resource management, energy and infrastructure,” says Higher Education Department director-general Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.

She adds that the theme is in line with the ministry’s tagline “University for Society” to reflect universities’ pivotal role within local and global communities.

The competition was initiated by her department and is in line with the seventh shift in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), which is Innovation Ecosystem., says Siti Hamisah.

She also says that the higher education sector must prepare graduates to handle new technologies and embrace IR 4.0.

“Thus the need to redesign the education system and transform the learning and teaching delivery as well as for industry sectors to enhance, reskill and upscale talents.”

She adds that although technology is pivotal for education in the 21st century, skills such as critical and creative thinking, and communicative skills cannot be taught by machines.

The Unimaker National Innovation Competition 2019 was organised by the Education Ministry’s Higher Education Department in collaboration with Universiti Malaya (UM) for the second year running.

More than 40 finalist teams from 20 public institutions of higher education (IPTAs) competed in the finals.

The finalists attended a preparation workshop to explore some of the modules including Design Thinking, Presentation and Hardware & Software Prototype.

The top three winners received cash prizes, prototype grants and guidance from sponsors, and sponsorship of a co-working space at MaGIC, facilities utilisation at Makers @ University, award plaques and certificates. They will also be listed in the Futurity initiative.

There was also an exhibition by the finalists at the Industrial Revolution 4.0 Education Colloquium to promote their innovative ideas.

The programme was funded by the Higher Education Department, sponsored by Futurise Sendirian Berhad, MyCRO, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) Global Entrepreneurship Movement Association, and e-fm was the official media channel.

It was jointly led by UM, representing the Central Zone, Universiti Sains Malaysia representing the Northern Zone, Southern Region by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia representing the Southern Zone and Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin representing the Eastern Zone.

By REBECCA RAJAENDRAM
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/12/01/competition-to-promote-innovative-ideas#8HSbGdAiliCbrbOx.99

Preparing communicators for a digital future

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Mobile technology has changed the way we communicate today.

MOBILE technology has changed the way we communicate today. With more than five billion people around the world currently owning a mobile device – half of which are smartphones – one would be hard-pressed to imagine a time when mobile phones were not part and parcel of everyday life.

Whether it’s WhatsApp chat groups, subscribed Twitter feeds or Facebook live broadcasts, the rise of social media means that communication is no longer a one-way street. Not only are people able to obtain information instantly and in different forms, but they generate content as well.

“Technology has made the way we consume information more visual, such as the use of memes to make sense of things. In some ways, digital and social media have made it easier for lots of people to express themselves and be heard. Still, there needs to be an understanding of who gets to say what, the power dynamics inherent in contemporary forms of communication, ” said Monash University Malaysia’s School of Arts and Social Sciences Communication and Media Studies Assoc Prof Emma Baulch.

Universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective.Universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective

Why theory matters

As educators of the future workforce, universities have to continually reassess programmes to ensure the course content is relevant and effective in producing graduates that are market-ready and well equipped to tackle digital disruptions that come their way.

According to Baulch, instead of focusing on the technical know-how of the latest in communication technology, Monash University Malaysia’s new Bachelor of Digital Media and Communication (BDMC) course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.

The new BDMC course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.The new BDMC course aims to build a strong foundation in media and communications theories, albeit with a digital focus.

“This course sits within an arts school, so there is an emphasis on theories and concepts that look at digital within a social context. We look at how digital shapes society, which fits in with universities’ historical role in developing theoretical and conceptual knowledge around contemporary developments, ” she said.

Understanding how digital media sit within a broader context of history gives students a greater appreciation of what makes digital unique so that they can better figure out how new technologies shape the future and forge social change, Baulch added.

“We talk about how to develop critical thinking when engaging in a digital environment rife with misinformation. We also provide an understanding of the particular ways digital content circulates. If you understand how content becomes viral, you will then understand the possibilities digital environments present for things like corporate communications or crisis communications, ” she said.

Multiple career pathways

A communications degree is not just reserved for media professionals, said Baulch. Potential careers BDMC students can look forward to include public relations, corporate communications, marketing, advertising, policy development, HR, management, research, editing and writing.

“We are training people to have knowledge and skills that are transferable across different sectors and industries. Social theories are important to this skill set. They afford a critical reading of the way things are in the world, and how they might be changed. Without critical knowledge, tasks requiring leadership or management skills become very difficult, ” she said.

Through the course, students learn research skills essential to cultivate critical thinking and to become agile thinkers. There is also a strong emphasis in developing written and oral communications skills, as well as skills in group work.

“You need to think for yourself and be flexible if you’re to keep up with the changes in digital environments, ” she said.

The course also includes a professional practice stream in which students undertake a digital research project with an NGO and undergo an internship for practical experience and exposure.

“This stream is strongly supported by our industry partners who provide vital input on industry perspectives and needs, ” she said.

A Monash degree gives students “international mobility”.A Monash degree gives students “international mobility”.

