KUALA LUMPUR: Mara Corporation is actively studying new ways to blend education and industry, following a recent visit by a high-powered delegation from Malaysia led by Education Minister Maszlee Malik to several leading innovation-driven industrial giants in Britain
The visit also included a meeting with prominent British industrialist James Dyson, who founded the Dyson company, the global brand best known for its vacuum cleaners and other household appliances.
Mara Corp, which is the commercial arm of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), said the session with Dyson was an eye-opener and offered insights for Mara on its plans to prepare its students for Industry 4.0.
Mara Corp chairman Akhramsyah Sanusi said he was particularly impressed with the meeting with Dyson.
“His focus and enthusiasm for solving engineering challenges, such as his newest venture, an electric vehicle, was infectious,” he said.
The British company recently opened its Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in Bristol. Offering only one degree course in Engineering, the college uses a novel learning method where students work as they study.
Some 60% of students’ time at the Dyson institute is spent on the company’s projects, so that students graduate with real working experience at the end of their four-year course.
Akhramsyah said the method was something that Mara’s learning institutes could replicate in Malaysia, by forming partnerships with industrial giants in preparing students with skills specially catered for the changing job market.
“Learning, especially at tertiary education level, has evolved quite rapidly, and we embrace the challenge of making the institutions under our management to be relevant for Industry 4.0 and beyond,” he said.
“The Dyson visit provided us an insight into how large corporations can contribute to education with each corporation’s values and taste,” he added.