Curtin Malaysia: Preparing graduates for success in a rapidly changing world

Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) is a globally-focused, locally-engaged institution established 21 years ago to advance knowledge acquisition, socio-economic development and human capital in the state of Sarawak. Since then, it has enjoyed a growing reputation for excellence in practical education and outcome-oriented research, and preparing graduates for success in a rapidly changing world.

Its strengths lie in engineering and related sciences, technology, business and media and communications, and it takes pride in the broad range and high quality of its teaching programmes which gain strength and currency from its strong industry links and a prominent international nature with teaching staff from over 15 different countries.

In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge, and continually rejuvenating itself with contemporary technology-rich learning spaces and high-tech laboratories and research facilities, Curtin Malaysia is creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programmes of study and research.

Curtin Malaysia’s student population of over 4,000 includes some 600 international students from over 50 different countries, reflecting its strong commitment to international engagement and becoming a world-class education provider. This cultural diversity adds a rich and valuable dimension to its campus atmosphere, preparing all graduates to live and work effectively in an increasingly global environment.

The campus, Curtin University’s largest international campus and global hub in Asia, is situated in Miri in the state of Sarawak, an outstanding place to live and study as it offers an affordable lifestyle, and is one of Malaysia’s most cosmopolitan cities.

An international education experience among lush, tropical surroundings with warm weather year-round sounds like the perfect combination and Miri is indeed a unique study destination. Not many places in the world can boast of 187,000 hectares of coastal reef practically on its doorstep, and the 140 million-year-old rainforests of Borneo in its backyard.

It is surrounded by the mesmerising ecosystems of northern Sarawak’s rainforests and five national parks, including the world-renowned Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park, Sarawak’s first marine national park.

Curtin Malaysia’s unique location enables students from Malaysia and overseas to study in an unparalleled environment, and its adaptive and altruistic culture has allowed it to not only survive, but thrive in a changing world. It aims to teach students a lifelong love of learning that forms the basis of their continuous personal growth. At the same time, it is committed to preparing students to work and live in an increasingly competitive global environment.

Studying in the country is also much more affordable than in others like Australia due to the lower cost of living and education, which makes it a popular choice for both international and domestic students.

Curtin Malaysia offers a huge variety of courses across a number of disciplines, including double-degrees, part-time study, off-campus learning and alternative pathways. All courses are identical in all respects, from curriculum and study materials to examinations and degree certificates, to those at Curtin’s main campus in Perth and other campuses in Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius.

To stay relevant in today’s fast-evolving world, especially in growing sectors like business and technology, Curtin Malaysia continues to introduce new and innovative courses that prepare students for the future world of work. For example, a three-year Bachelor of Science (Computing) programme featuring a choice of two streams – Software Engineering and Cyber Security – was launched not too long ago.

The Bachelor of Science (Computing) – Software Engineering course teaches students how to take an engineering approach to software building, a skill that is high in demand now and into the future. Job prospects and career stability for the field are consistently strong, and graduates will be qualified for jobs such as software engineers, software developers, games developers, systems analysts and web applications developers.

The Bachelor of Science (Computing) – Cyber Security stream is another excellent pathway to a successful career due to the growth of the information and communications technology industry. Students learn about the key concepts and challenges in data and resource protection and computer software security and examine both the high-level and low-level practical aspects of computer security, as well as develop skills in identifying appropriate applications for specific scenarios.

Dr. Lenin Gopal, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that the field of cybersecurity can be an important factor for business growth in the new era of the digital economy. He said experts in the field are needed to create more effective, innovative and competitive cybersecurity solutions and work towards a safer cyber community. Graduates can find employment as cybersecurity analysts, forensic computer analysts, software developers, IT analysts and web application developers in different organisations.

Dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, said the future-driven courses take innovative approaches to software engineering and cybersecurity to help students stay ahead of the curve and meet industry and market demands.

New courses in business were also launched, including a Master of International Business, Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Human Resource Management, and a Master of Commerce in Marketing.

The Master of International Business allows students to receive knowledge and expertise to become successful in the field of international business and management. The course structure consists of both independent study and team projects across a range of relevant, internationally focused subjects. Some students might even get the opportunity to plan and experience an international study tour.

The Master of Commerce in Marketing, meanwhile, is a course that covers aspects of marketing communication, digital marketing and the application of marketing in particular industries, such as tourism.

Dr. Stephen Sim, acting dean of Faculty of Business, said: “Our courses are industry-focused and relevant to the global business arena in a highly digital innovation era. Notably, there is regular interaction with industry through guest speakers and practical workplace projects and students will have the opportunity to apply critical thinking and analytical abilities to modern business challenges.”

There is also a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons.) in Construction Management where construction managers work across a broad range of interrelated disciplines on different residential, commercial and infrastructure projects. As a management-oriented degree, it prepares students for a wide range of professional roles within the building and infrastructure construction industry.

Taught by a team of qualified and experienced professionals with experience in the construction field, students will take courses such as construction technology, quantity measurement and cost estimating, project planning and management, strategy and financial management, contract administration, and more.

They will have plenty of field experience during the course of their programme, such as the opportunity to participate in supervised construction sites trips and get involved in industry work experience.

 At Curtin Malaysia, students are regularly exposed to relevant industries, increasing their employability potential in many ways: internships, practical assignments, guest lecturers and networking events. When they graduate, they receive an internationally-recognised Curtin qualification, exactly the same as those awarded at the main campus in Perth.

Having just marked its twentieth-anniversary last year, Curtin Malaysia is embarking on an ambitious new campus development plan, new technologies and course programmes, increased research and partnerships, and better integration with the main campus in Perth and other Curtin international campuses. Curtin University has a strong and international focus with campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius and strategic partnerships with over 130 institutions across the world.

Curtin Malaysia’s ongoing campus expansion includes the newly completed Curtin Trading Room. Fashioned after a similar facility at its main campus in Perth, the completed facility provides business students with a real-life trading floor environment. It is a distinctive learning space that simulates a real-life business environment to prepare students with the practical skills they need to be career-ready.

This is in addition to new innovative learning spaces such as distributed learning rooms, collaborative study rooms and flipped classrooms, and science and engineering and computer laboratories, as well as modern media facilities such as video production and editing studio and radio studio.

A conducive learning environment, industry-relevant courses and new learning technologies help Curtin Malaysia students excel.

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