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Evolving Effective Partnership Agreements Between Uk And Malaysian Higher Education Institutions: Two Case Studies

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Exchange/Joint Programs in Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.607.1 - 11.607.9



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Paper Authors

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John Rowe Sheffield Hallam University

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Tim Mulroy Sheffield Hallam University

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Ian Robinson Sheffield Hallam University

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Boon Han Lye Kolej Bandar Utama International College

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Evolving effective partnership agreements between UK and Malaysian Higher Education Institutions: two case studies

Introduction and Background

This paper describes the development of partnership arrangements between a UK university and two private accredited Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia. The two partnerships represent case studies of effective cooperation in the design of mutually validated professional engineering courses. The UK University concerned is Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) with approximately 30,000 students located in South Yorkshire, England. SHU became a university in 1992 following a period as a polytechnic from 1969 with elements of the institution tracing their history to the mid 19th century. The two Malaysian institutions are Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) and KBU International College (KBU). Both colleges are located in Kuala Lumpur.

There continues to be a great desire by students from Malaysia to achieve a degree level qualification from a western HE institution, as well as securing professional body accreditation of their learning. In the UK, intending professional engineers must achieve an appropriate educational standard prior to undertaking professional training. Currently two routes may broadly achieve this outcome. Firstly, students may study and obtain an accredited degree (accredited by the appropriate professional subject institution). Alternately, students may take UK Engineering Council exams. For many years, individuals from Malaysia have achieved this aim by independently applying to overseas universities, or taking UK Engineering Council or other professional body examinations in Malaysia. A holistic and sustainable approach to satisfying this demand is to create and maintain institutional frameworks that satisfy both countries’ regulatory bodies, and promote opportunities for the students to best benefit from the experience.

Malaysia is a fast developing South-East Asian country that continues to share elements of culture and history with the UK through membership of the Commonwealth. Mahathir Mohamed, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, developed vision 2020, a policy to propel Malaysia towards achieving fully developed country status by 2020. The aim of the government is to build a truly Malaysian society of the future, and it sees education as a way of achieving this goal. For the students, education is seen as a tool for providing social mobility and as a means to improve the quality of life in a modern society.

Malaysia is a multi-racial nation with a population of over 25 million made up of a number of different racial groups. These include Malays, Chinese, Indians, and various indigenous groups that are found in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak as well as non-Malaysians. The Malaysian population is relatively young with 41% of the population below the age of 20 (as against 37% who are 40 years and older). Although the age dependency ratio has declined in recent years, the heavy demand for social services such as education, housing and welfare remains.

The Malaysian public education system bears many relationships to that in the UK. Compulsory education ends at age 15, and students who continue for another two years take the Sijil Pelajaran

Rowe, J., & Mulroy, T., & Robinson, I., & Lye, B. H. (2006, June), Evolving Effective Partnership Agreements Between Uk And Malaysian Higher Education Institutions: Two Case Studies Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--502

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015