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Malaysian-NIU partnership continues for another three years

April 10, 2014
NIU’s Cliff Mirman (far left) and Omar Ghrayeb (second from left) examine partnership details with administrators from Universiti Malaysia Pahang.

NIU’s Cliff Mirman (far left) and Omar Ghrayeb (second from left) examine
partnership details with administrators from Universiti Malaysia Pahang.

Northern Illinois University’s College of Engineering & Engineering Technology (CEET) has entered the third phase of its partnership with the Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). The two universities are working together to prepare UMP to begin the ABET accreditation process as well as create dual degree opportunities for Malaysian students.

In February, Omar Ghrayeb, associate dean of CEET, and Cliff Mirman, chair of the Department of Technology, visited Malaysia to assist UMP representatives and program administrators on the rigors and specifics of accreditation.

Ghrayeb and Mirman provided UMP officials with key insight into the process.

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology offers five ABET-accredited programs: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, electrical engineering technology and manufacturing engineering technology. CEET also holds ATMAE accreditation for the industrial technology degree.

“NIU’s partnership with UMP does two things,” Ghrayeb said. “It ensures that the program has met certain standards essential to producing quality graduates who are ready to enter engineering professions. Secondly, it guarantees seamless articulation for the Malaysian students into NIU programs.”


During the trip to Malaysia, Ghrayeb and Mirman were able to meet deans from other area engineering and technology programs. Two universities showed interest in pursuing partnerships with NIU CEET similar to that of UMP.

“These universities are also interested in developing quality programs worthy of articulation,” Ghrayeb said. “They want to make sure their programs are in line with the quality programs we have at NIU.”

Promod Vohra

Promod Vohra

While visiting UMP, Ghrayeb and Mirman also prioritized the development of new dual degree programs. This offers Malaysian students the opportunity to begin their education in Malaysia but earn NIU degrees by studying in DeKalb for one to two years, depending on the program.

Dean Promod Vohra is looking toward other future partnerships as well.

“Working with UMP has been an informative experience for us,” Vohra said.

“After spending over two years fine tuning this partnership, we’ve been able to create a sustainable, fruitful model that can be adapted to fit universities all over the world. NIU CEET is proud to offer a variety of educational opportunities across the globe.”