1. Review Result
ABEST21 Accreditation Result of Master of Business Administration Program, Faculty of Industrial Management, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan, Malaysia is as follows:
“ABEST21 certifies that the School’s educational and research activities generally satisfy accreditation standards. The School’s Kaizen plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising and good.
Accreditation commences April 1, 2022 for a five-year period.”
2. Review for the Basic Policies
1) “Globalizing the School’s Research and Education”
Globalization activities have been carried out well in the forms of faculty and staff exchanges, international research projects, international conferences, external examiners for viva voce, and global classroom program. The School also has reputable international partners. However, it can make more efforts to globalize, e.g.:
- The School should have a clear criterion to guide it in choosing the right international partners. One suggestion is considering the School’s mission and vision.
- In the age of the Internet and high-speed communication, the globalization of research and education can be promoted in a non-traditional way.
- The School can increase the number of foreign students with more targeted marketing efforts.
2) “Humanizing the School’s Research and Education”
The School has taken various efforts in humanizing its research and education. With regard to challenges in online learning, the School may explain how they promote inclusivity in ensuring that weak students or students who have learning problems get sufficient support. Another significant issue in Malaysia today is corruption. Thus, higher education institutions should contribute to develop people with virtue and high awareness of social contribution.
3) “Collaborating with Industries in the School’s Research and Education”
The School has done quite well in collaboration with industry. However, related to the 4 specializations of the MBA-FIM-UMP, namely: technology management, engineering management, business engineering, and bioeconomy, a deeper relationship is needed with the related industries at the local and national levels. However, socioeconomics is shifting from traditional manufacturing and services, such as the production and distribution of goods, to digital. Most companies, including public organizations, need to transform in order to adjust to this shift. There is a lot of room for universities to support companies in this respect.
3. Review for the Accreditation Standards
1) “Internal Quality Assurance”
- Standard 1: “Administration and Governance”
- Standard 2: “Self-Check and Self-Evaluation”
- Standard 3: “Improvement of Education and Research Environment”
The School is committed to strengthening its internal quality assurance. One of the measures is working with the industry panel. The School has carried out periodic and consistent self-checks and disclosed it openly to key stakeholders. The School has a framework and structure for quality assurance, but there are operational problems. Even if something goes wrong or fails, it is important to face it and foster a culture in which efforts to improve it are evaluated. One tool that may help to implement better governance system is PDCA cycle. The School may start by mapping all the activities and responsibilities in respect to PDCA cycle, and iterate the full cycle. The other finding from the PRT online visit is that MBA-FIM-UMP should consider embracing other external stakeholders other than students, for example alumni and the companies or industries that employ its graduates.
2) “Mission Statement”
- Standard 4: “Mission Statement”
- Standard 5: “Mission Imperatives”
- Standard 6: “Financial Strategies”
The mission statement of the School is well written and well aligned with the University’s mission. However, the School must find ways to measure whether the mission statement has been successfully achieved to make sure that the direction taken is in accordance with what is expected.
3) “Educational Programs”
- Standard 7: “Learning Goals”
- Standard 8: “Curriculum Policy”
- Standard 9: “Management of Curriculum”
- Standard 10: “Improvement of Educational Quality”
- Standard 11: “Diploma Policy”
- Standard 12: “Learning Outcomes Review”
- Standard 13: “Globalization of Educational Programs”
The program’s learning goals and its structure support the School’s mission well. One of the strengths of the program is that it focuses on management of technology, rather than general field of management. However, given the progress of the digital economy, as pointed out in the report, it is necessary to improve the curriculum to suit it. It is important to have a unique curriculum based on the School’s specialization and strengths.
The best partners to review program’s learning objectives are those who use the School’s graduates. They will more objectively assess whether the process of learning and the learning outcomes have produced graduates who meet their requirements. Therefore, strong relationships with alumni and companies that employ alumni are very important
Mastery in KALAM is a must. So, the School is advised to put some effort to make sure that the faculty, staff, and students have enough understanding and skills to use KALAM, especially in this pandemic situation. The School should increase engagement with alumni and with industry to get feedback in improving the quality of learning.
- Standard 14: “Student Profile”
- Standard 15: “Admission Policy”
- Standard 16: “Student Selection”
- Standard 17: “Student Support”
- Standard 18: “Student Incentive”
- Standard 19: “Student Diversity”
Students and alumni that were involved in the online PRV indirectly reflect the good quality of the program and the diversity of the student body. However, there are several critical areas that relate to students and need improvement:
- Define the target profile and revisit the admission policy and selection criteria. The target profile must be aligned with the program entry requirements and the mission of the School.
- The School should give attention to marketing efforts to secure the target market. A stronger focus on international students is suggested. The PRT advises that the number of international students is increased.
- The reward system for students should be reviewed systematically and periodically.
- Standard 20: “Faculty Structure”
- Standard 21: “Faculty Qualifications”
- Standard 22: “Maintenance of Education and Research Environment”
- Standard 23: “Responsibilities of Faculty Members”
- Standard 24: “Faculty Diversity”
The requirements concerning qualification and diversity of faculty members are met.
However, a careful succession plan should be developed to ensure that the School has enough faculty members. In the past, it was common to have faculty members who were subject matter experts (SME) according to the curriculum. From now on, it will be indispensable to train teachers who can design and deliver lessons required in the new era with the cooperation of experts in various advanced fields. In the pandemic situation, the lack of cultural diversity exposure can be solved by inviting foreign faculty members to teach on-line.
6) “Educational Infrastructure”
- Standard 25: “Educational Infrastructure”
- Standard 26: “Globalization of Educational Infrastructure”
The School has good educational infrastructure to support the students’ learning experiences. During this pandemic, even if vaccination progresses, it is necessary to utilize online education for some time. It would be better to provide more support for faculty members and students so that they can conduct/take lessons smoothly at home.
4. Good Practice in the Program Management Education
Title: “MBA with Management and Technology Focus”
Reason: The School is one of the business schools that teaches management of technology and management in the traditional economic framework. This combination creates the uniqueness of MBA-FIM program. As society’s transformation into a digital economy accelerates, the School will be more competitive if it drives the Kaizen and transformation well. The learning goals and the structure of the program set the MBA-FIM-UMP apart from other institutional providers. The program offers integration of management and technology.
In the report, there are some points where the analysis of current problems and countermeasures is not sufficient. However, the interviews have confirmed that the University and the School management have the will and willingness to promote change.
5. Matters to be noted
The biggest issue for MBA UMP is to involve all stakeholders (school management, faculty members, staff members, students, alumni, government bodies, industry, partners, etc.) based on their corresponding roles to improve the quality of learning in MBA UMP.
It is necessary to instill a mindset that it is important to identify issues and take concrete actions for Kaizen, rather than self-affirming that the current situation is satisfactory. One suggestion is to introduce PDCA cycle as a culture for identifying and solving the problems.
One activity that the School should intensify is marketing. Perhaps the School may start with a comprehensive study regarding the dynamics of its target market.