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Details of the Applicants

Name : PROF DR MOHD MARZUKI MUSTAFA

Address: FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, UKM

Telephone : +603 8921 6100

Mobile Number : +6019 6639420

Email : marzuki@eng.ukm.my

Name : PROF DR NOOR INAYAH YAAKUB

Address : DEPUTY DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY PERFORMANCE N


INNOVATION MONITORING DIVISION,CENTRE FOR CORPORATE
PLANNING,UKM, 43650, BANGI, SELANGOR MALAYSIA
Telephone : 603-89214650

Mobile Number: 60193324036

Email: inayahyaakub@gmail.com

Details of Project/Initiative Implementing Agency

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Details of the Programme/Project/Initiative

Brief Description of the Programme/project/initiative:

UKM-UDE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC COLLABORATION

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This international academic collaboration between Universiti Kebangsaan
Malaysia (The National University of Malaysia) and Universitat Duisburg-Essen in
Germany started in 2000.

Main focuses are joint educational offers, mobility of students, researchers and
lecturers as well as initiation of research and development projects which are
connecting the German and South East Asian regions. From the first ideas about
10 years ago, Double Degree programmes have been established on bachelor
level which allows graduates to receive degrees from both partner universities.
Until now a total of 73 students from UKM and UDE were involved in the double
degree and student exchange programs.

Most recently, a Double Degree PhD programme was added which is looking for
bright Master students, which either have already graduated or preferably, will do
part of their Master studies in cooperation between both universities in
preparation to enter PromISE, the name of the Double Degree PhD programme.

These student oriented activities always have been supported by the exchange of
lecturers and researchers between both institution of Higher Education. Latter
aspect follows the traditional German principle that studies at the universities
always have to come together with research. Up to now 4 research grants with
total of Euro 370,000 were obtained to fund for the joint research activities.

Why Was the Project Started:

Both partners joined the collaboration for independent but fully matching
reasons:

• The program was conceptualized upon recognition of the need to produce


graduates with international perspectives who will likely be more prepared
to work in environment with diverse cultural and traditions
• UKM was looking for increased visibility as research university - Malaysia
as threshold country with very positive economic development needs to
link with industrialized countries
• UDE was looking for bright international engineering students at all levels -
Germany as export oriented country needs stabile links into the regions of
future markets
• Both partners recognized themselves as ideal partners and started
collaboration although differences between countries and universities are
significant and just only the distance already is 10,000 km

Objective:

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Main goal of the collaboration was to enable a growth of the alliance between
UKM and UDE on all academic levels, and later also by linking to other
universities. In the beginning, it was an initiative to create student mobility in the
frame of Double Degree bachelor program, but the concept was opened and
developed further on until the actual status which is covering most important
fields of academic collaboration.
Derived from this dynamic growth, the actual goal is to offer highly attractive
education in engineering sciences with a high level of German concepts of
engineering education. Natural perspective is to set up a joint venture - carrying
a privately operated Malaysian-German University with focus on engineering
sciences.

Target Group:

Target group has to be seen in a wide range covering everybody active in a


modern university.
Traditionally, this comprises students, researchers, lecturers and professors. As a
special attribute, the collaboration includes people caring for quality assurance of
the programmes and researchers and lecturers caring for the special intercultural
aspects of the collaboration. Finally, the ultimate target group are the graduates
from an educational programmes as well as the lecturers and researchers active
therein as they all benefit in their professional life from the international
exposure and special construction of educational offers of the alliance.

Date from which the Project became Operational:

2000

Is the Project Still Operational:

Yes, it is in full operation and still growing, extending to other universities besides
engineering and also linking to Universitas Indonesia (UI) and other universities in
Indonesia.

