Fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

UNIVER­SITY of Malaya (UM) held a sign­ing cer­e­mony of a dual PhD pro­gramme agree­ment be­tween it­self and Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham. The agree­ment en­ables can­di­dates pur­su­ing PhD un­der this pro­gramme to be awarded Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy (PhD) from UM and Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham upon grad­u­a­tion.

The agree­ment was signed by UM vice-chan­cel­lor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin and Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham pro vice-chan­cel­lor Prof Chris­tine En­new. It was wit­nessed by In­sti­tute of Grad­u­ate Stud­ies (IPS) dean Prof Datin Dr Norhanom Ab­dul Wa­hab and Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Malaysia Cam­pus Re­search and Knowl­edge Trans­fer vice provost Prof Gra­ham Ken­dall.

Talks to ini­ti­ate this dual PhD pro­gramme be­gan in 2011 when Prof En­new vis­ited UM and af­ter sev­eral meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Not­ting­ham, the Fac­ulty of Medicine, UM, took up the pro­posal and iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial can­di­dates. Un­der the pro­gramme, can­di­dates will reg­is­ter at both in­sti­tu­tions and spend at least 18 months at Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham and at least one year at UM.

“I am de­lighted that we are able to of­fer a dual PhD with Univer­siti Malaya. This im­por­tant ini­tia­tive pro­vides stu­dents with the op­por­tu­nity to study in a gen­uinely in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment and for our in­sti­tu­tions, it pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend ex­ist­ing re­search col­lab­o­ra­tions and de­velop new ones,” said Prof En­new.

The can­di­dates will pay pro-rated tu­ition fees for the time spent at each in­sti­tu­tion and are su­per­vised by co-su­per­vi­sors ap­pointed by each in­sti­tu­tion.

The Dual PhD Pro­gramme Agree­ment with the Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham was pre­sented and ap­proved at the UM Se­nate on Oct 24 last year. Datuk Dr Mohd Amin said that pro­grammes such as the dual PhD ben­e­fited both in­sti­tu­tions as the pro­gramme has pro­duced bet­ter co­op­er­a­tion in the trans­fer of knowl­edge and joint pub­li­ca­tion.

He said, “The stu­dent and su­per­vi­sors from both in­sti­tu­tions act as the con­duit for col­lab­o­ra­tive projects that go be­yond the du­ra­tion of the pro­gramme. In essence, the col­lab­o­ra­tive project is a win­win sit­u­a­tion be­cause both uni­ver­si­ties will have a long-term col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship that keeps grow­ing even af­ter the stu­dents grad­u­ated.

“UM is also very pleased to have this agree­ment with Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham, a renowned in­sti­tu­tion ranked among the top 100 uni­ver­si­ties in the world. I hope the can­di­dates se­lected from this pro­gramme can reap the ben­e­fits of study­ing un­der both UM and Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham.”

Ac­cord­ing to Prof Dr Norhanom, UM has been en­gag­ing with in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned in­sti­tu­tions for dual PhD pro­grammes since 2009, start­ing with the Univer­sity of Syd­ney and fol­lowed by the Liver­pool John Moores Univer­sity.

As of this year, five can­di­dates suc­cess­fully com­pleted the pro­gramme where two can­di­dates grad­u­ated last year while the other three are ex­pected to grad­u­ate this year.

She added that pro­grammes are tai­lor-made ac­cord­ing to the re­quire­ments of each in­sti­tu­tion, which ben­e­fited not only the in­sti­tu­tions but also the can­di­dates. For Malaysians, the can­di­dates spend less money through this pro- gramme as com­pared to study­ing full-time at the part­ner in­sti­tu­tion.

To as­sist the can­di­dates fur­ther on fi­nan­cial mat­ters, IPS ini­ti­ated the Dual PhD Fund that can sup­port can­di­dates who are qual­i­fied for the as­sis­tance. “I was in­volved in a pre­vi­ous ver­sion of this scheme, where I was for­tu­nate enough to su­per­vise a num­ber of PhD stu­dents from Malaysia. It was that pro­gramme that en­abled me to visit Malaysia and even­tu­ally work here. This re­vised scheme of­fers even more op­por­tu­ni­ties and work­ing with the Univer­sity of Malaya pro­vides stu­dents with the op­por­tu­nity to work with two world-class in­sti­tu­tions, which should lead to a broad va­ri­ety of ex­cit­ing re­search pro­grammes,” said Prof Ken­dall.

For de­tails, look out for the ad­ver­tise­ment in this StarSpe­cial.

Prof En­new and Prof Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mah­mud seal­ing the deal. Also seen are Prof Ken­dall (ex­treme left) and Prof Datin Dr Norhanom (ex­treme right).

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