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Singapore Poly Ignites Engineering Education


Temasek Foundation to fund efforts in revamping curriculum design and development
at two Malaysian universities

Singapore, 25 May 2012: Singapore Polytechnic (SP) formalised an agreement with two Malaysian universities today that will see the local polytechnic train 50 educational leaders, program developers and teaching faculty at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) over a period of 24 months.

Temasek Foundation will be committing a grant of S$569,535 towards the programme, with the two Malaysian universities jointly funding the remaining S$ 287,500.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will enable programme participants from UTM and UiTM to become specialists in the following areas:

  • Implementing the conceive, design, implement and operate (CDIO) teaching and learning framework
  • Conceiving and designing innovative products and systems
  • Designing active experiential learning experiences.


Mr. Tan Hang Cheong, Principal of Singapore Polytechnic said, “The CDIO framework has helped Singapore Polytechnic create an environment that promotes active, engaged and interdisciplinary learning with the aim of preparing our students to be thinkers and leaders in the industry.  We have implemented CDIO in 15 engineering programmes. The benefits are starting to come in. Our students’ projects are now more innovative and many of our engineering graduates have done well and gained entry into prestigious universities“.

From 2012 to 2013, SP staff will conduct a series of workshops to train four educational leaders, 16 faculty and programme developers, and 30 teaching faculty members from UTM and UiTM. Some 20 of these 50 participants will also be trained to become Master Specialist Trainers who will design, develop and deliver customised training programmes for designing an integrated curriculum and conceiving and designing innovative products and systems.

According to Prof Mohd Zaki Kamsah of UTM, “Implementing the CDIO framework into the university’s engineering programmes would enable UTM to enhance the quality of their engineering graduates. These graduates would not only be competent in the technical field but would also possess good people skills.”

An introductory one-day workshop explaining the principles of CDIO and how it could be implemented took place at UTM’s Johor Bahru campus and UiTM’s Shah Alam campus earlier this year. Both UTM and UiTM will be the first in Malaysia to champion an engineering curriculum based on the CDIO framework. UTM plans to have the CDIO curriculum ready in time to be rolled out in September 2013 for their degree programme, while UiTM will be implementing CDIO in their engineering diplomas.

Dato’ Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Baker, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Tenologi MARA shared, “This is indeed a momentous occasion for UiTM, and I hope for the Singapore Polytechnic and UTM too, as we pave the way to enhance the quality and upgrade in teaching and learning the engineering field. With the sealing of this MoU on the CDIO Framework for Rethinking Engineering Education in Malaysia Project, we will have advanced yet another step forward in strengthening our graduates’ competitive edge, besides providing them leverage once they leave us to seek life’s fortunes, and add on to life’s experiences”.

“Developing capabilities in education is a priority area of funding for Temasek Foundation and we are pleased to support the training of these 50 professionals. Through this programme, we hope to contribute to the development of a network of leaders and educators who will help to bring about positive changes to the engineering education curriculum in Malaysia. We are confident that this cross-border academic exchange will be a valuable experience for both Singapore and Malaysia,” said Mr Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Foundation.

This is the fifth collaboration between TF and SP in four countries, including Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia and now, Malaysia.
Pictures from the event will be available upon request.


About Temasek Foundation, Singapore
Temasek Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organisation anchored in Singapore that seeks to contribute to sustainable growth and a bright future of hope and opportunities for people in Asia.  The foundation works with partners to support programmes that develop people through health care, education and research, programmes that build bridges between peoples, programmes that build institutions of excellence through good governance and ethics, and programmes that rebuild lives and livelihoods affected by natural disasters.

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Contact details for Temasek Foundation:
Ms Diana Lee
Senior Associate, Communications
Temasek Foundation
T: (65) 6828 6737 / M: (65) 9652 0569

About Singapore Polytechnic (
Established in 1954 to meet the manpower needs identified by the government, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. Its 10 academic schools offer 50 full-time diploma courses for its 15,970 students and courses are kept relevant through close links with industry and government bodies, as well as with various overseas institutions.

SP offers broad-based, multi-disciplinary and flexible curriculum dedicated to hands-on experience. It is committed to the development of its applied research and development capabilities to enhance the quality of teaching and commercialisation efforts. Through Design Thinking, SP offers a revolutionary approach to education, allowing its students to look at problems from different perspectives, and strike a dynamic balance between intuitive and analytical thinking to provide impactful solutions.

Among SP's 166,800 graduates are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multinational and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals, many of whom are captains of industries, university professors and researchers, and leaders in government.

SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.

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Contact details for Singapore Polytechnic:
Ms Jaime Goh
Corporate Communications Officer
Singapore Polytechnic
T: (65) 6870 6122 / M: (65) 9106 1969

About Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is the oldest engineering university in Malaysia that specializes in technical studies.

It started out as a technical school and performed well enough to be elevated to a college offering diploma courses.

It then upgraded its courses to the Baccalaureate level, offering students with more opportunities. This finally led to the college being upgraded to university status.

They very recently formed the Faculty of Bioscience and Bioengineering, together with the Faculty of Biomedical and Allied Sciences.

They also provide almost 2/3 of the country’s workforce in engineering and technology.

Their numerous international collaborations make them an academic hub and they welcome professors and academics from all over the world.

They are the first university to reach research status, and the first to attain full autonomy to ensure that they select only the best.

They have 13 residential colleges well furbished with amenities.

Contact details for Universiti Teknologi Malaysia:
Name: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Zaki Kamsah
Title: Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
T: 607-5531110 M : 6019-7770919

About Universiti Teknologi Mara (
UiTM is Malaysia's largest institution of higher learning in terms of size and population. It has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 1956 and it is still growing. The university has expanded nationwide with 12 branch campuses, three satellite campuses, 9 city campuses and 21 affiliated colleges. With this vast network and a workforce of 17,000, the university offers more than 300 academic programmes in a conducive and vibrant environment. It is also home to some 172,000 students.

The University is committed to helping bumiputera students achieve the highest scholarly level and to prepare them for careers in public and professional practice in various fields. Its formation is based on a vision of outstanding scholarship and academic excellence that is capable of providing leadership in various arenas.

Although still a fledgling compared to other more established universities in the country, UiTM has earned a reputation as being one of Malaysia's innovative and entrepreneurial universities, as it has formed linkages with numerous and diverse industrial sectors. Hence, its relationships with the industries have enriched its research and innovation as well as its entrepreneurial culture.

Today, UiTM draws strength from the initiatives of its founding fathers, exploring and mastering various frontiers of knowledge as it works towards reaching greater heights and celebrating more accomplishments at home and abroad. The ultimate is to put UiTM on the world map.

Contact details for Universiti Teknologi Mara:
Name: Prof Dr. Sharifah Aishah Syed A. Kadir
Title: Dean of Faculty of Chemical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi Mara

T: (+603) 55436301 / F: (+603) 55436300

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