KUCHING – Swinburne recently hosted a visit by Sony Interactive Entertainment America and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) where the parties discussed potential plans for future collaborations and toured the campus.
Senior Director of Visual Arts Services Group of Sony Interactive Entertainment America Michael Mumbauer and Manager of the Creative Content & Technologies Division in MDEC Amir Azlan Sapuan were welcomed by Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho and Deputy Head of School (Design and Arts) Augustus Raymond Segar.
They were also joined by School of Design and Arts lecturers Gregory Wee and John Hii.
During the visit, Mumbauer said that Sony has recently been setting their sights on the East, specifically in Asia and the Southeast Asian regions, where there are plans to expand their talent production pool offshore. He specified that Sony was looking to cultivate talents from schools and universities, and a survey showed Malaysia was one of the most promising countries.
Keen to strike a collaboration with a university capable of producing talents competent and ready for the digital market, Mumbauer added that Sony was eyeing at partnership programmes or internships for university students or alumni.
With over 130 students in both Swinburne Foundation Studies (Design) and Multimedia Design bachelor programmes, there is no shortage of talents to draw from. Mumbauer commented that Sony sees the opportunity in pulling talents from educational institutions although there are challenges in shaping young talents and creating a sustainable talent pool.
Meanwhile, Professor Lau emphasised that the courses offered at the Sarawak campus are identical to those offered at the Melbourne campus and mentioned future plans for Swinburne to expand its course offerings.
“Swinburne’s Sarawak campus offers specialised courses which are not offered at our Melbourne campus such as our Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Masters of TESOL to reflect the demands of our local market. Additionally, Swinburne works closely with our Course Advisory Panel who contributes their feedback and expertise in their respective industries to ensure our courses stay relevant and up-to-date,” said Professor Lau.
Professor Lau also voiced his observation of parents who remain hesitant in allowing their children to venture into the video games development industry and prefer conventional career paths in law, architecture or engineering instead. However, he is positive that the collaboration efforts came at an opportune time as Swinburne is currently in its stages of expansion.
According to Augustus, Swinburne has long-standing partnerships with organisations such as MDEC, Nokia and Microsoft, adding that its design students participated in various prestigious competitions and won multiple awards in the past.
In 2014, ‘UnFold’, a mobile game built by Swinburne’s final-year Multimedia Design undergraduates in partnership with Nokia and MDEC was rated top 10 Windows Apps in Malaysia. Other notable projects include ‘Tou: The Sacrifice’ and ‘Plug In’ which competed in the world finals and regional finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup respectively. Augmented reality learning app, Rentap AR and 360-degrees virtual reality app Kuching VR are also among the works of Swinburne’s Multimedia Design students and alumni.
With its long-term commitment to enhancing the campus experience for students, Swinburne has dedicated up to RM50 million in campus upgrade investments. The upgrades are in line with Swinburne’s vision and dedication in providing students with a world-class teaching and learning environment in order to prepare them for the future of work in a digital-led environment.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is a multinational video game and digital entertainment company. The wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America handles Sony’s venture into video game development through its PlayStation brand.
Swinburne University Of Technology Sarawak Campus 砂拉越斯威本科技大学