Bangi, 28 June : Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and University of Reading (UoR), United Kingdom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration between the two universities.

Vice Chancellor UTM Professor Dato’ Ir Dr Zaini Ujang said, the universities have agreed to work closely together on various academic undertakings related to language teaching and learning, ranging from staff and student exchange to joint research and publication.

“This MoU between UTM and UoR is part of our continuing effort at internationalising UTM.

“We believe that while UTM will benefit from international exposure to and contacts with world renowned universities, such collaborative efforts between universities will also provide opportunities for UTM’s expertise and experience to be shared for the benefit of international development,” he said.

In the area of language teaching, both Universities will work on an exchange system for visiting Professors either for discussion and observation of English classes (pre-sessional and in-sessional) and TESL programme both at UTM and UoR or to teach on these courses as part of staff training and development.

“UoR’s academic staff will also sit on UTM’s English Language Curriculum Advisory Committee together with other academics and members of industry to provide a more global perspective to UTM’s English Language programme,” he said.

Professor Zaini said, the MoU also includes plans for UTM to conduct Bahasa Malaysia and cultural orientation courses for UoR staff when the UoR opens its campus in Malaysia in 2013.

There will also be a student exchange programme which will see UTM students gaining international exposure under its Global Outreach Programme (GOP) in UoR, and UoR’s trainee teachers undergoing practical attachment in UTM.

“In the area of research, UoR, renowned for its expertise in language assessment, will collaborate with UTM to further develop the latter’s workplace English test known as the Test of English Communication Skills for Graduating Students (TECS).

“This test was made compulsory for all UTM students who graduated in the second semester of the 2010-2011 academic session,” he added.

The universities have initiated discussions on further investigations into the workplace communication needs of graduates who have to use English as a second language in Malaysia, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

“This collaborative project is one of the initiatives undertaken by UTM to ensure that TECS accurately captures and measures the English language workplace communication skills of graduates not only in Malaysia, but also in other international contexts where English is crucial for graduates whose first language is not English,” he said.

UTM’s plan is to make TECS a globally relevant tool for assessment of workplace readiness in English communication skills.

The universities have initiated discussions on further investigations into the workplace communication needs of graduates who have to use English as a second language in Malaysia, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

This collaborative project is one of the initiatives undertaken by UTM to ensure that TECS accurately captures and measures the English language workplace communication skills of graduates not only in Malaysia, but also in other international contexts where English is crucial for graduates whose first language is not English. UTM’s plan is to make TECS a globally relevant tool for assessment of workplace readiness in English communication skills.

Other areas of collaboration include joint supervision of postgraduate students, joint/dual postgraduate programmes, research in other aspects of teaching and learning and publication.