Universiti Malaysia Perlis, or UniMAP for short, is Malaysia's 17th public institution of higher learning. It was established in Perlis as recently as 2001, originally as a university college called Kolej Universiti Kejuruteraan Utara Malaysia (KUKUM). In June 2002, KUKUM officially welcomed 116 engineering students, with the goal of producing highly-skilled, world-class engineers in support of Malaysia’s Industrial Blueprint (Pelan Induk Perindustrian Negara).
KUKUM would stay true to its vision to become a centre of excellence in engineering, so much that it was upgraded to a full-fledged university in February 2007 and renamed Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP). Today, two decades after it was first established UniMAP continues to churn out exemplary engineers as one of only four technical universities in Malaysia.
Expanding Into ICT With Huawei
Over the past two years, UniMAP has contributed tremendously in helping Malaysia to build its ICT talent ecosystem, doing so in collaboration with Huawei, whose unwavering commitment to ushering Malaysia into the digital age is unquestioned.
This UniMAP-Huawei partnership began in November 2019, when the University was first recognised as an official Huawei ICT Academy – following in the footsteps of the Universiti Malaya, which was named a Huawei ICT Academy a year earlier. Being an academy of Huawei, UniMAP aims to help nurture Malaysia’s ICT talent ecosystem and efficiently match the talent supply with accelerating demands to support the industry’s development.
When this academy started in 2019, it only had 2 certified instructors. But after just two short years, the academy now has 8 certified instructors and over 30 students in four Huawei Certified ICT Associate (HCIA) courses. These courses are as follows: Routing & Switching, Artificial Intelligence, Storage and Cloud Computing. The UniMAP Huawei ICT Academy even offers year-round online courses for those interested to do self-study and learn at their own pace. These online courses include Security, Cloud Services, Datacom, WLAN, 5G, IoT, Data Centre, Data Centre Facilities and Big Data.
Huawei: Delivering Tech Expertise and Opportunities
Under this partnership, Huawei takes point on the technical side of things, providing the ICT know-how to UniMAP faculty members who want to be certified instructors. Huawei also provides access to its learning platform and numerous lab materials, along with free access to Huawei Cloud and its advanced simulators.
In addition, Huawei gives students of the academy various opportunities to know more about the Huawei brand, its diverse products and real-world industry applications by being an active participant in numerous UniMAP activities, like corporate social responsibility initiatives, career days and even sponsorships.
The students are also invited to the annual Huawei ICT Competition, where UniMAP academy bagged 2nd runner-up honours in 2019 and was awarded the Top Active Achievements Award in 2021. To top things off, UniMAP students can partake in the yearly Huawei Seeds for the Future and ICT Academy Workshop to further expose them to the dynamic, rapidly evolving world of ICT and the many opportunities they can explore in this field.
UniMAP: Providing an Education Platform for the Future Workforce
UniMAP has been doing its part to prepare its students to become industry ready by encouraging their active participation and to date, many of its students have gotten multiple HCIA certificates from the academy. In addition, UniMAP is also:
Continuously offering numerous mechanisms that would encourage the students to enrol in the various Huawei academy programmes. Some of these mechanisms or enticements include giving free exam vouchers worth USD $200, offering free access to Huawei learning platforms and lab materials and highlighting the many advantages of getting certified, like opportunities for better employment, higher earning potential and Huawei-sponsored incentives.
Ensuring that courses with HCAI involvement are conducted during semester breaks, thus ensuring that attending will not clash with the student’s regular academic schedule. This is done by planning well ahead of time, as in before the start of the academic year so that everything is ironed out even before anything officially starts. With this careful planning, the students are assured that their schedules are not overloaded, even if they attend other courses.
Actively promoting the academy through a variety of ways, including launching all-out information campaigns on social media and the university’s WhatsApp groups. UniMAP also records testimonials from HCAI-certified students to highlight the benefits of taking any of the academy’s courses to entice others to do the same and reap the same advantages. UniMAP is even planning to establish a club where HCAI-certified graduates will be given opportunities to mentor new participants in the academy.
The success of this UniMAP-Huawei partnership points to one thing and one thing only: The continuation of this collaboration for many more years to come. And with UniMAP recommending ways to further strengthen and improve the academy, like offering more courses and the inclusion of practical skills training, Huawei is hopeful of expanding this programme even more—in UniMAP and in other institutions of higher learning in Malaysia moving forward.