Curtin Sarawak on the right track, says former Curtin Vice Chancellor

Dato’ Professor Lance Twomey during his visit to Curtin Sarawak.

Miri – 28 June 2011 – Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is on the right track with its technical education courses when it comes to meeting the manpower requirements of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), according to Dato’ Professor Lance Twomey, former Vice Chancellor of Curtin University and the principal consultant for the Sarawak state government on the technical and manpower requirements for SCORE.

He was commenting on Curtin Sarawak’s diploma courses in Process Plant Technology (Oil Industry), Occupational Health and Safety, and Instrumentation and Control Engineering, during a visit to the Curtin Sarawak campus recently.

“The industries in SCORE would be pleased to see more of such courses being offered as they are very much in line with the manpower and technical requirements of SCORE,” he remarked.

He added that universities should respond to the emerging industries such as new materials sciences, energy technologies, biotechnology, advanced computing, and human and computer interfaces, which require employees who are highly trained in science and industrial technology.

“Universities should be able to adapt to the needs of industry and provide a partnership between the private sector and public sector in the delivery of education and learning. By introducing specialised diploma programmes, Curtin Sarawak is taking strategic initiatives to fulfil the industry needs of Sarawak and the region,” he said.

Dato’ Twomey works alongside Tan Sri Mohd. Hassan Merican, advisor to the chief minister of Sarawak on manpower requirements, who is also the former president and chief executive officer of Petronas, in mapping the technical and manpower requirements for SCORE.

In a meeting with Curtin Sarawak’s management staff, Dato’ Twomey expressed his gratitude at being invited to visit the campus, which he last visited in 2009. During that visit, in conjunction with Curtin Sarawak’s tenth anniversary celebration, the building housing the School of Business was named the Dato’ Lance Twomey Building in recognition of his contributions to the establishment of Curtin Sarawak when he was the Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, as well as his role as a member of the protem Curtin Sarawak Council.

“I am very pleased with the impressive development of this campus. It has contributed significantly to the changing face of this northern region of Sarawak, and I believe it can serve as a catalyst for the rapid growth of education and research in the state of Sarawak,” he commented.

Dato’ Twomey attributed the university’s success to its two most prominent visionaries – former Deputy Chief Minister and chairman of the Curtin Sarawak Council Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam, and Assistant Minister of Communications and Assistant Minister of Sports, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is also chairman of the university’s management board.

On SCORE, Dato’ Twomey praised the Sarawak state government for carrying out a project on such a large scale and for its prudent management of Sarawak’s abundant natural resources.

He spoke of the manpower and technical requirements of the industries within SCORE, and the demand for not just technical professionals such engineers, scientists and technicians, but also professionals providing support services such as accountants, doctors, nurses, teachers, security personnel, managers and other administrators.

Well-known corporations in SCORE like Tokuyama and Press Metal, he said, are actively recruiting engineers and thus it is an opportune time for Curtin Sarawak to vigorously increase student intake to exploit such opportunities.

“In Sarawak, there is a severe shortage of people with technical skills. Rather than rely indefinitely on technical expertise from outside Sarawak, we have to work fast to develop our own talent. Therefore, I encourage parents to take the opportunity to send their children for technical education. The career prospects for them are tremendous and it might be worth noting that technical workers can sometimes earn more than professionals due to their specialisation,” related Dato’ Twomey.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my or e-mail [email protected]

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