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Curtin Malaysia academics receive prestigious fellowship awards for teaching excellence

Miri – 15 November 2018 – Three academics from the Faculty of Engineering and Science of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) have been awarded prestigious Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowships by the United Kingdom-based Advance Higher Education (Advance HE).

Mechanical engineering lecturer Lai Zhenyue was awarded a Senior HEA Fellowship (SFHEA) while civil and construction engineering lecturer Dr. Wong Shi Yee and mechanical engineering lecturer Chew Ing Ming were acknowledged as Associate HEA Fellows (AFHEA).

They were among 18 academics from Curtin University’s campuses receiving HEA fellowships and were recognised during Curtin’s annual Festival of Learning held across its campuses in Western Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, Mauritius and Singapore from 5 to 9 November 2018.

The HEA is an independent, not-for-profit UK-based body which champions teaching excellence in higher education across the globe to improve student outcomes.

With over 100,000 Fellows worldwide, HEA Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education. Awarded across four categories, from Associate to Principal, HEA Fellowship provides individuals with recognition of their practice, impact and leadership of teaching and learning.

Fellowships are awarded based on a successful and effective demonstration of one of the four UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Descriptors, a recognised framework for benchmarking success within higher education teaching and learning support.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Academic Professor Jill Downie said, as a global university committed to excellence in learning and teaching, Curtin is delighted that 18 of its staff members have been awarded HEA Fellowships to increase the international mobility of its workforce and validate their achievements in supporting student learning.

Curtin Malaysia Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski, in congratulating the three Curtin Malaysia academics, said their achievement was a testament to the university’s commitment to excellence and innovation in learning and teaching.

He said that, in addition improving approaches to teaching and encouraging excellence in individual teaching practice, Curtin Malaysia continues to create innovative learning spaces with the latest technologies to support active student learning.

“Such capacities in learning and teaching, as well as well-integrated campuses, are the hallmarks of a genuine global university, which Curtin University has increasingly become,” Professor Mienczakowski remarked.

Lai said that her Senior HEA Fellowship is a valuable measure of her key contributions to high quality student learning and impact on influencing staff in teaching and supporting learning.

For Chew, being awarded an Associate HEA Fellowship was his greatest achievement in 2018. He said he was grateful for the recognition of his learning and teaching practices and will continue to explore innovative teaching methods to improve the learning outcomes of his students.

Dr. Wong, meanwhile, said being made an Associate HEA Fellow has given her not only recognition of her efforts but also encouragement to pursue new pedagogies in learning and teaching.

These awards were the latest in a string of awards won by Faculty of Engineering and Science academics this year. In August, four academics received Anak Sarawak Appreciation Awards from the Sarawak state government.

They were acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science Associate Professor Vincent Lee Chieng Chen, and Dr. Brigid Chin Lai Fui, Dr. Denni Kurniawan and Associate Professor Mohamed Abdel Kader Ismail of the Faculty’s departments of chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil and construction engineering respectively. A fifth award was won by acting dean of the Faculty of Business Associate Professor Pauline Ho Poh Ling.

The Anak Sarawak Appreciation Awards acknowledge convention hosts, industry members and media partners for their commitment in ensuring the success of international, regional and local business events in Sarawak, particularly those that facilitate Sarawak’s digital economic transformation. They were presented by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the 9th Anak Sarawak Awards ceremony held in conjunction with the Business Events Tribal Meet (TriBE 2018) hosted by the Sarawak Convention Bureau.

Dr. Chin also received the International Convention Scholarship Award which comes with a grant of RM10,000 to represent Sarawak at international conventions of her choice.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia), YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia) or LinkedIn page (Curtin Malaysia).


(L-R) Curtin Malaysia’s Chew Ing Ming, Lai Zhenyue and Dr Wong Shi Yee with their HEA Fellowship awards.