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Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AK Academy in keeping with its overall strategy of strengthening relations with industry players. By way of this MoU, UUM students will be afforded the opportunity of acquiring valuable practical knowledge and skills requisite for their future employability in the field of maritime logistics.

The MoU was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of UUM, Prof. Dato' Wira Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, and the Director of AK Ventures Berhad, Major (K) Chang Kah Loon. The signing of the MoU, which was held at EDC-UUM yesterday, was witnessed by the Dean of the School of Technology Management and Logistics (STML), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shahimi Mohtar, and the Senior Manager of AK Academy, Madam Ooi Ai Mi.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, approximately 400 students are currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Transport (BBALT) under STML. The core courses of this specialised programme focus on all aspects of the different kinds of transportation businesses.

"At the moment, students are only exposed to the theories, with little exposure given to the practical aspects of sea transport. Hence, through this MoU with AK Venture, which has etched an enviable name in sea and maritime transportation, students can look forward to enhancing their knowledge with regard to the technical aspects, procedures and practices in the field of maritime transport," he said.

Further, he elaborated on the activities to be carried out under the partnership, namely training and seminars concerning maritime transport, logistics and Simulation in Supply Chain Management; consultancy on expertise in maritime industry, which could be undertaken through joint research, case studies and knowledge transfer programmes; as well as student development and acquisition of hands-on knowledge for employability upon graduation.

Meanwhile, the Director of AK Ventures Berhad, Major (K) Chang Kah Loon, said that, through the partnership, students would be exposed to all aspects of maritime logistics, which, as the premier type of logistics, played a key role in the growth of international trade and economy.

AK Academy is a component of AK Ventures Berhad, which is a maritime logistics group of companies that operates several logistics businesses in Malaysia, including maritime container transportation, petroleum-tanker shipping, international freight forwarding, logistics and supply chain management, as well as consultancy in the related field.

The pioneer batch of 20 students is expected to commence Industrial training with AK Academy in February 2016.

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