Having a Monash degree gives students “international mobility” because the Monash brand is globally recognised

Established in 1998, Monash University Malaysia was the first Monash campus outside Australia. The Malaysian campus has approximately 8,400 students from 78 different countries. Monash University has 60,000 students internationally and a community of over 380,000 alumni living in 155 countries.

With over 100 partner universities worldwide, Monash students can opt for international mobility schemes as part of their course.

While there is a lot of hype over pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the digital age, mastering communications is still pertinent. “Digital communications is now part of our every waking moment. Nearly every individual on the planet has a mobile phone. Those with an understanding of the social and cultural challenges and possibilities of digital change will be among those to shape the future, ” said Baulch.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/11/22/preparing-communicators-for-a-digital-future#c6o0oqlmR378r4Il.99

Sabah needs to hasten industrialisation: CM

Monday, November 18th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah needs to hasten its industrialisation drive by harnessing its resources, geographical and the power tools of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4) in order to advance in step with the rest of Malaysia.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the State Government is committed to achieve its industrialisation objective through the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) to realise the master plan.

He said KKIP, being the pioneer of industrialisation in Sabah, has the unenviable task of having to do more than just developing an industrial park with basic infrastructure and persuading investors.

“As we look towards making Sabah an industrialised State by 2030, KKIP should take a fresh look at innovation and devise ways to use technologies to attain the quantum leap that Sabah needs.

“For example, in the Free Economic Zone of KKIP which includes hubs for logistics, automotive, aerospace, biotechnology and halal manufacturing, I must assume that IR4 is part of the thought process or the entire value chain.

“From the products we hope to make, the technologies we want to use to the type of investors we wish to attract, it must be IR4-compatible,” he said at the KKIP’s 25th Anniversary celebration held at the Shangri Hotel Tanjung Aru Resort, here, Friday. His speech was read by his Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

He said the State Government is always taking the necessary steps to deliver the best services and facilitate business and investment for both local and foreign investors to Sabah.

He believe that IR4 offers the wherewithal outside the box of conventional wisdom and gives wider manifestation in every endeavour in Sabah.

“We have for decades talked about the comparative advantages we have by way of the availability of raw resources. For example, we have plenty of coal in the region with which we can produce cheap energy. But coal is a fossil fuel and its burning is considered bad tor the environment.

“The challenge is for us to find win-win ways. As we continue to pursue the ideals of a new Sabah and as we begin planning for the 12th Malaysia Plan 2020, the pace and urgency are intensifying, and we need to respond accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, KKIP Chief Executive Officer Datuk IR Melvin Disimond said KKIP will continue to look out for viable targeted sectors in ensuring the enablers for investors’ competitive cost of doing business are in place and to create more jobs.

“This include efficient logistics and connectivity, sufficient and reliable utilities. We need to generate industries to create more investments and jobs as we embark on the next phase of the KKIP journey in achieving the State Government objective for Sabah to be industralised by 2030,” he said.

By: Ottey Peter

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=143517


Pursuing courses to keep pace with digital advances

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
Graduates need to equip themselves with digital know-how and hybrid skills to meet the needs of the changing job market.. NSTP/SALHANI IBRAHIM

THE advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) calls for a shift in workforce demands. Graduates need the right skills to navigate more automation and ground-breaking technologies in the workplace.

Nurturing graduates with marketable skills is more than important with this technological change, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Talent and Digital Entrepreneurship vice-president Sumitra Nair.

“As IR 4.0 continues to grow, the adoption of digital technologies in Malaysia is expanding the demand for digital tech jobs. Tech talent growth is a fundamental priority for the nation to march forward as a digital nation.”

Malaysian universities are introducing new courses and revamping existing ones to keep pace with digital advances.

Higher Ed looks at degree programmes in three emerging fields — artificial intelligence, data analytics and digital marketing — that make graduates more likely to gain employment upon graduation.

AI programmes equip students with digital skills to be future-ready.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Serving as a driving force of IR 4.0, Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science which looks into developing machines with human intelligence.

Universiti Malaya’s Bachelor of Computer Science in Artificial Intelligence programme introduced in 1997 is the pioneering programme in the nation. It aims to enable students to develop computer systems that emulate and exhibit human intelligence.

Students are provided with in-depth knowledge to transform large amounts of data into actionable decisions.

UM Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology dean Professor Datin Dr Sameem Abdul Kareem said: “The main focus of the programme is how complex inputs such as vision, language and huge databases can be used to enhance human capabilities.

“Students will acquire the skills to create AI systems and use data to connect humans, physical tools and the digital world in line with IR 4.0. Such skills including analytical thinking, problem-solving and proficiency in data mining and analysis will open doors to a diverse range of industries.

“The curriculum equips students with the skills and knowledge to carry out predictive analytics, digital monitoring and control as well as robotics, among others. Students learn machine learning which enables predictions to be made based on large amounts of data, pre-empting a system failure or predicting fraud.”

She added that the programme prepares students for the digital working world.

“Aside from proficiency in data analytics and critical thinking, AI solutions require a flair in creativity. These skills are needed to create smart workspaces which enhance collaborative work activities, and provide a space for individual concentration.

