EIGHT local universities and five polytechnics were recently awarded the Premier Digital Tech University and Preferred Digital Tech Polytechnic status respectively by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Higher Education Ministry.
These higher education institutions are recognised for their qualifications and commitment in offering top-notch digital technology courses and ensuring highly skilled graduates continue to flourish and fill future digital job demands locally and globally.
The eight local universities are University of Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Multimedia University, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Sunway University, Taylor’s University and Asia Pacific University.
The five polytechnics are Politeknik Balik Pulau (Penang), Politeknik Mersing (Johor), Politeknik Sultan Idris Shah (Selangor), Politeknik Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (Terengganu) and Politeknik Ungku Omar (Perak).
Present at the award ceremony were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Higher Education director general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir and Polytechnic Education Department director general Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz.
Idris said the development of a sustainable digital workforce is set to become a major growth engine that will help drive the country’s transformation into a highly competitive and resilient economy amid an increasingly borderless world.
“We’re proud to support this collaborative effort as it paves the way for schools and learning institutions to be more dynamic.
“In the long run, this will enable Malaysia to become a developed nation, fully equipped for global competitiveness,” he said.
He added that through the recognition of the status, these institutions will be able to continuously nurture world-class digital tech talents that are now a big draw for the global information, communication and technology marketplace.
“Premier Digital Tech Universities provide a complete, sustainable and well-supported ecosystem, where the student experience is structured to provide optimum exposure to the latest industry technologies by both faculty members and industry players alike.
“The Preferred Digital Tech Polytechnics, on the other hand, are designed to emulate Premier Digital Tech Universities in terms of formulation of a structured and sustainable ecosystem actively supported by the industry.
“The graduates of these polytechnics are more hands-on and envisioned to meet the requirements of industry players whose talent needs are inclined towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training.”
Yasmin said the expectations are very high for the education system to rise to the challenge of driving human capital development.
“By awarding the status to select universities and polytechnics, we can now focus on making sure that more institutions follow in these footsteps and commit to educating future leaders.
“Through this initiative, we can further nurture high potential digital tech institutions and make them world-class to ensure the country retains top talents,” she said.
Premier Digital Tech Universities and Preferred Digital Tech Polytechnics are institutions that offer end-to-end solutions for students, educators and industry partners.
With help from the ministry, the digital curriculum will be reviewed to ensure students receive relevant industry-based skill sets aligned with industry needs.
With the status, both the universities and polytechnics will provide Digital Career Centres which offer a comprehensive range of services on career development, programmes and experiential learning, internship opportunities and employment assistance.
This will be achieved through engagement with key industry players including IBM, Fusionex, Grab, and industry associations such as The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), recruitment agencies and academicians.
Students can also seek information on education funds providers such as Yayasan Khazanah, Yayasan Peneraju and Petronas.
With this initiative, school-leavers who show a keen talent in digital creativity and innovation will be granted easy access to any Premier Digital Tech Universities and Preferred Digital Tech Polytechnics should they wish to continue their studies in digital technology courses there under the Green Lane enrolment programme.
They will also get the chance to complete their internships with key industry players and renowned digital technology corporations, both responsible for transforming them into industry-ready graduates.