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University of Southampton Malaysia

Malaysian Higher Education Deputy Director-General receives honorary degree from University of Southampton

Published: 19 July 2016
Datin Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah Binti Tap
Datin Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah Binti Tapsir is this year's honorary degree recipient

The University of Southampton voted unanimously to award Datin Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah Binti Tapsir with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment.

 

Recognising her contributions to higher education, the University of Southampton has awarded Datin Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah Binti Tapsir with an honorary degree in a ceremony held on Monday, 18 July in the Nuffield Theatre, Highfield Campus, UK. 

The Malaysian Higher Education Deputy Director-General was presented with a Doctor of Science degree during the ceremony to honour graduates from the University’s Faculty of Engineering and the Environment including the first graduates to complete their undergraduate degrees from the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus. 

The honorary degree highlights Datin Ir. Dr Siti’s contribution to Malaysian higher education, particularly her role in spearheading a nationwide programme called the Malaysia Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 which aimed to transform education policies. Moreover, the award reflects the university’s strong links with Malaysia, where its foreign branch campus, the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, is situated - in EduCity, Johor Bahru. 

‘‘I am deeply honoured to accept this award and humbled in joining the past recipients who have received similar awards from the renowned University of Southampton,’’ said Datin Ir. Dr Siti during her acceptance speech. 

An accomplished engineer and academic, Datin Ir. Dr Siti observes that engineering education has evolved over time. In the 1980s, only 5 per cent of the female population studied engineering whereas currently, half of all students enrolled on engineering courses in Malaysia are women. ‘’In Malaysia, outcome-based education has been implemented wherein graduates need to have the required skill competencies of the discipline, good social skills as well as an entrepreneurial mindset. It has gone through many changes in the curriculum and syllabus to meet the needs of industry, society, government and other stakeholders.’’ 

Prof. Mark Spearing, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Southampton, said that Datin Ir. Dr Siti’s body of work has helped higher education meet the continually challenging times and needs of the country. ‘‘She has had a tremendous and positive impact on Malaysian higher education.’’ 

Datin Ir. Dr Siti served as Deputy Director-General in the Department of Higher Education of the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education since 2009. Prior to her current post, for three years, she was Malaysia’s Deputy Director General of private education. Among her contributions were the establishment of a rating system for private colleges and the rationalisation and liberalisation of private higher education. 

Datin Ir. Dr Siti graduated with a Masters degree in civil engineering from the University of Lowell, Massachusetts, USA and received a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Leeds, UK in 1994. 

 

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