JOHOR BAHRU – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has drafted Five focus areas to strengthen its position as one of Malaysia’s most prestigious public universities and Research Universities (RU) in the year 2020.

The strategies known as ‘The Big 5 2020’ was presented by UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar in his 2020 New Year Address with UTM staff and students at the Sultan Iskandar Hall, Johor Bahru on January 21. The five focus areas presented were Students / Academics, Research, Ecosystem, Financial Sustainability, and UTM Kuala Lumpur campus.

Further commenting on the first focus, Prof. Wahid said that this was closely linked to the existence of UTM as a higher education institution providing quality human resources for national development.
Prof. Wahid also said that by 2020, UTM should put more emphasis on the process of preparing graduates to better meet the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 which has increasingly gained importance in the world today.

“This can be done through the formulation of a more structured teaching and learning curriculum that will provide graduates with challenges in the future.”

“Apart from academia, a more comprehensive student development program should also be undertaken by expanding student participation in the 5 Excellence Track (5 ETP) program, which has proven to be a catalyst for more comprehensive student renewal,” he added.

Speaking of the second focus, Prof. Wahid said that UTM should be ‘aiming for the star’ when talking about research since the university is one of the Research Universities in Malaysia.

“In order to produce superior outcomes, there should be a consortium of academics, government, and industry. UTM should also become more synergistic by developing research products that are able to contribute to people’s daily lives, “he said.

The year 2020 also marks UTM’s determination to create a healthy ecosystem for its citizens in order to provide the best productivity for realizing a successful organization. To realize this, Prof. Wahid said that UTM would emphasize the core values of culture such as Dependability, Loyalty, Commitment, Open-mindedness, Consistency, Honesty, and Efficiency this year.

“To meet the increasing demands of the utilization of wireless internet networks (WiFi) in the campus, we will be enhancing the 5G infrastructure to increase internet speed in the campus besides upgrading the Student Union Building (SUB) by renovating it to diversify its use for students’ benefit,” he added.

Financial sustainability is also an important factor in ensuring UTM continues to survive even under serious financial constraints. For the 2020 plan, Prof. Wahid said that UTM would take a careful look at all of the university management and development expenses to ensure that the money is spent in an effective and cost-effective manner.

For the final focus which is the UTM Kuala Lumpur campus, Prof. Wahid said that as part of the 2020 focus areas, the university administration would expand and upgrade the metropolitan campus.

“A good image is important because the Kuala Lumpur campus is a satellite campus that is able to attract various stakeholders based mostly there.”

“In addition to building a good image for the campus in the capital city, other matters such as the Malaysian-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) would also be given more serious attention, “he added.

Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs), Prof. Dr. Durisshah Idrus, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Prof. Dr. Zainuddin Abdul Manan, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Datuk Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail.

Prof. Wahid when presenting the Big Five Focus areas for UTM 2020 at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Johor Bahru campus.