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Malaysian Engineering Education Model

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

International Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.829.1 - 7.829.10



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Megat Johari Megat Mohd Noor

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Session 3160


Megat Johari Megat Mohd Noor, Abang Abdullah Abang Ali, Mohd Rasid Osman, Mohd Sapuan Salit, Mohd Saleh Jaafar

Universiti Putra Malaysia


Engineering programmes that were developed at Universiti Malaya, the first university in Malaysia to offer engineering programmes, adopted the Australian model of 4 years duration of study. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was then set up to produce graduates through a 5-year programme. Other public universities such as Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) began offering their engineering programmes in the early eighties. Throughout the nineties Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and private universities such as the International Islamic University (IIU), Universiti Tenaga (UNITEN), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Multimedia University (MMU) began to offer their engineering programmes.

In 1996, the duration of study in engineering in public universities was shortened from the normal four years to three years, as a result of the directive from the Ministry of Education. The main reason for reducing the study period by a year was to cater for the expanding labour market in the engineering sector. UTM that had been offering a five-year engineering programme, due to its entry qualification at SPM (equivalent to the British `O’ Levels), also reduced the duration of study by a year. Before the directive, universities in Malaysia accept students with STPM (equivalent to the British `A’ Levels), Matriculation (similar to the Australian Matriculation Programme) and Diploma qualifications into their 4-year engineering programmes [9].

The directive was however, not imposed on private universities and public higher education institutions (without the university status). The reduction in the duration of study was opposed by the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) and several institutions of higher learning, as there was no formal study being carried out to support the change. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) though reluctant, abided by the directive and repackaged 4 -year programmes into a 3-year period without significant reduction in the total credit loading. The industrial placement, which was normally allocated for a semester was changed to a 10-week industrial training programme to be completed during the vacation. Some of the subjects that were not directly related to the disciplines concerned were removed and thus changing the broad base nature of the curricula. Subsequent to this change, students performance at UPM [12] and also nationwide was seen to be highly affected with sudden increase in the failure rates.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Megat Mohd Noor, M. J. (2002, June), Malaysian Engineering Education Model Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11043

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