“Graduates can apply AI technologies to solve problems in the competitive working environment,” said Sameem.

UCSI University is introducing its Bachelor of Computer Engineering in Artificial Intelligence programme in January next year.

UCSI Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment dean Associate Professor Dr Ang Chun Kit said: “Fundamental knowledge of IR 4.0 areas including autonomous robots, system integration, Internet of Things, cybersecurity and big data are covered in our programme.”

Compared to the conventional computer science degree, Ang feels that this programme is more practical.

“Through the courses offered, students will be exposed to key areas in AI. They will experience learning and working at the computer engineering and AI laboratories.

“Students are equipped with the knowledge required to meet the demands and challenges posed in IR 4.0. Aside from the core theoretical foundations, this programme provides advanced algorithmic, statistical and computer engineering knowledge.”

Digital transformation is inevitable and AI graduates are in demand.

“This AI programme at UCSI University is catered for students to be equipped with a greater understanding of AI applications. With the understanding of AI history, functionality and challenges, students will possess the relevant skill set to not only participate, but also be the frontrunners of digital transformation at the workplace and beyond,” he added

Ang Chun Kit.

DATA ANALYTICS

According to the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management, data analysis are among the jobs of the future.

“By the year 2020, Malaysia will require 20,000 data professionals. To date, more than 14,000 talents have been trained with the data science skill-set,” said Sumitra.

Universiti Sains Malaysia is the first public university in the country to offer the Bachelor of Management (Business Analytics), developed in collaboration with MDEC.

“This collaboration is in line with preparing industry-ready graduates and equipping them with big data skills. MDEC, together with experts from various industries, provided input for the curriculum,” she said.

IR 4.0 calls for gold collar talent, USM School of Management dean Professor Dr Noor Hazlina Ahmad said. “With increasing demand for skilled data analysts in Malaysia, USM has recognised the urgency to prepare graduates who are adept at computing and analytics for IR 4.0. They will be geared towards solving business challenges and employing data-driven decisions.”

Noor Hazlina further added that partnering with MDEC is significant due to its focus in propelling the nation’s digital economy into IR 4.0. “The foresight of MDEC and its reservoir of experiences have provided the direction, emphasis and contents to assist USM in crafting the courses. MDEC’s industry networks have given insights to our programme to efficiently transform students into a skilled workforce.”

With the rapid development of IR 4.0, she said that business analysts with hybrid skills are a strategic necessity for all companies.

“Hybrid talent are those with a combination of tech skills such as computing and analytics as well as soft skills namely leadership, adaptability and entrepreneurship. The programme empowers graduates to run the technical side of business, comprehend data and communicate clearly at the customer interface.”

Noor Hazlina said that organisations are looking for hybrid talent to manage end-to-end processes.

“A hybrid skill set facilitates continual learning, reskilling and upskilling in the dynamic IR 4.0 business environment. This enables participation in digital transformation.”

Sunway University Business School will start its Bachelor of Business Analytics (BBA), beginning January next year.

IR 4.0 drives us to a new world, said Sunway University Business Analytics Department head Professor Hwang Ha Jin.

“A new world requires new thinking, new strategies, and new approaches. The BBA programme provides students with a comprehensive curriculum encompassing the major components of IR 4.0 such as IoT, cloud computing, big data, and machine learning.”

Hwang highlighted the fact that students will be able to transform data into powerful and predictive insights to respond to the global Big Data Revolution.

“They will build skills and knowledge required to maintain a competitive edge in the digital era. The programme also instils critical thinking, creative ideas and innovative approaches to solve business problems,” he added.

According to Hwang, Business Analytics was developed to face arising issues in IR 4.0.

“The Harvard Business Review named data scientist as the sexiest job of the 21st century. To be sexy is to be modern, creative, innovative, flexible and agile. Business analysts solve problems by utilising insights from big data to help companies become more innovative and competitive.”

Disruptions are expected, he added.

“To survive in the digital era, creativity and innovation are crucial. Critical thinking, analytical skills and IT skills gained through our BBA programme will help students maintain a professional competency in IR 4.0 and become leaders to pave the way for IR 5.0.”

Hwang pointed out that recent workplace trends show new growth opportunities and organisations will require new talents. “BBA graduates are expected to contribute by, firstly, helping to align processes with business needs and transform organisations to be agile. They will also eliminate ineffectiveness and help businesses plan better. More importantly, they can build the culture of a proactive organisation.”

In September, UM introduced its Bachelor of Computer Science in Data Science aimed at producing analytical-driven graduates.

Sameem explained: “They will be able to apply cutting-edge technology and sophisticated data analysis algorithms, while harnessing the power of data to transform the world. Students will acquire hard skills, namely programming, statistics and modeling as well as soft skills such as critical thinking which are essential for IR 4.0.

“Aside from the ability to apply computing techniques, graduates will have an entrepreneurial mindset to solve the pressing challenges

of businesses.”

