In a bid to help strengthen Malaysia’s digital talent ecosystem, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia) have launched a Huawei ICT Academy Lab at the Faculty of Computing & Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. The setting up of the lab is in line with both UMS’ and Huawei Malaysia’s efforts to drive digital inclusion and nurture a rich ICT talent pool that meets industry requirements.

 (L-R): Mr. John Zhang, Partner Development Director of Huawei Enterprise Malaysia; Mr. Jason Dengjie, Director of Huawei Enterprise (East Malaysia); Mr Oliver Liu, Huawei ASEAN Academy Vice Chancellor; Prof. Datuk Dr. Kasim Mansur, Vice Chancellor UMS; Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Mohd Hanafi Ahmad Hijazi, UMS Dean of Faculty of Computing and Informatics; Prof. Ag. Asri Ag. Ibrahim, UMS Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and Mr. Choh Yau Meng, Huawei Malaysia Vice President of Human Resources.

With the Malaysia Madani Digital Economy initiative aligning with ASEAN’s regional integration, along with the launch of MyDigital and the recent 5G rollout, Malaysia is set to be at the forefront of driving the regional economy and the ICT job market for the next 3-5 years. To bolster these efforts, UMS and Huawei Malaysia have established a strategic collaboration in East Malaysia, aimed at nurturing ICT talent and reinforcing Malaysia's digital talent ecosystem to further accelerate the country's digital transformation goals.

UMS was represented by its Vice Chancellor Prof. Datuk Dr. Kasim Mansur at the inauguration ceremony recently, while Huawei Malaysia was represented by Huawei ASEAN Academy Vice-Chancellor Mr. Oliver Liu. Also present at the ceremony were Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Mohd Hanafi Ahmad Hijazi, UMS Dean of Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Prof. Ag. Asri Ag. Ibrahim, UMS Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Mr. Choh Yau Meng, Huawei Malaysia Vice President of Human Resources, Mr. Jason Dengjie, Director of Huawei Enterprise (East Malaysia) and Mr. John Zhang, Partner Development Director of Huawei Enterprise Malaysia.

Universities are known for students’ pursuit of knowledge and innovation and to achieve this, the right tools and resources to facilitate the learning process are needed. The Huawei ICT Academy Lab is designed to enhance the learning experience of students, equipping them with the know-how to adapt to real-world environments. The training will also involve students obtaining internationally recognised Huawei Certifications that will assist in their careers moving forward. The lab comes equipped with Huawei’s smart classroom solutions that will support the university in its teachings, workshops, technical discussions, sharing and exchanges, including that with the industry, via its hybrid classroom method. These initiatives are aimed at providing students with a flexible and engaging learning experience that are accessible both in-person and remotely.

Commenting on the collaboration, Prof. Datuk Dr. Kasim noted that the partnership aligns with UMS' strategy of supporting the Higher Education Ministry's policies on integrating Industry 4.0 elements in education.

“With the establishment of the Huawei ICT Academy Lab, UMS will be implementing a range of successful programmes in various ICT fields, such as telecommunications, Big Data, IoT, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence. As of now, a total of 710 UMS graduates have followed the HCIA (Huawei Certified ICT Associate) Programme, and 330 UMS graduates have been recognised as Huawei ICT Associates (HCIA) in the latest ICT fields, including Datacom, AI, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Storage, 5G and Security. With this achievement and the management efficiency of the Huawei ICT Academy, UMS has been awarded the "Outstanding Achievement Award" four years in a row, namely Year 2019-2022,” said Prof. Datuk Dr. Kasim.

Mr. Liu said: “Huawei’s global mission is to ‘bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world’. This Huawei ICT Academy Lab is a step in that direction through industry-academia collaboration towards cultivating the right talent to embrace and conquer the intelligent future.

“We are delighted to be here today and I believe this initiative will help students improve their digital skills and become more competitive in this highly dynamic and demanding ICT industry as well as in the job market. Huawei aims to showcase and share our leading technology solutions and innovations to students and cultivate world class talent for Malaysia and the region. We hope this lab will be one of the main hubs for technology development for students.”

The strong cooperative relationship between UMS and Huawei is crucial in further solidifying UMS' position as a leading ICT hub in the region. As such, the collaboration serves as an important step towards nurturing a new generation of skilled and innovative graduates equipped to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.