The University of Reading Malaysia (UoRM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sutera Mall, paving the way to further strengthen the relevance of academic and research collaborations for industrial practice, and to allow UoRM real estate students the opportunity to have hands-on experience in real estate business.
The MoU, is a collaboration between Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd, a developer in Johor Bahru and jointly owned by Singapore’s Keppel Land, Lee Rubber Co. and Malaysia’s Armed Forces Fund Board – and the Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics at Henley Business School Malaysia, was signed by UoRM Provost and Chief Executive Officer Professor Tony Downes and Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd (owner of Sutera Mall) General Manager Steven Shum, during a ceremony held at the UoRM campus in EduCity, Iskandar Puteri, Johor.
Under the agreement, Sutera Mall will allow UoRM to adopt it as the “teaching mall” for its students undertaking the BSc Real Estate programme (akin to the concept of a teaching hospital to medical students). The mall will also provide advice on graduate employment opportunities for Henley Business School students and offer students the opportunity to work as an intern or undertake an industrial placement at the mall. In addition, Sutera Mall has committed to providing a financial scholarship to award a student who tops a university essay or an assignment based on Sutera Mall’s project brief.
At the signing, Steven Shum said, “Being a community builder developer, it has always been our aspiration to create value in all things we do. The collaboration with UoRM will provide us an opportunity to enhance the students’ learning experience. We hope this CSR project of ours will benefit the community too, through the knowledge sharing by the Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics at UoRM.”
As part of its community outreach initiatives, UoRM will deliver public lectures at Sutera Mall, through its Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics (The Centre). The Centre will, if needed, will also provide support to Sutera Mall in its community project on urban farming, in particular, smart farming on idle land. In addition, through the mall’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and The Centre’s pro-bono initiatives, both parties will embark on a local entrepreneurship programme to benefit Johor residents.
The Centre has also committed to undertaking research projects for Sutera Mall, with the objective of enhancing the customer retail experience, driving innovation in retailing, and identifying threats of digitisation on brick-and-mortar malls. It will also provide advice to the mall on its business plan and marketing plan developments.
“In preparing our real estate students to be qualified chartered surveyors, they are not only taught relevant real estate and business theory but we provide them with a platform for experiential learning. We are grateful to Sutera Mall for partnering with us to give our students the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in the classroom and to gain valuable insight into the real estate business,” said Professor Tony Downes.
“We hope through the Centre for Global Business Enterprise and Cloud Analytics that we can provide practical advice to advance the mall and make a significant contribution to its community initiatives.”