Gainful Employment, by Design

Gainful Employment, by Design

Zainuddin Manan describes routes to growing graduates’ employability

AMONG the metrics used to charge universities, I regard graduate employability (“GrE”, graduates being employed or changing into entrepreneurs inside a yr of commencement) because the bottom-line indicator of a college’s influence.

Graduates of upper schooling establishments are amongst white-collar staff who’re key drivers of enterprise enterprises, companies and establishments whose success are instrumental to a nation’s financial well being. Excessive white-collar unemployment may threaten industrial and enterprise productivities, and will result in financial slowdown and recession.

Whereas benchmarking instruments comparable to world rating are important to gauge universities’ international standing, they need to all the time be ready to reply to a scholar’s query: “will this programme finally safe me a gratifying job and assist me obtain gainful employment?”

At a time when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc and inflicting widespread unemployment the world over, it has turn out to be ever extra pressing for universities to rise above the disaster, chart graduates’ journey towards gainful employment (“GfE”), and emphatically handle the bottom-line query.

By mainstreaming components of work-based studying (WBL) that embrace structured industrial placement, neighborhood service studying, entrepreneurship {and professional}, competency-based programs in educational curriculum, universities could make GfE
accessible not solely to contemporary highschool leavers but in addition to working folks pursuing increased schooling.

This text displays on three distinct phases of my expertise in main initiatives to develop versatile and revolutionary WBL educational curriculum that synergises undergraduate, postgraduate {and professional} competency-based programmes to plan a graduate’s journey towards GfE. In part 1 we began by introducing a WBL chemical engineering undergraduate programme with a specialisation that geared up Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) graduates with a singular aggressive edge on prime of their customary chemeng diploma. Within the second part, we launched a Grasp’s diploma that mixed work-based and competency-based studying to permit graduates to plan their journey in direction of GfE. Section 3 launched Malaysia’s first built-in Bachelor’s-Grasp’s diploma with certification as an categorical route in direction of gainful employment.

The article concludes with a few of the impacts of our WBL programmes on graduates’ lives, on college, business, authorities and society.

Section 1: streamed undergrad work-based curriculum

Section 1 started in 2012 (in my position because the founding Dean of UTM’s School of Chemical Engineering) once we designed and launched a streamed work-based chemeng programme with specialisation pathways. In 2014, the UTM Senate authorised the Bachelor of Chemical Engineering curriculum construction with versatile pathways that will permit graduates to decide on a pathway alongside the road of their ardour and curiosity. The important thing goal was to supply graduates with a singular aggressive edge on prime of their customary chemeng diploma.

Six streams (pathways) have been created in keeping with strategic areas of nationwide and international significance, and to meet the wants of the job market. The pathways embrace:

  • vitality administration;
  • environmental administration;
  • well being and security;
  • bioprocess engineering;
  • supplies engineering; and
  • oil and gasoline.

The curriculum construction was designed flexibly in such a means that pathways could possibly be added or changed sooner or later.

Pathways comparable to vitality administration, environmental administration, and well being and security are key areas beneath the UTM Campus Sustainability Initiatives (UTM-CSI). The vitality administration pathway, for instance, is pushed by the UTM Sustainable Vitality administration (SEM) residing lab initiative that’s geared toward championing vitality sustainability throughout the Affiliation of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Throughout the streamed chemeng curriculum, WBL components – that contain assignments, neighborhood actions, design initiatives, analysis initiatives and sensible works – are embedded in programs. College students are suggested to undertake initiatives and sensible works in keeping with their chosen pathways beneath the steerage of their educational advisors, course instructors and undertaking and industrial coaching supervisors. Altogether, the sensible components cowl as much as a 3rd (greater than 30%) of the streamed undergrad programme, embedding up to date challenged-based matters – together with components of Trade 4.0 – to allow college students to be concerned in real-life drawback fixing that advantages business and neighborhood.

College students even have the liberty to remain alongside the broad-based chemical engineering route if they like to not pursue any explicit specialisation. In such instances, all they should do is to meet the required variety of elective programs. They might freely decide and blend elective programs of curiosity to them throughout specialisation pathways and never be confined to any explicit stream.

College students who fulfil the specialisation necessities may have a observe on their transcript certificates stating the diploma awarded, with the specialisation. For instance, for a chemical engineering graduate who specialised within the vitality administration pathway, it might state the diploma of “Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with specialisation in Vitality Administration”.

Section 2: Grasp’s diploma with vitality supervisor certification

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