The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, PhD, joined the Philippine Association of Engineering Schools (PAES), Inc. Board of Directors in their benchmarking activities in Malaysia. The PAES Board of Directors attended the Regional Conference on Engineering Education (RCEE) held at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on 9-10 August 2016 to connect with their counterparts in the ASEAN region and participate in the sharing of good practices in engineering education. They also visited the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Monash University Malaysia (MUM) on 11 August 2016, as part of their benchmarking activities.
In order to contribute significantly in developing the new engineering curricula for K-12 STEM graduates and in shaping innovative approaches in engineering teaching and learning, the PAES Board of Directors, in their meeting at UST on 30 June 2016 planned to participate in the RCEE. In order to maximize the value of their visit to Malaysia, the Board also decided to conduct benchmarking in Malaysian universities. Dean Marcelo accepted the task of organizing the said benchmarking activities by reaching out to colleagues in UPM and MUM, and preparing the agenda for the benchmarking activities.
Currently, UPM is one of the five Research Universities of Malaysia, as identified by the Ministry of Education of Malaysia. They are ranked #331 in the world and #66 in Asia by QS in 2015, and now #49 in Asia. It has 16 Faculties, including the Faculty of Engineering, 10 Institutes, 2 Schools and one Academy. The campus is in a sprawling 1,108 hectares in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. The Faculty of Engineering has eight Programs and has 78 laboratories in separate buildings, which are designed for multi-disciplinary sharing. The Faculty also has eight (8) Research Centers in Engineering, which also operate to accommodate multi-disciplinary research teams.
Aside from being in the Top 100 Universities in the world under QS (#67 in 2015) and Times Higher Education (#73 in 2015), the MUM is one of the universities in Malaysia that are rated “Tier 5” (Excellent) under the SETARA Rating System, which focuses on the quality of teaching and student satisfaction. In this system, Tier 6 (“Outstanding”) is the highest rating. Currently, there are no Malaysian universities classified under Tier 6. This means that, MUM gives equal emphasis on the quality of teaching-learning in a student-centered education and the quality and productivity in research and innovation. As such, the Programs in the School of Engineering receive accreditation from both Engineers Australia (EA) and Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) of Malaysia, under Washington Accord. The Head of the School of Engineering, Prof. Anthony Guo, Ph.D., spearheads the innovation in teaching-learning in engineering education of MUM, incorporating the use of technology in Instruction. He is able to do this being the Head of the School of Information Technology of MUM.
Future collaborations with positive medium-term and long-term impact on the quality of engineering education in the Philippines were agreed upon by the PAES Board and officials of UPM and MUM.