10 points that make the Programme/Project Innovative:

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1. This collaboration is the first and only of its kind between Malaysian and
German public Universities on “eye level” – both partners accept the other
one as on same level of quality, aside of all obvious differences.
2. Differences in culture and religion are accepted and integrated into the
teaching.
3. Interdisciplinary research is an explicit goal, as both partners invest their
best practice and skills for the solution of problems which are specific to
the region or situation of society of his partner country.
4. The partnership has grown and developed into a very tight partnership not
only showing a comprehensive spectrum of academic activities but also
having close links at level of administration and management.
5. Double Degree in Bachelor degree courses based on Credit transfer
scheme
6. Double Degree PhD/Dr.Ing. with goal of interdisciplinary research,
execution in a sandwich scheme and clear obligation and responsibility
declared and singing agreements.
7. Creation of a clear pattern of double degrees from Bachelor to PhD,
supported by student & staff exchange, based on joint research and
intercultural experience
8. Exchange programmes for students based on Learning Agreements,
guaranteeing efficiency smooth operation execution of mobility without
loss of study time
9. Set up of liasison office from UDE at UKM – the UDE Mercator Office at UKM
with goal of supporting mobility of students and staff as well as for
initiation on new research projects and educational programmes
10.Set up of liasison office from UKM at – the UKM International office at UDE

List 5 acheivements of the programme/project?

1. A double degree program in engineering degree programs involves a


student working for two different university degrees, completing them in
less time than it would take to earn them separately. So far 62 students
were involved in this program which is running stable.
2. Student exchange programs where 20 students have participated in this
program. This programme is still in its growing phase as for 2011 again 20
students are planning to participate, the same number as in total for the 8
years since 2003.
3. Establishment of UDE Mercator Office at UKM. Through the Mercator
Offices, UDE provides services for students, researchers as well as guest
professors. The provided services include administrative matters
concerning applications, visa and accommodation matters, general
enquiries about living and studying abroad. The Mercator Office &
Multimedia Laboratory had been officiated by His Excellency Mr. Juergen
Staks, Ambassador, Embessy of The Federal Republic of Germany on 5

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November 2002. In 2010, the sister office, the UKM international office at
UDE in 2010 has been opened. Liaison Offices have proven to be of highest
value to implement ambitious and innovative programmes in international
education.
4. 4 research grants with total of Euro 370,000 were obtained to fund for the
joint research activities. Sources have be EU, national funds from Malaysia
and Germany. Besides attracting external money, the program was also
financially supported by the partner universities as they both understand
and support the beneficial results of the collaboration for their graduates.
From this experience, 10 years after starting the collaboration, a good
level of sustainability has been achieved and will continue as this project
fuels itself through its success.

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the


programme/project/initiative and how they were overcome?

Challenges
• Basic problem was poor prior understanding of academic systems
and environments between Malaysia and Germany with have no
historical tie. Examples of such differences are study duration, credit
hours definition, different academic calendar, and different local
accreditation requirements
• Main challenge in implementing was the difficulty of matching the
curriculum such as finding equivalency among the subjects at both
universities.
• For participants, financial implication for students participating in the
double degree program was hard as living costs in Germany are far
higher than in Malaysia.
• Difficulty in learning new languages was tough as this problem is
added to the requirement to integrate into an unknown cultural and
educational context with the condition that all that shall not stretch
study duration beyond the regular duration more than reasonable.

Measures to overcome the challenges


• Both universities have shown strong commitment and support from
the faculty and management to operate the collaboration in a
smooth and understanding way – accept differences as challenges
and values but avoid personal violations and frictions.

