1,200 students to benefit from 5G education initiative

Hägerbro, Ahmad Fauzi and Zuraida at the MoU sigining ceremony.

KUCHING: Ericsson telecommunications company, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) recently announced their collaboration in a 5G education initiative to educate Malaysian students on 5G and new technologies.

The collaboration, which enables UTM students to participate and contribute to the country’s digital economy and the Industrial Revolution 4.0. (IR4.0), is expected to benefit up to 1,200 students in the first year.

Ericson, in a statement on Monday (Jan 17), said in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the three parties, they would open the Ericsson Educate platform to UTM students to offer access to learning materials on the latest technology.

Subjects selected for the introductory level include 5G networks, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, blockchain, cloud computing, data science, Internet of Things (IoT) and telecommunications.

“This collaboration will enable students and lecturers to access quality digital learning resources that leverage on Ericsson’s 145 years of experience in telecommunications and ICT.

“Content from the Ericsson Educate portal will be provided at no cost and integrated to complement UTM’s online-based degree and micro qualification programs.

“At the same time, Ericsson will also train UTM faculty members to use course materials,” it explained.

Apart from the Ericsson Educate portal, Ericsson and DNB will also feature a line-up of subject experts as guest lecturers for topics set by UTM and DNB. There will be opportunities for course participants to join DNB as internship students after completing relevant courses.

UTM vice chancellor Prof Datuk Ts Dr Ahmad Fauzi Ismail said their collaboration with Ericsson and DNB was to integrate industry-driven content with the UTM curriculum to help improve graduates’ skills and knowledge to be competitive in the Industry 4.0 work environment.

“UTM’s collaboration with Ericsson is also in line with the university’s obligation to support the Malaysian Higher Education Development Plan, cultivate lifelong learning and enable Malaysians to meet the skills and capabilities needed for a developed economy.

“This will maximise the potential and excellence of individuals in the workforce through retraining opportunities and skills upgrading (reskilling and upskilling),” he said.

DNB chief corporate affairs officer Zuraida Jamaluddin said 5G technology would be a key catalyst in transforming Malaysia’s digital economy and would upgrade the way people worked, played innovated and learnt.

“Through lower latency, faster speeds and AR/VR capabilities, 5G will create a deep learning environment as well as drive innovation in many aspects of education.

“More importantly, the accelerated adoption of 5G and cheaper wholesale prices through a supply-based approach by DNB will encourage the participation of students from all walks of life no matter where they are.

“This will help bridge the digital divide and ensure equality in education especially those involving marginalized communities,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh head David Hägerbro said the initiative would spur continued collaboration between Ericsson and UTM in research and development as well as drive the Industry 4.0 agenda.

“It is an important step by Ericsson and DNB to develop a skilled 5G workforce in Malaysia that can harness the potential of 5G to support the government’s MyDigital vision.

“Our investment in UTM aims to accelerate Malaysia’s digital transformation, including building a 5G skilled workforce by complementing UTM’s learning with Ericsson Educate content as well as DNB’s industry vision, UTM will further strengthen their ICT skills, thus increasing the availability of 5G skilled talent in the country,” he added.

Since its establishment in Malaysia in 1965, Ericsson has been actively involved and collaborating with local institutions of higher learning and academia in the country and the collaboration with UTM is one of the longest-running collaborations.

In 2016, Ericsson signed an MoU with UTM for the establishment of an Innovation Centre for 5G (IC5G) in UTM, Kuala Lumpur which is the first innovation centre in Malaysia to study and test 5G technology.

In December 2021, UTM became one of the first universities in Malaysia to enjoy 5G coverage under the launch of the first 5G DNB in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. The entire UTM Kuala Lumpur campus area is among the 500 5G-enabled sites in the country, making UTM Kuala Lumpur the first public university campus in Malaysia with commercial 5G coverage.

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