The programme follows the 2u2i concept which requires undergraduates to study on campus for two years, and undergo an industrial internship for the remaining years.

UM is also collaborating with analytics expert, SAS Institute and the Center of Applied Data Science.

Sameem said: “The memorandum of agreement with SAS will provide students a SAS Joint Certificate while CADS will provide a suitable internship placement.”

DIGITAL MARKETING

The digital economy requires businesses to master digital marketing to be competitive. The introduction of Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Management with a specialisation in Digital Marketing at Asia Pacific University is timely to fill the needs of the job market, said School of Marketing and Media head Dr Devinder Kaur Sarjit.

Devinder said: “According to Jobstreet’s Job Outlook 2019, digital marketing is one of the top five digital skills sought after by Malaysian employers.”

This programme will cultivate hybrid skills among graduates. “In the changing technology landscape, more companies are looking for talents with hybrid skills. For example, employees in traditionally technology-based jobs will need to acquire soft skills to adapt to change and develop new products and services. It’s vice versa for business and management-related fields.

“In Industry 4.0, important skills are classified into four categories namely ICT knowledge, data analytics, technical know-how and personal skills. This programme will expose marketing students to the hands-on skills needed to excel,” said Devinder.

“Students will acquire the ability to critically evaluate as well as recommend appropriate digital tools and techniques in utilising the plethora of social media platforms to optimise market potential,” she added.

Maybank executive vice-president and Talent Attraction and Workplace Futurisation head Sophia Ang Wui Jiun said that collaboration with industry players is needed.

“Jobs are changing rapidly so we need to prepare our talents to be agile and adaptable.Many universities provide expanded curriculum to equip students with digital know-how. They co-design programmes with industries to enable hands-on experiences in a real working environment.”

Sunway University’s Business School is doing just that by putting an emphasis on internships and industry linkages to produce future-ready graduates. The School’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing programme offers courses in digital marketing with most of its marketing subjects linked with the industry.

Sunway Business School Marketing programme leader Dr Izian Idris said: “The programme caters mainly for different types of marketing techniques aligned with IR4.0 with courses like integrated marketing communications.

“Students will gain skills such as creating ads digitally and social media marketing. Not only are most of the marketing subjects linked with the industry, they are also aligned with the current industrial needs to prepare students for the workforce.

“Our students have completed internships at top companies namely Google Malaysia, Leo Burnett, and many digital marketing companies.

“Aside from industry-led marketing competitions, our department also has many events such as Marketing Day, Marketing Showcase and Digital Expo where students are encouraged to participate. Next year, our Marketing showcase will involve digital advertising for students to display their talent in advertising.”

By Rayyan Rafidi.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/11/538180/pursuing-courses-keep-pace-digital-advances

CM: Govt to ensure Sabah well-equipped for Industry 4.0

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government will continue to provide a strong economic foundation to ensure the State is well-equipped for Industry 4.0, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

“We are in exciting times as we accelerate into the digital economy, with amazing new technologies having the potential to transform our lives and entire industries,”

He said this in his speech read by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong during the Access Agreement Exchange event between Maxis and Celcom Timur (Sabah) Sdn Bhd (CT Sabah), at Magellan Sutera, here, Tuesday.

The agreement exchange signifies partnership between Maxis and CT Sabah to provide greater fibre connectivity through the provision of High Speed Broadband (HSBB) Network Services.

With the collaboration, Maxis will have full access to CT Sabah’s fibre optic network, which enables the roll out of affordable broadband plans to more Sabah homes and businesses.

Sabahans in areas with CT Sabah’s fibre optic infrastructure will be able to enjoy its fibre plans starting November 1.

In line with Industry 4.0, Shafie said the collaboration has the potential to open up new frontiers in innovation.

“There will be opportunities for new initiatives to ensure key sectors are transformed positively by technology and high speed connectivity.

“It will foster the development of new industries and create more job opportunities, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life of the people of Sabah, he said.

He said with the widening access to broadband connectivity, more consumers and businesses would be able to leverage the Internet to create better opportunities which can in turn help accelerate the growth of Sabah’s digital economy.

“Similarly, ensuring wide broadband connectivity to the remote parts of Sabah must not be neglected if we want to narrow the digital divide between the urban and rural areas in Sabah.

“It (the collaboration) is timely and very much needed as we forge ahead to realise new opportunities for Sabah,” he said, adding that a robust ICT infrastructure is the backbone for the future of high speed internet connectivity.

He said the collaboration between service providers is important for the successful implementation of the recently announced National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), which focuses on implementing policies and projects that will improve the speed, and reduce the costs of infrastructure deployment at state level.

Maxis Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gokhan Ogut said the partnership with CT Sabah is another significant step towards its converged ambitions to become a mobile and fixed LAN solutions operator.

“We’re not only investing in fibres as well as mobile, we are also doing partnerships and seeking access to existing fibres in the country,” he said.

In another development, Gokhan told reporters during a press conference that Maxis is unable to provide a specific date as to when its 5G network will be launched as of now.

