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7. the Inspirer Seventh Edition

7. the Inspirer Seventh Edition

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Published by Mohd Ashraf

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Published by: Mohd Ashraf on Sep 24, 2010
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02/23/2012

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Published by the Counseling and Development Unit, SSSD Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
Steps to Become aResearch University
 
Editor’s Note
 
“Begin with an inspiration and move with a transformation”.
Nawal
1
 
2
is transforming. Maybe notexactly as how the Autobots and Decepticons do it (no,the star-shaped design of the new academic buildingswill not appear out of thin air), but to the same degreeof importance nonetheless. Improvements can be seen
and is sought after in every area possible by UTP’s
tireless and forward-thinking administration. Hence we,the students, as recipients of this privilege shouldhonour and uphold our end of the bargain bycontinually seeking to also transform ourselves tomatch the high standards not only expected, butrequired of us. Among the targets UTP has laid out foritself are being a research university, self-accreditationand talent creation.Rector, only universities that are recognized as able tomanage efficiently their main activities and supportingactivities (such as infrastructure, finance, humanresources, , etc.)will be granted self- accreditation. Withit, UTP would be given the trust and responsibility toensure a guarantee of quality of its own academicprograms. In other words, UTP would hold anautonomous power in the design, implementation,monitoring of its academic programs. For a technicaluniversity specializing in engineering and technology andwith close relation to the petroleum industry,self-
accreditation would without a doubt enhance UTP’s
commitment towards producing quality graduates.Talent creation is the talk of the town and theIHL community with fluency in science, technology andAs we all know, UTP is relatively young whencompared to other Institutions of Higher Learning(IHLs) in Malaysia. With that in mind, it is no wonderwhy we have not achieved a research university statusyet, considering our up-to-par infrastructure andcurriculum. However, putting aside age, as it is only anillusion, another factor as to why UTP has not reachedthis Holy Grail is related to their mainclients, the students. The writer, being one himself,admits to have never truly grasped the concept of aresearch university as the concept itself has never beenfully explained to the students. What benefits does a
research university have in contrast to a ‘regular’
university and what are the requirements to be one areamong the queries puzzling students. If UTP really is
determined to ‘upgrade’ its status, then the role of 
students is a crucial one and the troubles stated aboveshould be addressed first and foremost.Self-accreditation is also on the list of goals andrelates to the average student. This is down to the
explanation placed upon it by UTP’s administration. It is
a welcomed sight to see the statement released byDatuk Dr Zainal Abidin Hj Kasim, the man himself,explaining on the upcoming Academic PerformanceAudit or Institutional Audit conducted by the Malaysian
Qualifications Agency that also sheds light on UTP’s
quest for self-accreditation by 2014. According to theinnovation stressed; sounds similar to
‘well
-
roundedness’, right? Basically that is what it is, only
 just put in a more flashy and commercial arrangement of 
words. It has always been UTP’s mission to produce
well-rounded graduates and the journey still continuesas long as UTP remains standing. Among the recentinitiatives conducted include the creation of newacademic programs, such as the Bachelor of Technology(Hons.) Petroleum Geoscience. UTP also has the longestindustrial training among IHLs. Though the stricter re-quirements can be perceived as a trouble to the stu-dents, especially by the students, its all for thebetterment of all involved.Transformation is a natural process; a crawlingcaterpillar becomes a butterfly flying gracefully in the airand small tadpoles become magnificent frogs.However, if not done correctly with the proper planningand implementation, the end result can be far worsethan what we begin with. Like how the environment,habitat and time plays a role in the butterfly and froganalogy, we all play a role in ensuring the success of our
university’s transformation. With that: UTP
-ians,assemble! 
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