University-Industy Linkages Status And Impact Analysis In Higher Education Institutions In Malaysia
There are many efforts to encourage universities to collaborate with the industry but the status and impact of University-Industry linkages (UIL) on economic and social development needs to be analysed empirically. This research project is a collaborative effort between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) and the International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) to investigate the impact of the university-industry linkages (UIL) on the ecosystem of higher education in Malaysia. There are three objectives of this project, namely: (i) to review the UIL status from 2009-2014 (leveraging on past completed longitudinal studies), (ii) to analyse all relevant past studies’ findings; and (iii) to analyse the impact of UIL on economic and social development. The research was undertaken using both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) methodologies to obtain the primary data while secondary data were collected via the Internet and documents received from various parties and also the outputs from past studies. Nine Australian universities, 22 Malaysian Universities and 1 Singapore University were visited and interviews conducted with key personnel for benchmarking purposes. Survey data were also collected from participants from 12 Malaysian Public Universities and 7 Private Universities. Data collected were subjected to rigorous of 7 UIL measurements: (i) Type of organisation profile, (ii) Type of UI linkages, (iii) UIL Funding values, (iv) UIL Formalization, (v) UIL Output, (vi) UIL Outcomes, and (vii) UIL Impact. In conclusion, the majority of collaboration involved research activities where it received most of the funding and produced more income while increasing graduate employability and publication in each activities. Additionally, the impact of UIL collaboration also resulted in the reduction in healthcare costs, discovery of new cures for diseases, impact on policies, the economy and society.
Analysis of current initiatives undertaken by MoHE and mapping of this study to Higher Education Blueprint
This study has addressed 3 shifts as stated in the Higher Education Blueprint while Industrial Relation Division in MoHE has also initiated few initiatives, the details are as follow:
1. Shift 1: Holistic, Entrepreneurial and Balanced Graduate
• Through the establishment of start-up and/or spin-out companies, and entrepreneurial activities, students are able to have the exposure and experience in being developed into holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates.
• The Industry Relation Division has initiated employer satisfaction index, industry academia task force and industry centre of excellence.
2. Shift 2: Talent Excellence
• Through R&D collaborative projects such as KTPs, PPRNs, TechnoFund and contract research projects, students who are involved in the projects are able to solved real industry problems and being relevant to industry needs. Furthermore, internships also give opportunities for students to understand and experience industry’s expectations.
• The Industry Relation Division has initiated CEO Faculty Programme, and A-I Cross Fertilization Programme.
3. Shift 7: Innovation Ecosystem
• The various organisational models of UIL, types of different activities, and the output, outcome and impact measures will encourage an innovation ecosystem to be established in Malaysian context.
• The Industry Relation Division has initiated My Innovation Hub, Knowledge Exchange Programme, and Innovation and Technology Managers Association.
The details of the initiatives undertaken by the Industry Relation Division of MoHE are enclosed in Appendix 5.
The following will present the recommendations for the Ministry of Higher Education and Malaysian universities.
Recommendations to Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education
a. Centrality of engagement in UIL
• Provide/improve a mechanism of backbone support by creating and synchronising a Industry liaison officer in each universities especially private Universities to coordinate the UI linkage and reported to Industry Relations Division, MoHE so that the ministry can monitored the UI activities precisely.
• Develop a shared measurement procedure of UIL for the Universities so that data collection and measurement are consistent
• Focused on collective impact to successful Universities and Industry collaboration so that every UIL will contributes to system change guided by the same approaches such as increase economic growth and social development.
b. Providing a guideline to the industry and university to formalised the collaboration and financial support to high impact or prioritised research areas.
c. Closing the gap between Universities and industry needs so that both stakeholders could gain mutual benefit from the collaboration which eventually benefits the country.
Recommendations to Universities
a. Promoting the UIL by providing success story of past collaboration which benefit both university and industry to convinces others new industry to make a first step to start the UIL network.
b. Recognition and acknowledgment to industry partner to maintain good relationship.
c. Maintain continuous communication to build and reinforce trust to support mutual objectives and common motivation.
d. Develop/improves one industry office centre to monitor the movement of UIL so that it can be easy to be referred by industry and ministry.
e. Monitor current collaboration to make sure its successfully end with good impact.
f. Provide source of database on list of Research expertise/facilities that can be used by the industry so that the industry can easily find the resources and all the contact detail.
In conclusion, there are many benefits that can be achieved from university and industry collaborations, especially in generating the universities’ income while gaining new knowledge and experiences. Thus, maintaining a good relationship with the industry while developing new collaborations is a good approach to expand and improve the quality of life in not only the university but also the community at large where UIL have a significant role in nation building and wealth creation.