April 13, 2024

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UKCGE Recognises UTM’s Prof Dr Nor Haniza Sarmin and Assoc Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah for Excellence in Research Supervision

By Rohaizan Khairul Anuar

Johor Bahru, 16 Feb – The UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) has introduced the Research Supervision Recognition Programme and the Good Supervisory Practice Framework to recognise established supervisors’ demanding yet fulfilling vocation.

Recently, Professor Dr Nor Haniza Sarmin from the Faculty of Science and Associate Professor Dr Zaleha Abdullah from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities became the first UTM academics to be recipients of “Recognised Research Supervisor” by UKCGE in recognition for their excellent approach to research graduate supervision.



According to the Chair of  UTM’s School of Graduate Studies, Associate Prof Dr  Noor Hazarina Hashim, the Research Supervision Recognition Programme acknowledges the accomplishments of research supervisors who have consistently demonstrated the ability to provide excellent supervision to their research students.

It is awarded to those who have shown commitment to research supervision and who have demonstrated the ability to provide a supportive environment that fosters research excellence in their students. “It is important for UTM to identify and support our academics in gaining this recognition as it reflects our commitment to provide world-class education and research as a research-intensive University”, she said.

The program was a collaborative project with Otago University, New Zealand, to provide quality supervision practice in UTM. Led by Dr Norah Md Noor, the collaboration includes several webinars of best supervision practices and coaching sessions for UTM supervisors.

Professor Dr Nor Haniza and Associate Professor Dr Zaleha Abdullah have been recognised for their exceptional research supervision skills, which have led to outstanding research outcomes and career advancement for their research students.

Professor Dr Nor Haniza Sarmin has supervised and graduated 39 PhD students under her supervision, which includes the Youngest PhD Holder in Malaysia Book of Record 2014, Dr Hazzirah Izzati Mat Hassim, who graduated at the age of 24. Additionally, 80% of her students have graduated on time.

Associate Professor Dr Zaleha, on the other hand, was described by the UKCGE panels as having a creative approach to preparing candidates for the research writing process. They were also impressed by her support for other colleagues and ongoing commitment to her learning, including the innovative use of platforms like Tiktok. She is described as an experienced supervisor who is still willing to learn and committed to supporting candidates to become autonomous learners and independent researchers.

This recognition reflects positively on UTM and Malaysia’s research community. It showcases the university’s and the nation’s commitment to scholarly and research excellence and the development of research talents. The recognition also serves as an inspiration to other researchers and research supervisors to strive for excellence in their work.

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