Purdue To Coordinate Faculty Education For Malaysian Tech Schools

sealPurdue News

November 29, 1994

Purdue To Coordinate Faculty Education For Malaysian Tech Schools

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--- Purdue University will oversee a $20.7 million project to prepare faculty for three new polytechnic colleges in Malaysia.

The government of Malaysia, aiming to increase the quality and quantity of high-level technical manpower in its country, today (Tuesday, 11/29) awarded the $20.7 million, five-year contract for faculty development and curriculum advice to the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCJA). Purdue International Programs and the university's School of Technology will manage the Malaysia Polytechnic Development Project on behalf of the consortium.

"Purdue's leadership role in this project reconfirms the university's reputation as an international leader in technological and scientific education," says Purdue President Steven C. Beering. "It is a great achievement for our faculty to be chosen to spearhead such a large and challenging endeavor."

Rapid economic growth has fueled a demand for technically trained manpower in Malaysia, and the main goal of the program is to increase the number of students graduating from the existing polytechnic system in the country. Polytechnics are educational institutions that provide instruction in various scientific and technical subjects. The Malaysian polytechnics offer a three-year degree.

Faculty from Purdue and other universities, particularly those in the consortium, will spend at least one year in Malaysia, teaching classes to future faculty members of the new polytechnic colleges and advising the Malaysian faculty about curriculum and laboratory development. The program eventually will graduate more than 900 Malaysians to become faculty of the new schools.

Disciplines included in the project are civil, electrical and mechanical engineering and a variety of specialties such as textile manufacturing and automated packaging.

Fred W. Emshousen, associate dean in the School of Technology, will be project director. Donald D. Buskirk, associate professor of industrial technology, will be deputy project director, and Zarjon Baha, professor of building construction and contracting, will be program coordinator in Malaysia of the Polytechnic Staff Training Center Project in Batu Pahat.

Two other university consortia joining Purdue and MUCIA to supply faculty for the project are the Consortium for International Development and the Universities of the North of England Consortium for International Activities.

"This is a truly exciting opportunity for Purdue to demonstrate a wide range of skills such as large-scale project management, first-rate teaching and curricular development, and faculty development," says Michael S. Stohl, dean of International Programs. "Purdue has become famous around the world for institution building, and when this project is complete, our faculty will have had the opportunity to share in the development of three polytechnic institutions with whom we will have established links that will last generations."

Don K. Gentry, dean of Purdue's School of Technology, says the school "is one of the oldest and most comprehensive schools of technology in the nation, and it has one of the largest and most diverse engineering technology programs in the world."

International Programs and the School of Technology have been involved in similar projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Niger, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Portugal. The projects give Purdue faculty members a chance to share their expertise and experience with people from a wide array of cultures, Emshousen says. The lessons they learn are brought back to the classroom and laboratory to enhance the educational opportunities of students at Purdue.

"This is a particularly fine tribute to our faculty to have their achievements accorded such stature and recognition in such a tangible way," Emshousen says. "It's a great chance to develop relationships that will benefit us all well into the next century."

MUCIA is 10 universities dedicated to international development and education. Its other members are: the University of Illinois; Indiana University; the University of Iowa; the University of Michigan; Michigan State University; the University of Minnesota; The Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation of about 14 million people, is a prosperous country with an increasingly diversified economy. It is the world's leading producer of natural rubber and palm oil, and it also exports tin, timber and petroleum. Its manufacturing output includes chemicals, textiles, transportation equipment, electrical machinery, electronic products and offshore-oil platforms.

The country, a British colony that became independent in 1957, is in two geographic parts– the southern half of the Malay Peninsula, south of Thailand, and the northern part of the nearby large island of Borneo.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page