Recently, Maxis reportedly signed an agreement with Huawei Technologies Malaysia on the provisioning of 5G network service.

“It depends on the spectrum allocation which the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commissions (MCMC) will decide, there is a taskforce that started its work over a year ago, on 5G.

By: Anthea Peter.

Are our students ready for the IR4.0 workplace?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019
Students should take the initiative to take short courses to get additional certifications relevant to the IR4.0 workplace.

INDUSTRIAL Revolution (IR) 4.0 is characterised by advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality, big data and analytics, and the Internet of Things.

These technology advancements, when adapted in the workplace, are enabling new ways to execute work, bringing new opportunities for value creation to businesses and organisations — paving the way for the formation of digital ecosystems and collaborations as well as engagement with consumers at a greater scale.

In terms of readiness for the IR4.0 workplace, do students or would-be graduates in Malaysia understand the concept of IR4.0 and its impact on their future careers, and are they prepared for the ever-evolving digital workplace?

These are the questions that sought to be answered in a study commissioned by INTI International University & Colleges (INTI) and International Data Corporation (IDC) on Graduate Readiness for the IR4.0 workplace.

Tan Lin Nah

Involving 560 respondents comprising students, graduates and parents, the survey aimed to uncover if talents were ready to be part of a digitally-evolving workforce.

Among the key findings of the study were that students, graduates and parents lack clarity on IR4.0; students feel unprepared to join the IR4.0 workforce; and that tertiary education may not be doing enough to prepare students for the workplace.

According to Tan Lin Nah, acting chief executive officer of INTI International University & Colleges, despite the increase of IR4.0 initiatives by the government and industry, more than half of the students and graduates responding, respectively, were unable to articulate what IR4.0 entails.

Likewise, more than half of the parents surveyed lacked the ability to discuss IR4.0 and why it is relevant to organisational transformation.

“While emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is on the rise, students are unable to articulate or envision how their choice of education and careers today may be impacted by digital change,” said Tan.

She said most students have not gained exposure to IR4.0 and may be too reliant on only their academic programmes to make them job-ready.

“Universities must evaluate and assess how well their current programmes provide training and real-world insights to graduates entering the workplace, and what they need to do to scale up beyond theoretical and academic teaching.

“Students must be socially competent, adaptive competent, digital competent and must have a high level of personal competence.” Emeritus Professor Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim UiTM vice-chancellor

“Beyond technical skills, universities also have a crucial role to play in ensuring soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership skills and lifelong learning are integrated across all programmes, so that graduates can cope with rapid changes in the industry and take charge of their own learning,” said Tan, adding that in reality, it takes years for programme syllabi to be updated at university and to keep track on what is current and changing within the industry.

She also noted that not many students took the initiative to take courses to get additional certifications relevant to the IR4.0 workplace, citing time constraints and a lack of value as their reasons.

While students and parents believe employers are looking to younger talents as technologically-savvy employees who will help them in their digital transformation, graduate respondents paint a different picture that there are organisations unwilling to adopt a new generation of talent, stating legacy issues and an unwillingness to adopt new processes as the key challenges faced in the workplace — pointing to a mismatch of expectations from graduates and the reality in the industry.

Elisabeth Stene

INITIATIVES

Tan said INTI has begun the process to equip future talents for the rapidly evolving technological workplace through innovative teaching and learning, and in developing strong industry partnerships with over 450 industry partners.

“Our initiatives will provide students with the experience and readiness for them to be integrated into the workforce, such as real-world employer projects, industry advisory boards, workshops, boot camps, industry-led competitions, short courses and internships where graduates would have gained some experience and insights on how to deal with current challenges when they enter the workforce. Some of the high-tech industry partners that we currently work with on these initiatives include IBM, Google, Alibaba GET, Dell and Glodon,” she said.

In addition to current initiatives, INTI offers Design Thinking as part of the required Mata Pelajaran Umum module across all bachelor’s degree programmes.

This module teaches students to analyse and develop solutions to real-life challenges, to achieve the best outcomes in an innovative and efficient manner.

“Through this module, students work closely with industry, gain exposure to current social issues, and develop their skills in research, presentation, teamwork and the ability to view challenges critically. The programme also empowers students to be socially-conscious while preparing for careers in a digitally-driven world,” Tan said.

INTI also continues to organise its Industry Advisory Boards, where members of faculty and industry meet to evaluate curriculum and the inclusion of industry trends in learning.

“These measures are part of acknowledging that education must change to meet the needs of a new digital era and through this, INTI continues to prepare future talents to be part of the IR4.0 workforce,” Tan remarked.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), meanwhile, has been responsive and actively embarking on IR4.0 related initiatives for the past three years, starting from a campus-wide campaign and awareness drive in 2016.

Feon Ang

The university has 13 Data Analytics Labs on various campuses for data camp training programmes that are open to students from all faculties as well as 21 Smart Classrooms that support the design and implementation of Active, Relevant, Interactive and Fun learning (ARIF).

