TVET rebranding must focus on research & not just offering new courses: Mary Ching, Deputy Higher Education Minister, Malaysia

The rebranding of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) must focus on research activities and not just in offering new courses, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching.

She said developed nations like South Korea, Germany and Australia which set up research centres in TVET had proven that the move contributed to the growth of the national economy. “The brains behind the national TVET should think of similar ways to create a platform for the sharing of research knowledge which can work together to realize the aspirations of a high-income nation,” she said at the Technical Universities of Malaysia (MTU)-TVET 2016 Symposium.

The symposium, which was attended by more than 100 delegates, was organised by the National Council of Professors and four MTUs, namely Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), with the theme ‘Intensifying and Sustaining TVET Development through Restructuring, Re-branding and Resynergising TVET’.

Yap said the re-branding of TVET included collectively developing programmes based on the industry and employment, lifelong learning, entrepreneurial thinking, empowering public-private joint ventures, and providing a platform for research.

Meanwhile, the joint chairman for the main committee of the symposium, Professor Dr Jailani Md Yunos, said the time had come for a national research centre on TVET to be set up in the country.

He said the centre was not only needed for academic purposes but could also play a role in determining the direction of the national economy. “Research centres like the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Germany have contributed much to national development. “This is relevant to the growth of the national economy and this proposal will be discussed at the symposium,” he said.

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