On 15 October 1992, the Ministry of Education Malaysia endorsed recommendation from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to establish a School for Professional and Further Education. This School acts as a specialised centre for the implementation of lifelong learning programmes at the university level. This School was launched on July 1993, and known as the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE).
In the early days of SPACE establishment, this centre offered part-time academic programmes in collaboration with UTM faculties, and organised seminars, conferences, workshops, and other development programmes for working professionals.
SPACE was rebranded as SPACEUTM in 2006. The term “UTM” was added to the SPACEUTM name in order to increase public trust on the functions and operations of the centre as a legitimate UTM entity.
Starting in 2000, SPACEUTM underwent rapid development due to the growing public interest on part-time programmes, as well as professional development programmes with various corporate companies. The centre also became a reference point to other institutions of higher learning for lifelong learning initiatives.
SPACEUTM was rebranded as UTMSPACE in 2009. In this rebranding exercise, the term “UTM” was shifted to the front in order to emphasise the status of UTM as the parent entity. This rebranding exercise was also aligned with the branding exercise that was implemented at UTM.
UTM was upgraded to a research university in June 2010. UTM restructured a few centres and faculties at the UTM Kuala Lumpur campus as a result of the new status. UTMSPACE was also involved in this restructuring exercise, where it was merged with the Centre for Diploma Studies (Pusat Pengajian Diploma) UTM, as well as the Joint Programme Management Unit (Unit Pengurusan Program Kerjasama) UTM, which offered UTM academic programmes through collaboration with private colleges.
On 28 January 2011, UTMSPACE was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee under UTM. This approach follows the approach made by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), which incorporated its lifelong learning centre to HKUSPACE in 1992, fitting to its strategy towards becoming a globally recognised research university.
The incorporation of UTMSPACE in 2011 provided autonomy to the centre to
• Conduct and offer academic programmes and other activities that are beyond the focus of UTM as a research university,
• Increase revenue generation on behalf of UTM,
• Generate and manage finances and assets effectively,
• Manage human resources competitively,
• Offer new products that are more innovative and capable of generating higher returns, as well as
• Establish its own private institution of higher learning and subsidiary company, or collaboration with other parties.
UTMSPACE offers the following programmes:
- UTM academic programmes. All academic programmes offered are subjected to UTM academic regulations.
UTM Diploma programme
UTM Foundation programme
UTM Part-time programme
- UTM joint/collaboration programmes. The joint/collaboration programmes are conducted through collaboration with private colleges across the country. Currently there are 14 private colleges that are verified to deliver UTM joint/collaboration programmes.
- Professional development programmes such as workshops, seminars, conferences, and in-house training.
- Professional Diploma programmes. These programmes are conducted through collaboration between UTMSPACE and external companies, providing company employees opportunity to obtain training in their respective fields of work.
- Transnational programmes. UTM gives UTMSPACE the responsibility to implement UTM academic programmes through franchise approach, offshore, or hybrid mode.
UTMSPACE HYBRID STRUCTURE
At present time, UTMSPACE adopts a bicameral structure in organisational management, that is, the UTMSPACE structure, and the SPACE structure.
As an incorporated UTM entity, UTMSPACE requires a corporate structure for employment, salary payment, and development provisions. The overall management is led by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UTMSPACE, assisted by five Directors, comprising Director of Academic Affairs, Director of Corporate and Registry, Director of Development, Director of Continuing Education, and Director of Transnational Education and Strategy. (Click here for organisational structure)
UTMSPACE maintains the academic administration structure that reports directly to UTM. This academic administration structure is known as SPACE (School of Professional and Continuing Education). SPACE is led by a Chair and two Deputy Chairs. The SPACE Chair oversees management of all academic programmes, including
- UTM academic programmes that are managed by the Centre for Part-time Studies (Pusat Pengajian Separuh Masa, PPSM), the Centre for Diploma Studies (Pusat Pengajian Diploma, PPD), and the Centre for Degree Studies (Pusat Pengajian Ijazah, PPI), as well as
- All UTM joint/collaboration programmes through collaboration with partner institutions, both within and outside the country, that are managed by the Centre for Joint Programmes (Pusat Program Kerjasama, PPK).
UTMSPACE is still subjected to university approval for quality assurance of its academic programmes. It has to obtain Senate approval to conduct all new academic programmes, before marketing the programmes to the public. Students’ results for all academic programmes also need to be endorsed by the UTM Senate, as with academic programme implementation at all UTM faculties. (Click here for governance structure)
Since its inception in 1993, UTMSPACE has become one of the core UTM entities that generates and contributes to financial sustainability of the university. UTMSPACE has contributed a total of RM 105 million in cumulative contribution to university funding from 1993 to 2017. UTMSPACE manages its operations through funds obtained from the education products offered. It does not accept any direct contributions or financial subsidy from UTM, except for emolument payment of staff seconded to UTMSPACE.