Digitally transforming creative skills.
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) partners with Adobe to prepare staff and students to outperform in the digital workplace.
Changing learning preferences of students
Technological pressures amid an evolving education landscape
Varying levels of technology adoption among educators and administrators at UiTM
Improved student performance
Raised UiTM’s brand image as one of the best educational institutions globally
Reduced costs and moved toward a paperless environment
Enhanced educational value for students with programs that directly support learning objectives
“As a leading university, we must be able to provide the resources and curriculum that will prepare our students for the workforce of the future.”
Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said
Vice Chancellor, UiTM
Students must adapt to an increasingly digital Malaysia
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is Malaysia’s largest higher learning institution in terms of size and population. The university is committed to equipping students for work in a broad spectrum of industries and public agencies and prides itself on fostering an enterprising culture with strong connections to various industries.
Besides the main campus in Shah Alam, UiTM has 34 state campuses, satellite campuses, and 21 affiliated colleges. The university offers 508 academic programs for undergraduate through postgraduate degrees, in a vibrant and conducive environment.
In recent years, the Malaysian government has proposed roadmaps intended to steer towards a digital economy. One of its initiatives is to grow the creative content industry to contribute a targeted RM33 billion to the gross national income by 2020.
With a new emphasis on digitization, students today not only need skills such as design thinking and entrepreneurship, but also digital literacy and hands-on experience with the latest software widely used in the current workplace.
“The government’s proposed framework for Education 4.0 is to provide the next generation of workers with the relevant mindset and corresponding skill set to meet challenges of the digital workplace. As a leading university, we must be able to provide the resources and curriculum that will prepare our students for the workforce of the future,” says Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said, Vice Chancellor of UiTM.
Increasing competition in the education landscape
Furthermore, the proliferation of private institutions over the last 15 years has made the Malaysian education sector overcrowded, while giving students an unprecedented range of choices for continuing their higher education. This has also driven immense competition among higher education institutions in the country. UiTM thus also faced mounting pressure to constantly innovate and update its curriculum.
Students’ learning preferences are rapidly evolving as well. Today’s learners are digital natives who want an education that seamlessly integrates the latest technology into their learning while being mindful of costs. However, there are varying levels of technological adoption among UiTM’s teaching staff—with some being more digitally savvy than others. Hence, UiTM had to make sure that both students and staff started seeing technology as integral to everything they do.
With these factors in mind, UiTM set out to change its entire educational ecosystem to help ensure that the university stays ahead of the pack. Training students in the latest digital capabilities was the top priority but it also had to go hand-in-hand with re-shaping their attitudes. “Our main objective is to cultivate digitally led thinking throughout the institution—from educators and staff right down to the students. Hence, we needed a creative platform that was both accessible and effective in offering the future skills our students needed,” says Professor Dr. Roziah Mohd Janor, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Institute of Quality and Knowledge Advancement (InQKA) at UiTM.
Driving world-class education with the global standard in creative tools
Adobe Creative Cloud was selected to help transform UiTM, with the art and design departments spearheading the project. The university arrived at the decision after a rigorous selection process that involved an in-depth analysis on cost and benefits, and also the return on investment for UiTM. Approvals from UiTM executive level and higher authorities such as the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Higher Education were also obtained.
The primary reason for selecting Creative Cloud was the comprehensive suite of tools, and access to the entire collection of Adobe desktop and mobile apps, from industry essentials like Adobe Photoshop to innovative new apps like Adobe XD. More importantly, the tools could be packaged to the individual needs of each student, which means that students only incur costs on what they use.
The position of Adobe as a leading brand and the global standard for creative software was a key deciding factor. With Adobe, UiTM positions itself in the education space as a digitally led institution that deploys cutting edge software to its students in the creative, media, and technology fields. Adobe Creative Cloud gives UiTM an edge over the other universities in Malaysia offering similar design-led courses.
“Overall, Adobe solutions instill more confidence among our students. Adobe Creative Cloud also supplies our educators with the necessary resources to provide training that makes a real impact on their future careers.”
Professor Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Omar
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), UiTM
Inspiring students for tomorrow
Thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud, UiTM is now one step ahead when it comes to preparing its students for tomorrow’s workplace.
Students are now exposed to and trained in the latest Adobe creative apps, which are the industry standards in the creative sector. “Overall, Adobe solutions instill more confidence among our students. Adobe Creative Cloud also supplies our educators with the necessary resources to provide training that makes a real impact on their future careers,” says Professor Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Omar, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at UiTM.
So far, the adoption of Creative Cloud has resulted in an improved employment rate of outgoing UiTM design students, with 81% of students who graduated in 2016/2017 finding employment within six months.
Proficiency in Creative Cloud apps has also empowered UiTM students to win more design awards in the creative, media, and technology fields either at national or international levels. This has further elevated their confidence and individual portfolios. Creative Cloud is helping students tap into their creative potential and express it fluently through their work.
“Adobe Creative Cloud has truly injected the ‘wow’ factor into our curriculum and modernized the way our students think and create. Our students feel empowered to be receiving their training with the latest industry software, which in turn boosts their confidence in UiTM and the quality of their education here,” says Professor Dr. Haji Mohamad Kamal Haji Harun, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & International), UiTM.
“We are the first public university to adopt Adobe Creative Cloud on such a large scale. Thanks to its accessibility, more educators are moving past traditional models of teaching and adopting digital creative methodologies, greatly improving the quality of our courses.”
Professor Datin Dr. Noor Habibah Arshad
Director of Infrastructure Department, UiTM
Cultivating digital thinking in creative, media, and technology
As for the teaching workforce at UiTM, Adobe Creative Cloud has allowed educators to transform their courses with digitally led approaches. With Creative Cloud as a foundation, educators are able to offer lesson plans with technology and innovation at their core, cultivating an educational culture that encourages creativity, entrepreneurial skills, and forward-thinking.
“We are the first public university to adopt Adobe Creative Cloud on such a large scale. Thanks to its accessibility, more educators are moving past traditional models of teaching and adopting digital creative methodologies, greatly improving the quality of our courses,” said Professor Datin Dr. Noor Habibah Arshad, Director of Infrastructure Department at UiTM.
Adobe Creative Cloud enables educators to focus on providing constructive feedback where it matters the most. With Creative Cloud, educators are able to include comments and instructions directly on a student’s work in real time. Students can also critique and share comments on their peers’ work online, an exercise that facilitates and accelerates peer learning.
UiTM has also seen significant cost savings with Creative Cloud. By implementing the cloud-based solution, the department has reduced the need for physical assets such as paper and other perishable materials, freeing up the budget for educational programs that directly support learning objectives.
A brighter future at UiTM
To further enhance its reputation as Malaysia’s leading public university, UiTM is now planning to take the next step with Adobe. Seeing the positive outcomes from the implementation of Creative Cloud, the university is planning to boost its marketing efforts to drive better branding and reach in the competitive education sector.
UiTM is looking forward to working with Adobe to harness better insights from marketing campaigns, so that the university can target prospective students at the right time with the right information they need. This will help the institution improve student engagement and retention—both locally and worldwide.