Transforming Malaysian Education Through the Helix Model

March 29, 2024

Within the context of the Helix model, Professor Dr Walton Wider from INTI International University’s Faculty of Business and Communications delves into the transformative role of higher education in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. His research outlines a comprehensive roadmap for further exploration and development in our rapidly evolving knowledge-based society. The triple, quadruple, and quintuple Helix models emerge as groundbreaking frameworks that redefine the educational landscape.

The Helix model is becoming increasingly popular, and Professor Dr Walton Wider, a member of the Faculty of Business and Communications (FBC) at INTI International University, is playing a pivotal role in guiding academia, industry, and government towards a future focused on growth through innovation and societal progress.

Professor Dr. Wider emphasises the critical role of academic institutions in nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship, highlighting their importance in a knowledge-driven economy. He questions traditional innovation strategies that only consider interactions between businesses or between businesses and governments. The Helix model, instead, showcases the synergy between government, business, and academic institutions in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The Helix model highlights the expanded role of universities in technology transfer, company formation, and regional revitalisation within the knowledge society,” Professor Dr. Wider stated.

This research departs from previous models that viewed government, business, and academia as separate entities, advocating for a more nuanced, sector-specific analysis of each participant in the innovation ecosystem. This approach clarifies the unique responsibilities, objectives, and challenges of academia, business, and government and their collaborative impact on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The study highlights the pivotal contributions of universities to technological transfer, academic entrepreneurship, and local economic development. By enhancing technology transfer capabilities and promoting entrepreneurship education, universities drive economic growth, create jobs, and launch new businesses in their communities.

Employing bibliometric analysis and systematic review, Professor Dr. Walton Wider uses the Web of Science database to examine past themes, identify current knowledge frameworks, and anticipate future trends in applying the Helix model to education. This pioneering study provides valuable insights and sets directions for future research in this dynamic area, marking the first quantitative literature review on the Helix model’s relevance to education.

As the Helix model gains momentum in transforming education, Professor Dr. Wider’s research advocates for collaborative knowledge sharing among government, business, and academia. Recognising universities’ essential role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, this study lays the groundwork for interdisciplinary research and practical projects aimed at societal advancement and economic growth.

In Malaysia, the Helix model is increasingly recognised and implemented within the educational system to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation. It stresses the mutual dependency and collaboration among government, business, and academia to cultivate a vibrant ecosystem conducive to economic growth and innovation. Universities in Malaysia act as vital centres for knowledge creation and dissemination, serving as hubs for research and development that produce skilled graduates poised to contribute to various industries. Through partnerships with industry and government agencies, Malaysian universities are pivotal in translating research into practical applications, facilitating technology transfer and commercialising innovations.

Industry engagement is a crucial aspect of the Helix model in Malaysia. It enables universities to connect with businesses, understand real-world challenges, and develop innovative solutions that meet industry needs. These partnerships also offer students valuable experiential learning opportunities, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Government support and policies are essential for advancing the Helix model in Malaysia, with government agencies offering funding, regulatory support, and incentives to foster collaboration between academia and industry. Additionally, government initiatives aim to create a supportive environment for startups and SMEs, further enriching the innovation ecosystem.

Adopting the Helix model in Malaysia’s educational system represents a holistic strategy to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. By leveraging the strengths of government, industry, and academia, Malaysia is poised to create an environment conducive to innovation-led growth and development and establish itself as a regional centre for technology, research, and entrepreneurship.