Early this year, the university launched the Pioneering University Framework of UiTM to put forward the provision of High End TVET programmes where UiTM is to introduce emerging technology competencies in the diploma, degree and professional programmes such as Enabling Technologies for Industry 4.0 Revolution as stipulated by the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD).

Its vice-chancellor, Emeritus Professor Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim, said: “This means that in general, an intuitive approach is taken in designing and developing a fluid, dynamic and organic curriculum”.

“Students are prepared to face the changing world, to be able to use their existing skills and quickly learn new ones to be participating members of society. Other than the 21st century competencies, students must be socially competent, adaptive competent, digital competent and must have a high level of personal competence,” he said.

To have these, the curriculum is built to be both industry and community relevant, with future proof content offered through multidisciplinary electives and academic programmes.

Most programmes have been revised to embed data analytics and/or any of the nine IR4.0 technological advances such as autonomous robots, simulation, system Integration, IoT, cybersecurity, cloud, augmented reality (AR), and additive manufacturing.

As an example, the undergraduate degree programmes at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering are built on flexible and organic curriculum where the students are exposed to special topics like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics.

Elective and non-credit courses are offered across faculties, cross campuses and via multimodal delivery, with the intention of creating a more holistic approach in nurturing students. Such learning materials are provided online to enable easy access and to encourage collaboration with a diverse group of learners.

In 2018, UITM successfully launched Urban intelligenT Mobile Autonomous Vehicle (UiTM-AV), a R&D initiative geared towards emerging technologies.

“To date, there are more than 500 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) developed and completed in UiTM. By 2021, it is expected that there will be a proliferation of MOOCs and micro learning courses that will allow students to have a learning buffet, with a spread of courses that can be taken out of interest or for further certification in related fields.

“Credit transfer from courses taken from other universities or providers will be instituted to cater for the growing spirit of ubiquitous and distributed learning,” said Mohd Azraai.

He also highlighted that as part of UiTM’s provision of IR4.0, research and development has been and continues to be geared towards emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

The university has also drawn up an initiative branded as Education 5.0@UiTM that responds to IR4.0 while emphasising the humanistic part of education.

Education 5.0 is defined as a learning-centric ecosystem that is sustainable, balanced and principled, driven by values, powered by intellect and afforded by new, ubiquitous technologies.

UiTM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Mohamad Kamal Haron said the initiative focuses on placing the ownership of learning on learners. Nevertheless, he added, the approach emphasises instilling values and principles through less-prescriptive learning.

“Learning is also seamless and learning can happen anywhere, anytime, from any device, with and from anyone, and through any path. Thus learning experience can be designed to be diverse and of variety,” he said.

IR4.0 WORKPLACE

According to Digi chief human resource officer Elisabeth Stene, an IR4.0 workplace is one where employees are empowered to respond quickly to customers, conduct business responsibly and adopt technology to fuel business and work efficiency.

“This is supplemented by dynamic leaders, agile way of work, a strong emphasis on collaboration and a culture where learning is a permanent state to stay relevant. We believe that this is the foundation required for companies to go through disruption and transformation,” she said.

How far has IR4.0 been adapted in the workplace and is the IR4.0 workplace already in existence in Malaysia today?

Stene said the IR4.0 workplace is no longer a new concept as it’s been around for the past three to four years.

Many organisations in the region have indeed adapted and transformed themselves into an IR4.0 workplace, and Digi is one of them.

“We’ve digitalised our core operations and ensured that our people embraced the change well. For such a large-scale transformation, it is crucial to foster the right mindset and culture across the organisation.

“From the onset, we instilled in our people the right mindset — that digital transformation is not just an IT project but a company-wide agenda, sponsored by the entire senior leadership — and the right values that drove a change in our culture.

“I’m pleased to say that we are now reaping the benefits from our digital transformation that enabled Digi to be an IR4.0 workplace today,” said Stene.

Feon Ang, vice president of Talent and Learning Solutions, Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn, meanwhile, observed that both traditional and tech industries are adopting new technologies such as AI and automation to improve operations, introduce new products and services, and provide a better experience for their customers.

“While employers are looking for talent with hard skills in these technologies, it’s soft skills that continue to be important across jobs and industries. Investing in the right talents who have both skill sets is what’s important for the company,” she said

MOVING FORWARD

Stene noted it is encouraging that most universities in Malaysia have already started ensuring that their curricula is integrated with subjects that are relevant in preparing students for the IR4.0 workplace.

“Higher education institutes should balance theory with practical experience — encourage internships, experiential learning and develop curriculum via partnerships with corporates.

“In return, corporates too should be open and provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges and change their way of working due to Industry 4.0 as these students are the future workforce,” she said.

Ang, meanwhile, opined that the most important thing is to encourage everyone to have a growth mindset — especially when they have completed their schooling.

“Learning doesn’t stop at schools. In fact, in schools, we are learning how to learn, as well as understanding and finding our paths. With this, it also takes commitment by the broader ecosystem — from government, companies and education institutions — to help bring this to fruition.

