One of the elements in MUCED was introducing Malaysian lecturers and students to new teaching methods. This introduction to group work and Problem Based Learning (PBL) had both direct and indirect benefits in the Malaysian higher education system, participants says.
MUCED started activities in 2001, 20 years ago. What do different participants in the programme think of it? Does it have any impact today? Has it changed their mindset or influenced their future career? We have asked different people involved in MUCED about their opinion and how it have influenced their life prospectively.
In August 2000, MUCED, a consortium of four Malaysian universities, was formed to encourage new interdisciplinary approaches to environmental management. The consortium was part of a project proposed and supported by the DANCED program of the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Randolph S. Jeremiah became the Coordinator in the Secretariat of MUCED. In this interview he points to some of the key experiences. Today, Randolph works as Head of Water Resources at ERE, a Malaysian consultant company.
One of the first Malaysian students to benefit from the MUCED programme was professor Suhaimi Abdul Talib. In 2001 he went to Denmark to work on his Ph.D. project Anoxic transformations of wastewater organic matter in sewers – process kinetics, model concept and wastewater treatment potential. During two periods of three months, he had his day-to-day work in the laboratories of Institute of Environmental Engineering at Aalborg University.
It was a life changing experience to replace the warm climate of Malaysia to the more cool Scandinavian environment. When the Malaysian engineer Dr. Kumeresan did his Ph.D in Denmark, he benefitted on many levels, both professionally and personally.
‘When it comes to capacity building in higher education systems, it is much harder to show direct evidence of the development effect in society’ says Niels Thygesen, Director of DUCED I&UA almost 20 years ago, ‘the effect of the DUCED/LUCED programme was massive in the targeted countries; the initiatives implemented almost 20 years ago have rubbed off even to this day’.
In the beginning of the 21st century, the TUCED programme initiated exchange programmes for Danish and Thai master students. To Warisara Sereewatthanachai it meant that she could help bring new methods for substance analysis into the private sector in Thailand.
Dr. Firdaus Yusoff came to Denmark to study the biofuel process. He left with much more than just academic achievements. The stay in a foreign country sparked his scientific curiosity and convinced him to emphasize that scientists need to serve the public by sharing results and knowledge.
When Dr. Norazana Ibrahim did her Ph.D. project at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), she could confirm that agricultural waste should be an important energy resource in Malaysia. Now comes the difficult part of commercializing the technology in the Malaysian waste management industries.
In March 2019 water pollution was discovered in the river Sungai Kim Kim in the city Johor Bahru, Southern Malaysia. The source was identified as 20-40 tonnes of oil waste illegally dumped into different parts of the river. Most likely, a nearby marine engineering or petrochemical factory wanted to save money and dumped waste that was supposed to be handed and disposed safely. The incident provokes chemical engineer Dr. Mohd. Kamaruddin Abd. Hamid, researcher and lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).