10 February 2023

Special AUN-QA Feature: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Strides towards the Better Quality Assurance on the 315th AUN-QA Programme Assessment

AUN Writer Team

By Chanya Chinsukserm, AUN Programme Officer

From 31 January - 2 February 2023, the ASEAN University Network - Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) team embarked for Johor Bahru, Malaysia, to conduct the 315th AUN-QA Programme Assessment at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This exciting site visit in the southern region of Malaysia started off this year’s onsite operation, setting 2023 in motion.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is one of Malaysia's leading national universities that has been rated as a QS five-star university for many years in a row and ranked 39th in the 2023 QS Asia University Rankings. While remaining the premium university offering world-class education and research, UTM has widened its opportunities by becoming part of ASEAN University Network - Quality Assurance and joining the 315th AUN-QA Programme Assessmet (PA). This marks the very first time that UTM’s programmes were assessed under the AUN-QA frameworks in an effort to foster their continuous improvement.

Prof. Sr. Dr. Hishamuddin bin Mohd. Ali, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UTM warmly welcomed the AUN-QA’s team through his opening remark during the opening ceremony. In his speech, he addressed the UTM's ongoing pursuit of regional and global assessments to enhance the caliber of its education. As UTM always strives to continuously improve the quality of its education to meet national and international standards, he believed the AUN-QA programme assessment would undoubtedly identify strengths and weaknesses as well as accommodations that benefit the development of UTM’s programmes. In particular, the AUN-QA programme assessment is viewed as a mirror to reflect further enhancement in this connected world. Additionally, it will create and strengthen the university’s network as well as foster common interests in the region.

Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, Executive Director of AUN, also expressed his gratitude towards UTM for the significant contribution it has made to both AUN and ASEAN higher education through his opening remark. UTM is one of the Member Institutions of AUN/SEED-Net, which is the thematic network in engineering education. Most importantly, UTM is the host of the ASEAN Engineering Journal, an official publication of the JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net as the fruit of collaboration with support from the Government of Japan. 

For the 315th programme assessment, the AUN-QA team conducted a full site visit at UTM in Malaysia under a total of three programmes, which are the following:

  1. Bachelor of Science (Industrial Chemistry) with Honours
  2. Bachelor of Science (Human Resource Development) with Honours
  3. Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical – Mechatronics) with Honours

The site visit at the four essential university facilities at UTM, also included the following:


UTM Student Innovation Center


UTM Library Information Intelligence


UTM Sport Complex


UTM Counselling Center

The main campus of UTM is located in Johor Bahru, a technologically rich and culturally vibrant area in the southernmost part of Malaysia. UTM’s disciplines cover the fields of environmental construction, electrical engineering, chemical and natural resources engineering, civil engineering, medical engineering, comprehensive science, management and human resources development, education, and so on. In terms of academic exchange, it has cooperated with more than 50 academic institutions around the world.

With over 1,000 degree programmes being assessed by AUN-QA, 29 programmes have been assessed in Malaysia after 11 rounds of assessments. It is a momentous moment when UTM becomes part of the AUN-QA network. At programme level, the AUN-QA assessments are carried out in a peer-to-peer consultation environment, resulting in the exchange of best practices between the AUN-QA assessors and the assessed programs. The assessors, having extensive experience with such potential in ASEAN higher education, work exceptionally well in a principle-based manner with a consultative methodology. As a result, the best efforts from all stakeholders are combined without lowering or neglecting standards of professionalism for the best possible result in ensuring the quality of ASEAN higher education institutions.