Re­ward­ing ca­reer

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE -

THE mar­itime in­dus­try of­fers a di­verse and ex­cit­ing ca­reer path.

The gen­eral per­cep­tion of most peo­ple is that a ca­reer in mar­itime means train­ing to be­come a sea­farer.

How­ever, there are op­por­tu­ni­ties aplenty ashore as mar­itime pro­fes­sion­als are much sought af­ter by multi­na­tional com­pa­nies, ship­ping and lo­gis­tics providers as well as the wider ecosys­tem that sup­ports mar­itime and trade such as reg­u­la­tors, banks, law firms and in­sur­ers.

Find­ing em­ploy­ment in the mar­itime in­dus­try is easy with the right qual­i­fi­ca­tions and train­ing.

Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity is Malaysia’s first pri­vate uni­ver­sity to spe­cialise in the fields of mar­itime and avi­a­tion.

Founded by suc­cess­ful home­grown ship­ping en­tre­pre­neur Tan Sri Dr Halim Mo­ham­mad of Halim Mazmin Group, Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity opened its doors on Aug 8 this year with its flag­ship pro­gramme, the Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence ( Honours) in Mar­itime Busi­ness.

It is a three- year course of study, although those en­ter­ing the uni­ver­sity with a prior rel­e­vant and recog­nised diploma may only need two years to ob­tain the de­gree sub­ject to ap­proval by the Se­nate.

Grad­u­ates will also au­to­mat­i­cally be granted mem­ber­ship into the pres­ti­gious Char­tered In­sti­tute of Lo­gis­tics Trans­port Malaysia ( CILTM) by virtue of be­ing con­ferred the CILTM Pro­fes­sional Qual­i­fi­ca­tion as the de­gree has also been ac­cred­ited by CILTM.

Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity is unique and the only one of its kind in the re­gion as the prac­ti­cal as­pects of the pro­gramme will be done on­board its “Float­ing Cam­pus”.

Halim has con­verted and gifted two of his ships to Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity to be­come Malaysia’s first float­ing cam­pus that can ac­com­mo­date 100 stu­dents.

Stu­dents will un­dergo the aca­demic part of the course in the Kuala Lumpur cam­pus based in Mid Val­ley.

They will also have to un­dergo a spe­cially de­signed 21- day lead­er­ship pro­gramme at Wilder­ness Malaysia in Langkawi, which will set Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ates apart from other in­sti­tu­tions.

“At Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity, the method­ol­ogy of teach­ing will be dif­fer­ent com­pared to others.

“Stu­dents will be ex­posed to real- life sit­u­a­tions from the get go as our teach­ing fac­ulty com­prises in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers and vis­it­ing speak­ers who are the fore­front of their re­spec­tive fields.

“For ex­am­ple, they will have an all- ac­cess pass to at­tend a mer­chant ves­sel at dry dock with a Marine Su­per­in­ten­dent to un­der­stand the in­ter­play be­tween com­pli­ance of reg­u­la­tions vis- à- vis the com­mer­cial needs of the shipowner es­pe­cially amid the cur­rent state of the ship­ping mar­ket, be­cause they are go­ing to even­tu­ally man­age these ships,” said Halim.

Mean­while, thanks to Halim’s vast net­works in the in­dus­try, Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity has es­tab­lished strong part­ner­ships with sev­eral well- known ship­ping com­pa­nies and banks from Ja­pan to Sin­ga­pore, where its stu­dents are able to com­plete their in­dus­trial place­ments.

“We are fo­cus­ing on qual­ity and we want to make sure that Mer­i­tus grad­u­ates will be sought- af­ter by em­ploy­ers not only in Malaysia but around the globe.

“In the sec­ond year, our stu­dents will have the op­por­tu­nity to in­tern with top- notch com­pa­nies over­seas, which will give them tremen­dous ex­po­sure to the in­dus­try.

“With that con­fi­dence and fur­ther go­ing through the lead­er­ship pro­gramme of which the em­ploy­ees of Khaz­anah Na­sional have at­tended as well, we be­lieve our grad­u­ates will be well- re­ceived,” said Halim.

Halim’s pas­sion and life­time ex­pe­ri­ence in ship­ping led to the for­ma­tion of Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity.

He feels Malaysia still has a short­age of tal­ent at the ex­ec­u­tive and man­age­rial lev­els within the mar­itime sec­tor and from his visits to schools and col­leges around the coun­try, many stu­dents and par­ents alike are un­aware of the ex­cit­ing and re­ward­ing ca­reer prospects in mar­itime.

To en­cour­age more youths to con­sider mar­itime as a ca­reer choice, Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity has set up a spe­cial schol­ar­ship fund for de­serv­ing young Malaysians based on aca­demic per­for­mance and so­cioe­co­nomic back­ground.

Each year, one full schol­ar­ship is avail­able for each in­take and par­tial schol­ar­ships and bur­saries are also avail­able.

For more in­for­ma­tion on ad­mis­sions and the schol­ar­ship, con­tact Mer­i­tus Uni­ver­sity at en­quiries@ Mer­i­tus. edu. my.

mer­i­tus uni­ver­sity founder Tan sri dr halim mo­ham­mad.

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