Industry-university collaboration vital to stay on par with technological advancements, says CM Chow


WHAT lies ahead of us is how we embrace the many golden opportunities we have to progress and stay relevant in today’s competitive world, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.


He said there is an undeniable need to foster deeper collaboration between industries and universities in Penang as it is a gateway to stay relevant and competitive in an era moving rapidly towards high-end technological advancements.


“The state hopes to have more graduates with an eye of grabbing the Industrial Revolution 4.0 by the horns and build digital worlds of tomorrow.


“This is important so that we continue to produce individuals that will contribute greatly to the state’s economy, while creating a place for themselves in today’s highly competitive era,” Chow said in his speech when officially launching the University of Wollongong (UOW) Malaysia KDU, Batu Kawan campus on the mainland today.


The 10-acre campus officially started its virtual classes in early 2020, but face-to-face teaching and learning only started in April this year.


Chow said UOW Malaysia KDU would play a crucial role in producing talents of tomorrow that would heavily complement the demands of the evolving industries.


From left, Noel, Patricia and Chow posing during a photo session.


“Batu Kawan is home to more than 30 multinational corporations (MNCs) and large local companies (LLCs) engaged in hi-tech manufacturing and research and development.


“Linked to the island via the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, the Batu Kawan Industrial Park’s proximity to the Penang International Airport makes it ideal for hi-tech manufacturers to ship out complex products and components by air.


“And now, the presence of a hi-tech university campus will add even more geographic advantage to the industrial community here.


“I am told that UOW Malaysia KDU’s Batu Kawan campus is set to grow into a hub for experimentation on new, emerging technologies, focusing on research into IR 4.0 innovations.


“Glad to note that the campus here also actively arranges for its students to be sent to companies for industrial training.


“This will allow students to have hands-on experience when they take part in the problem solving and efficiency enhancement projects of the companies.


“Therefore, the proximity between this campus and Penang’s latest industrial players will bring about greater progress, especially in the effort of building young minds to take up new challenges,” Chow said.


Offering a variety of foundation to postgraduate programmes in various disciplines, the campus can accommodate 3,500 students.


Chow delivering his speech.


Meanwhile, UOW vice-chancellor Prof Patricia Davidson said Batu Kawan serves as an ideal and strategic location that can ensure a steady growth for the campus to produce graduates that are industry-driven and highly competitive to meet today’s crucial demands.


“We intend to leverage on this proximity to promote research and project collaboration with the key industry players in the BKIP.


“With our collaborative initiatives, it is envisaged that the Batu Kawan campus will become a focal point of teaching, research and knowledge transfer in IR 4.0 and beyond, while elevating the quality of Penang’s human capital,” she said.


Also present was UOW Malaysia chairman Noel Cornish, who said the campus is ready to work even closely with industry players to ensure students are given the proper and suitable training before they head out to the real world.


UOW is an Australian public university located near Sydney and is considered one of the best modern universities in the world.


Also present during the ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang, UOW Malaysia KDU chancellor Datuk Seri Dr Michael Yam Kong Choy and UOW Malaysia KDU chief executive officer Jennifer Ng.


Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi