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    UiTM collaborates with experts for students’ early industrial exposure

    The global education system has started to realize the importance of early industrial exposure to university students even before their compulsory industrial internship that they will be undergoing in their final semester. This is to support the learning objective as the theories and practical skills that they acquired in the classroom are mainly to prepare them for jobs in the future.

    Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia, has been encouraging lecturers to involve industrial experts in their teaching settings to expose the students not just to the theoretical syllabus but also to give a glimpse of the application of the theories in the industries. This is to expose the students to the importance of the theories learned in the classroom to be applied when they are out in the field in the future. This can also encourage the students to shape their future planning on which field to work in. In realizing this objective, an initiative by the lecturers of the General Virology course (UiTM Kuala Pilah Campus) has initiated collaborative teaching with experts from the industries to share their expert views on some parts of the syllabus.

    The lecturers of the General Virology course, Dr. Muhammad Aidil Ibrahim, Dr. Suwaibah Mohamed, Dr. Mu’adz Ahmad Mazian, and Dr. Nurul Hidayah Adenan have taken the initiative to organize two virtual sharing sessions with the clinical experts to enhance the student learning experience and understanding of one particular chapter in the syllabus that describes viral diseases in humans.

    The first sharing session was with Dr. Rahimah Iberahim, a specialist from Hospital Rembau, Malaysia, to expose the students to the current situation of viral diseases. Dr. Rahimah explained from a clinical view the existing diseases that are occurring due to viruses. Students were also enlightened about how the human body responds to viral diseases through a course of immunological scenarios. At the end of the session, it is obvious that the students were really keen to know more with a lot of questions asked during the Q&A session. Most questions asked were on the future prospect of treating HIV amongst humans as this virus is the most known harmful pathogen that has yet to be eradicated globally.

    Another part of the syllabus was addressed by another expert, Dr Haniif Ahmad Mazian who is a clinical lecturer from the Department of Surgical, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Malaysia. With his expert background, Dr Haniif enlightened the students with an overview of cancer-causing pathogens including viruses. This session also sparked interest amongst the students as the Q&A session was filled with many educational discussions primarily on cancer early detection and effective prevention.

    Through these effective sessions, students were able to see beyond the syllabus and oversee how the knowledge can be applied in the industry. The collaborative teaching initiative has given the students the opportunity to explore the industrial experts’ perspectives on the theories they have learned in the classroom. With this, students are able to view beyond the textbook and have a glimpse into the application of the knowledge gained to the current situation that is happening in the world. Students can value the knowledge gained as they started to see that the theories are not just information that they should merely understand or memorize, but there is a wide field of industries where the knowledge can be applied and can be a very valuable contribution to society.