INTI International University (INTI) and the Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE), under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which allows students from polytechnic institutions to pursue world class higher qualifications. The MOU, a step forward from the initial Letter of Intent which was signed by INTI and Politeknik Nilai in February 2016, will open up new, international pathways for Malaysian polytechnic students advancing into INTI’s Bachelor’s degree programmes, allowing them to gain access to global resources, interact with students from around the world, and learn from INTI’s local and international faculty.

Tim Bulow, CEO of INTI International University and Colleges (seated left) and Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, Secretary General, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (seated right) signing the memorandum of understanding to seal the collaboration between INTI and the Department of Polytechnic Education (DPE), witnessed by (standing L-R) Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmah Mohamed, Vice Chancellor, INTI International University; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia and Dato’ Amir Md Noor, Director-General, Department Of Community College Education cum Acting Director-General, Department Of Polytechnic Education, MOHE Malaysia.

To further support those outstanding students from the polytechnics who aspire to pursue their tertiary education at INTI, the university has collaborated with Gamuda Berhad, one of Malaysia’s leading engineering, property and infrastructure companies, who will provide grants for nine selected students from Politeknik Ungku Omar, Perak; Politeknik Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan; and Politeknik Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam, Selangor. The grants will go a long way to assist these students in covering their tuition fees for a duration of three years, and upon graduating, these students will be furnished with guaranteed employment within Gamuda’s extensive workforce.In attendance at the signing ceremony were Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia; Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, Secretary General, MOHE Malaysia; and Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Amir Md Noor, Director-General, Department Of Community College Education cum Acting Director-General, Department Of Polytechnic Education, MOHE Malaysia.Representing INTI, Mr Tim Bulow, CEO of INTI International University & Colleges; Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Arshad bin Ayub, Chancellor of INTI International University; and Yang Berbahagia Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmah binti Mohamed, Vice Chancellor of INTI International University, were also present during the momentous event. The ceremony also welcomed Lai Tak Ming, Gamuda Berhad’s Director of Group Human Resources and Administration.In his address during the signing ceremony, Bulow explained, “This agreement provides an incredible opportunity for outstanding Malaysian students to study world class engineering programmes at INTI, which are offered in collaboration with Coventry University in the United Kingdom. Additionally, as a part of the Laureate International Universities network, one of the largest networks of universities worldwide, INTI students also gain access to international resources and experiences that will give them an edge in their future careers.”YB. Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh said, “This collaboration between INTI, a well-established name in Malaysia’s private education sector, and the Ministry of Higher Education is a significant step forward in ensuring the growth of our nation, as well as the growth of technical and vocational education and training (TVET), particularly in the field of engineering.

(Left) Dr Mohd Nor Azman Bin Hassan, Deputy Director General, Private Higher Education Institutions, MOHE Malaysia; (fourth from left) Mr Lai Tak Ming, Director, Group HR and Admin, Gamuda Berhad; Mr Tim Bulow, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Arshad Ayub, with (third from right) Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmah Mohamed and Dato’ Amir Md Noor in a group shot with nine recipients of the Gamuda grant.

“As Malaysia moves into a new phase of development, one which emphasises the strengthening of our infrastructure to support economic expansion, as well as the acceleration of human capital development in building an advanced nation, the training of young professionals who are on par with their peers globally is of the highest importance. Working together collectively allows us to tap into a wider range of resources and enables us to enhance the capabilities of our graduates to meet the demands of the 21st century workplace, and this is in line with the aspirations of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025 (Higher Education).”As one of INTI’s long standing industry partners, Gamuda Berhad is one of more than 400 employers who collaborate with the university to offer insights into the expectations of the workplace. Whether through annual Advisory Board meetings, or in working closely on employer projects and internships that provide practical learning experiences for INTI’s students throughout the year, these industry partners are vital in ensuring that students gain a clear understanding of what is expected of them when they graduate.Supporting Bulow’s remarks, Lai Tak Ming said that as global competition increases, young people are expected to demonstrate sound academic knowledge and unique skill sets that will put them ahead and increase their chances of employability.He added: “Which is why at Gamuda, we are committed to developing a competent local workforce especially in technical fields related to engineering and construction, in the hope that Malaysian youths who are empowered with the right knowledge and skills will not only be gainfully employed, but also play an important role in nation building. We believe that our greater aspiration of building a sustainable workforce for Malaysia can be achieved through strategic collaborations with the government and private sector, such as this one with INTI.”

(From R-L) Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Idris Jusoh, Mr Tim Bulow and (fourth from right) Mr Lai Tak Ming with some of the recipients of the Gamuda grant after the presentation ceremony.

At the same time, the Department of Polytechnic Education is confident that Gamuda will be hiring values-driven talent who possess the right knowledge, skills, behaviour, and mind set. Dato’ Amir Md Noor, acting Director-General of the DPE, lauded the collaboration and said, “We believe this collaboration will enable our students to take their knowledge and skills to the next level. We also believe that this MOU will contribute towards instilling confidence in TVET programmes as a mainstream choice for parents and students – it shows that TVET graduates have a great future and continued potential for development.”As one of the nation’s largest TVET providers, the DPE has actively engaged with leading industry bodies to ensure the readiness of their graduates, the relevance of their curriculum design, as well as the effectiveness of the programme implementation.As one of the first institutions of private higher learning in Malaysia to collaborate with DPE in this endeavour, INTI has an established track record of providing educational excellence that leads to outstanding graduate outcomes.To date, 98% of INTI graduates are employed within six months of graduation, while 25% receive job offers even before they graduate. 82% are also paid higher than the market average, highlighting the edge that these students have over their peers. These figures have also been validated by BDO Governance Advisory, making INTI the only institution of higher learning who can vouch for its employability outcomes.