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• Both universities help to in finding sponsors who can provide partial
financial support, ensuring sustainability of the collaboration.
• One of the principles used in matching the curriculum is the
equivalency based on subjects as group, also called module. This
principle has to be used as it will be impossible to match individual
subject. The most important consideration that we made in
replacing a group of our subjects with another group of subjects
from the partner university is to be able to answer the following
question: For example, for student taking course in electrical
engineering, can this student upon graduation meet our program
objective to become a qualified electrical engineer? Having this
macro perspective rather than looking at the details of the individual
subjects will easily facilitate matching the curriculum.
• One of the arrangement made to facilitate the student
exchange/double degree program is that both universities will not be
charging any tuition fees for the guest students. The students will
continue to pay the tuition fees at the home university. This will
encourage the students to participate in this programs because they
will not be subjected to any possible additional differential tuition
fee.
• Whereas it is true that communication can now be made easily via e-
mails, face-to-face meetings are still required and personal
initiatives offered by real humans are a key to success in mobility
schemes in international education. The cooperation between UKM
and UDE is therefore not limited to students exchange but also
covers staff exchange and research collaboration. The establishment
of UKM-Mercator laboratory and liason office at UKM that is run by a
permanent UDE staff is one of the factors that facilitate the
collaboration activities.
• Both universities also arrange for language courses to the students
prior to their departure and also while they are studying at the guest
universities.

List the 5 points how the programme/project/initiative serve a a model


that can be replicated or adapted by others?

1. From development and operation of double degree programs, a generic


model with strategies and methods was developed which can easily be
adopted to other faculties of the partners or even to the partners in an
international cooperation between different countries.

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2. The Credit transfer system developed allows to bridge also between other
partners as it was developed based on the ECTS (European Credit Transfer
Scheme) which has significantly contributed to the now existing European
Area of Higher Education. Still, the own adaption allows to take into
account also countries outside of Europe, like in Asia, which by tradition do
not fit into the European traditional.
3. Cotutelle agreement for joint PhD supervision is a way to channel PhD
projects in an international setting. First, it was introduced between France
and Germany, in between other European countries apply it. Now,
countries outside of Europe begin to apply it so that and the collaboration
between UKM and UDE can be seen as blueprint for many non-European
countries.
4. Laison offices have not been used in the past as they require relatively
high investments and running costs; on the other hand, their contribution
to academic values is hard to justify. Within the collaboration described
here, they have proven to be efficient and effective – unavoidable for long
distance co-operations. Experiences can be seen as best practice, to be
checked by others for best ways to implement this infrastructure in
different contexts.
5. Experiences and training modules for Intercultural Communication can be
adopted to other Southeast Asian countries.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the


programme/project/initiative:

6. Procedures developed are not specific to engineering; they can easily be


replicated and slightly modified for use in other non engineering faculties
and other institution, at least in the regions Europe and Asia.
7. Collaboration can be elevated to education institution level, what already
happened in given case. Better “start small” in one faculty, then
demonstrate good results, invite others to join, and “the ball gets running”.
This experience made can be initiated at other universities, allowing a slow
but healthy grows, allowing necessary changes and adoptions on the way
from bottom to top.
8. Special situation of scaling is extending the partnership into a network of
universities. Using this network idea, the initial two partners can accept a
third one and teach him their skills. If third one is integrated, the fourth
one will even be easier to integrate and so forth. The idea of collaboration
will not die with three partners or more. Double degree courses can
become a choice of “2 out of 3” etc.
9. Schemes developed are in conformance with regulations of MoHE Malaysia
(Ministry of Higher Education). In Asia, universities are limited in their
freedom, which is especially true for public universities. Therefore, a
scheme which has been developed once for a public university in

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mala<ysia will be easily adaptable to other public universities in Malaysia.
Similar patterns apply for Indonesia and other neighboring countries so
that scalability of given case to larger number or “families” of universities
is implicitly easy.
10.The collaboration between UKM and UDE was always guided and reflected
through views from an institutional point. The Credit transfer scheme was
developed under Asia-link, a special funding scheme of EU, quality
assurance was guided through works for and with AUN, EUA and different
Accreditation Boards. Therefore, results of collaboration between UKM and
UDE is already highly proved for matching with high ranking mainstreams
in international policy making and quality assurance. Any adaptation, in
whole or in part will not lead to major conflicts with international bodies
setting rules in international education and quality management.