A working spring break in Malaysia

Three NIU officials headed for warmer climes in Malaysia during the university’s recent spring break, but the trip wasn’t about rest and relaxation.

College of Engineering and Engineering Technology Dean Promod Vohra engages with students in one of the electronics labs at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang during a recent trip to the partner university in Malaysia. (Photo by Deborah Pierce)
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology Dean Promod Vohra engages with students in one of the electronics labs at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang during a recent trip to the partner university in Malaysia. (Photo by Deborah Pierce)

The trio instead visited the campuses of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), one of NIU’s partner universities in Malaysia, to discuss development of three undergraduate programs in engineering technology.

The NIU delegation included Deborah Pierce, associate provost for International Programs; Promod Vohra, dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET); and Omar Ghrayeb, associate dean of CEET.  In addition, Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, briefly joined the delegation in Malaysia after working on other projects in Thailand. 

NIU faculty will assist UMP colleagues in meeting the goals set by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education for practice-oriented programs to be established and implemented at the university, Pierce said.

In addition, some UMP engineering technology students may spend part of their undergraduate programs at NIU, thereby strengthening the existing ties between the two universities.

The delegation also discussed joint research projects and a 4+1 program, leading to a master’s degree in 12 months of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Both Vohra and Ghrayeb were impressed by the faculty and laboratories of UMP and expressed strong support for the cooperative project.

In developing the collaboration on engineering technology curriculum, NIU is responding to the objectives of the U.S. Department of Education for grant recipients to bring Southeast Asian Studies into the professional schools, such as CEET.

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