Azman Hashim International Business School Advisory Council Driving Connections Towards U21

Azman Hashim International Business Schools (AHIBS) takes on a lead role in their connectivity with industries following the recently concluded AHIBS Advisory Council (AAC) on 8th March 2021. This second AAC Meeting was chaired by the Council Chairman, Tan Sri Azman Hashim.

In the 2nd AAC meeting, four new council members, namely Emeritus Professor H.K. Richard Vietor (Harvard Business School Emeritus Professor, Harvard University), Professor Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail (UTM Vice-Chancellor), Professor Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar (UTM Former Vice-Chancellor), and Datuk Dr. Tong Kooi Ong (Avarga Limited) were appointed.

Connectivity plays a vital role to keep graduates relevant. The school believes strongly the importance of producing graduates that are demand driven and portray the necessary skills that are relevant to the industries. For the last three years, the school has increased its linkages in elevating industry engagements across the business school programmes by aligning its activities with Malaysia Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) and benchmarks to the U21 (Universitas21), a national ranking of higher education systems across the world based on resources, environment, connectivity and output.

Various strategies highlighting the importance of academia-industry collaborations has resulted in more concentrated efforts in inculcating strong transversal skills and value systems across the students. Through analysis of the U21 report on Malaysia for 2020, it can be concluded that Malaysia is strongly growing with regard to academia-industry collaboration. In this respect, Malaysia should progress beyond signing Memorandum of Understanding and has direct involvement of industry researchers in research implementation and publication, plus, getting industry funding support in R&D.

In addition, interventions that rope in industries in the learning process of students through not only action research, but approaches like work-based learning, apprenticeship, and change labs could indeed add richness to the reality of workplace learning which are beneficial to producing future ready talents.

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The Council promotes and felt that the MBA Action Research not only will open doors to more collaborations, it will indeed improve on the depth and quality of collaboration between the school and industry partners leading to the long run increase private funding in R&D; increase industry researcher partner in R&D;  increase research publication with industry research as co-author; and increase collaboration that leads to innovation, product commercialisation, joint research, grants and even student placement opportunities.

Professor Nur Naha, Dean of the business school, established the Advisory Council when she took leadership in June 2018 where it was timely that the business school formalized the appointment of captain of industries and C-suite personnel as advisors in the overall planning and delivery of the business education offerings. One of the school’s core developments relates to revitalizing students’ action research for their MBA projects with an applied practical know-how approach with leading industries, may it be MNCs, GLCs, or even SMEs locally and globally.

AAC members shared global best practices on academia-industry collaboration in growing the business school and provided a broad view on emerging opportunities at international and regional levels such as the new Regional Comprehensive Economics Partnerships (RCEP), Environment Social Governance (ESG) and LifeLong Learning (LLL) that business school should potentially explore. Post-Covid 19 analysis and valuable inputs from all council members serves as a clear and concrete direction in shaping the way forward and driving achievements to sustainable development in global business school.

By strengthening and leveraging its industry collaborations, the AAC has been proven to be a successful model in shaping the academia-industry collaboration, which supports the country’s inspiration in making innovation as a major engine in stimulating national economic growth. Besides, the Council has also served as a platform in realizing the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2015-2025 (Higher Education) by transforming the country’s higher education to thrive in an increasingly competitive global economic environment, and improve Malaysia’s position in the U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems where it is currently ranked at 27th for overall and 31st in relation to connectivity.

Other priorities also set the school in envisioning strong sustainable efforts to be elevated across the collaboration with ASEAN business schools, industries, and helix partners. The Council was presented with two proposals related to ASEAN on digitalisation and learning and development. 

AHIBS was proud for having its advisory members, who are also renowned industry and academic leaders to grace the event. The domestic and international experts include:

  1. Tan Sri Azman Hashim

Chairman, Ambank Group

  1. Tan Sri Siti Sa’Diah

Non-Independent Non-Executive Director, Duopharma Biotech Berhad

  1. Mr. Goh Peng Ooi

Chairman, Silverlake Group

  1. Professor Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail

Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

  1. Professor Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar

Professor, Faculty of Engineering and former Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

  1. Professor Ir. Dr. Zainuddin Abd Manan

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

  1. Emeritus Professor Mike Tayles

Emeritus Professor, Hull University Business School, Hull University, United Kingdom

  1. Datuk Tong Kooi Ong

Executive Chairman, Avarga Limited

  1. Emeritus Professor H.K. Richard Vietor

Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, United States of America

  1. Professor Dr. Nur Naha Abu Mansor

Dean, Azman Hashim Internaitonal Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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