JOHOR BAHRU, 20 August 2018 – In developing future-ready curriculum and learning experience for university students, it is majorly important for the universities to provide effective teaching environment. Innovation has become prominently imminent driving force in education, which could shape our future generations to face their challenges in industries. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which would completely change our nation’s economic landscape, university students must equip themselves with new paradigm of knowledge exploration.

Academicians from UTM, UTHM, UTeM, and UiTM during the boot-camp for preparing the university students in UNIMAKER 2018

For that reasons, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is working closely in designing new approaches of delivering knowledge to students in the form of maker ecosystems. One of the profound centers in UTM – Centre for Student Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (UTMXCITE) – promotes such learning environment to engage the students with the exploration of new skills including micro-control for robotic design and development, 3D printing service, and user-centric Design Thinking programs.

The innovation division under this center has given full commitments in delivering a number of activities to be offered to the students, namely technical skill development boot-camps, hackathons, and innovation competitions to expose the students on the important skill sets expected by the industries. The center is also pursuing to facilitate students in joining national and international level competitions, which has achieved significant recognition from the industries.

The Deputy Director (Innovation) of UTMXCITE, Dr. Afnizanfaizal Abdullah, shared his thought on the new ecosystem, which he recalled that there are students who have potentials in producing high quality innovative prototypes and products from their classes. He also mentioned that the ecosystem is designed to support UTM’s mission and vision, on par with the direction of UTM Global Plan that targets excellence in holistic, entrepreneurial, and balanced graduates.

Dr. Afnizanfaizal Abdullah, Deputy Director (Innovation) UTMXCITE is sharing his thought on driving maker culture within the university campus as part of the learning experience.

Most recently, UTMXCITE has been selected by the Ministry of Education to be the southern zone coordinator for UNIMAKER 2018, a national level competition that offers university students to showcase their ideas in the forms of innovative solutions for the industries and community.

The competition is aimed to develop maker ecosystem within university campuses, in which the center has invited universities within the area, namely Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM), and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) to participate in this competition.

In order to achieve the aim, UTMXCITE has organized a boot-camp for the academicians from the partner universities to help them in guiding the students who will participate in the competition.

The boot-camp was held for three days from 16 to 18 August 2018 at Bandar Penawar, Johor. A total of 24 academicians had joined the boot-camp, in which they were prepared with mentoring module for developing students with skills such as micro-controller, internet-of-things (IoTs), mobile apps, 3D printing, and Design Thinking.

One of the academicians, Dr. Firdaus Aziz from UTHM shared his positive feedback regarding the boot-camp and the program as a whole, in which he was really supporting the efforts in promoting maker ecosystem as part of the learning experience. On the other hand, Mr. Arman Hadi Azahar from UTeM suggested that such program should be able to provide more comprehensive way for the educators to deliver the knowledge and skills to the students. UTM will be the host for the southern regional level of UNIMAKER 2018 tentatively on 28 October 2018.