“From a skills perspective, it will be challenging to adapt curriculum solely to cope with hard skills changes. If there’s one thing we’d suggest, the biggest skills gap is soft skills. From leadership, creativity to problem-solving, these are skills that will last for life,” she said.

From the higher education point of view, Tan said being the main provider of competencies needed by graduates for IR4.0, universities must re-evaluate their current offerings.

“Among the skills needed to thrive in IR4.0 are the mastery of key IT skills to enable students to enhance their career prospects.

“For example, a business student should learn how to maximise e-commerce as most business platforms are currently leveraging on the many benefits and success of the e-commerce scene.

“Quantity surveying students should learn how to use building information modelling (BIM) software as most building and construction firms use BIM to improve productivity, promote better collaboration and communication and mitigate risks,” she elaborated.

There should be greater collaboration between higher education and industry partners to enhance curriculum and ensure its relevance to current market demands.

“When students learn current trends in the industry by participating in employer projects, industry-led competitions or internships, they pick up essential skills and knowledge to help them in their future careers.

“Students should also focus on the development of personal skill sets alongside academic excellence. The development of personal skills sets such as teamwork, adaptability to change, ability to communicate effectively and having a mindset for lifelong learning are the competencies that will enable students to remain relevant, regardless of the roles or industries they enter,” she said.

Teaching English goes future forward

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Dr Airil Haimi (lefft, seated on the desk) with the VR goggles on his head together with several of his team members who have been trying to bring innovative practices into English teaching, using modern media platforms.

MUCH has been said about the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR but much more needs to be done on the ground, especially in the field of education in the Malaysian setting.

Many are still unable to see that the very nature of the teaching and learning process is changing, what more with the arrival of Generation Alpha – the next generation of students born entirely within the 21st century.

To complicate things further as we cross into the era of 4IR, the field of education has also moved into the Education 5.0 stage. As the world prepares to usher in year 2020, our national education system must address the challenges of globalisation and deal with changes in computer and telecommunications technologies sparked by 4IR ‘disruptions’.

At the Academy of Language Studies of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Perak branch in Bandar Seri Iskandar, its head of Centre of Studies decided to become an adopter of a not-so-new technology, hoping to take the teaching and learning of English into the 21st century.

“The name of our project is ‘English Language Simulations Augmented with 360° spherical videos’. We codenamed it ELSA 360°-Videos, because it’s cuter,” said Dr Airil Haimi Mohd Adnan, the learning technologist and project manager.

Together with his young team of English lecturers – Muhamad Khairul, Muhammad Anwar, Nurul Nadiah and Ahmad Ariffuddin – they have been hard at work trying to bring innovative practices into English teaching, using modern media platforms.

“The problem is that you need money to be an early adopter of learning technologies, and you need to constantly reskill and upskill yourself because what is high-end today might be old-tech next month or next year,” said Airil Haimi.

The primary challenge that he faces is the limited time to teach critical language skills to degree level students, who also need to contend with their specialist core subjects.

“So, when 360° video cameras became more mainstream and not too expensive, I saved for a few months to buy one online and to start the ELSA 360°-Videos project,” he added.

Nevertheless, applying 360° or spherical video technology to the teaching of English for Professional and Workplace Interactions was not as straightforward as he thought. It took him six months of learning about 360° video technology and the methods of using this effectively in lesson delivery.

“You don’t want to do something just for the sake of doing it, right? But I’m happy to report that many educators have shared positive results on using 360° videos to teach.

“Here on campus, our undergraduates love being immersed and having the feeling of ‘being in’ actual meeting rooms and ‘joining in’ simulated workplace discussions,” he said.

360° or spherical video technology has the distinctive advantage of immersing learners and helping them to feel as if they are actually part of whatever is happening on screen. With three DOFs or Degrees of Freedom, learners can look around the meeting room or office space and see everything that is happening around them.

For degree level students who have limited contact hours to learn English for Professional and Workplace Interactions, this technology bridges the gap between what they could only imagine, and what they can actually see and feel.

With three DOFs, seeing how office mates talk to each other, respond, reciprocate and share ideas while focusing also on their facial and bodily gestures really make a difference in the learning of difficult English skills.

Nur Alia, appreciates the fact that 360° videos technology can help her friends who are not proficient in English to revise and learn on their own.

“My friends who cannot grasp the points in class, can learn while lounging on their beds and raise their English levels on their own,” she said.

For Nurul Liyana, another early user of ELSA 360°-Videos: “I love that I can learn wherever and whenever because the lecturer posted all the 360° videos on YouTube. “So, when we go to class, we just practice a bit then we can do the tests.”

In the next stage of the ELSA 360°-Videos project, Airil and his team are trying to get students to invest in cheap Virtual Reality or VR goggles using their smartphones to power the VR screens.

He is also planning to set up a content development lab focusing on future learning technologies aptly called “Future Learning Initiatives” Lab or FLI Lab.

“When it comes to technology, the problem is always money. True, great teaching ideas don’t need money but to make those ideas real, then dreamers like us have to start saving money to gain access to future learning technologies.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/09/15/teaching-english-goes-future-forward#4mDUcr20pwhO4JxP.99

AI-based platform to match students to digital tech courses launching soon

Friday, September 13th, 2019

The Digital Tech Tertiary Matching Platform will be made available to the public during the #mydigitalmaker Fair 2019 which will be held on Sept 14 and 15 at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur. – Pic source: Facebook/MyMDEC
By New Straits Times - September 13, 2019 @ 6:48pm

With the advent of the 4th Industrial revolution and growing adoption of digital technologies across all sectors, there is a growing demand for digital tech jobs.

However, there is a lack of awareness among students on digital tech careers, and quality digital tech tertiary courses available.

To scale this awareness and to empower parents and students to make more well-informed decisions about which tertiary education pathways to take – in not just the digital tech industries but across many other sectors too, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is joining forces with Genesis Data Asia Sdn Bhd to launch an AI (artificial intelligence)-based platform which will profile and match students to in-demand tertiary-level digital tech courses and scholarships.

Happening this weekend, the Digital Tech Tertiary Matching Platform will be made available to the public during the #mydigitalmaker Fair 2019 which will be held on Sept 14 and 15 at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur.

“Many students lack information about which digital tech tertiary courses and education funds they qualify for, and which universities have industry-relevant courses with high employment rates. The only way to find out at the moment is for parents and students to spend hours researching each individual university.

“With this AI-based platform, students will receive personalised guidance on recommended pre-University or University level courses and scholarships in just minutes, thus simplifying and speeding up their decision-making process,” said Dr. Sumitra Nair, vice president of Tech Talent, MDEC.

By entering their academic results into the platform, students will receive personalised recommendations to guide their applications to universities and scholarship providers. Students will also be guided on subjects they need to improve should they wish to target specific digital tech courses offered by Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTI). PDTIs are universities and polytechnics that have proven track records in high graduate employability, industry engagement and career services.

“This platform will empower students to make better decisions about their tertiary education, and help school counselors to play a more prominent role to promote tech tertiary courses and prepare students for their tertiary pathways that lead to high-value digital tech careers.

By New Straits Times.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2019/09/521184/ai-based-platform-match-students-digital-tech-courses-launching-soon

Sabah Govt strives to embrace IR 4.0 to ensure jobs for graduates – Jenifer

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Jenifer (ninth from right), Roselyn (ninth from left) and Jess (eighth from right) with INTI staff, guests and industry partners at the Youth Beyond Academic public showcase.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah State Government is striving to embrace Industrial Revolution 4.0 while ensuring graduates in the state continue to gain meaningful employment.

“We recognise the importance of being involved in IR 4.0 and I am thrilled to witness that the students here today are equipped with the skillsets needed for the future.

“This showcase is a worthy example of how higher education institutions should embrace, adapt, lead and prepare our future graduates for the shifting employment landscape,” said Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation and honorary guest of the showcase, Jenifer Lasimbang, when delivering her at INTI College Sabah’s (INTI) second “Youth Beyond Academic” public showcase at  Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, here yesterday.

Some of the projects featured at the showcase included the “Kinabalu Pink Ribbon Run”, where students fundraised RM8,000 to improve the lives of breast cancer patients; the “Power of Ten” that saw students successfully raising RM3,200 to build a new wing in Hospital Keningau’s Dialysis Center; “Are you Responsible? Old Tyre and Used

Battery” which saw students recycling tyre straps and water to generate electricity, and “Unite for Vision” a fundraising event organized by INTI students that saw RM3,000 raised for the Sabah Society for the Blind.

The public showcase featured eight projects focusing on social consciousness and real industry problems to demonstrate the skillsets of its students in an advancing Industrial Revolution 4.0 world.

The showcase was organised for members of the public, high school students, INTI’s industry partners and parents alike.

Earlier, the showcase kicked off with an opening speech by Roselyn Chua, Chief Executive of INTI College Sabah, who shared the significance of the event to her audience.

“As we move into a world which increasingly relies on smart machines and systems, cloud computing and the internet of things, the skillsets that require enhancing for the future workforce are personal skills,” shared Roselyn.

“While skillsets such as knowledge about ICT, technical know-how and the ability to work with data are important, personal skills such as emotional intelligence, complex problem solving, coordinating with others, and creativity will take the forefront as we tackle issues such as climate change, cancer and non-communicable diseases,” said Roselyn.

“These skills are pertinent for our future graduates as they go out into the workforce because they cannot be emulated by machines. It is these skills that will make our future graduates relevant in the future workforce and our projects here today are demonstrative of our students’ abilities in honing these skillsets successfully,” she said.

Jenifer, who was also given a tour around the showcase, expressed her appreciation for being a part of the event and shared that it was crucial for all higher education institutions in Sabah to follow suit and initiate a similar curriculum for their students.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2019/09/08/sabah-govt-strives-to-embrace-ir-4-0-to-ensure-jobs-for-graduates-jenifer/