Academic Insight: Facility Management for an ODL University
By Ts Azmi Che Leh and Ts Rosfashida Syed Abd Latif
A university serves as a fertile ground for cultivating expertise across various industries, effectively churning out human capital for the workforce. In this light, the university can be seen as yielding two key outputs: its educational programmes and the skilled graduates they produce. Both of these outputs must exhibit top-notch quality to remain in step with the ever-evolving demands of industry.
Within the university, the faculty stands as the beating heart of the institution, wielding significant influence in the creation of these high-caliber outputs – namely, the programmes and the graduates themselves. However, the faculty requires support to ensure that the production process runs smoothly and yields exceptional results. This is where facility management steps in, ensuring that the university’s operational processes not only meet industry standards but also remain competitive and sustainable.
A facility, in this context, encompasses the physical structures and equipment tailored for specific purposes, encompassing buildings, locations, and specialised equipment used for various activities.
The faculty offers a blend of both hard and soft support services. These two types of support are crucial in ensuring that the faculty remains at the forefront of knowledge and information delivery to students, enabling them to apply what they learn in their daily endeavours.
Hard facilities encompass the essential support services that a university must provide to facilitate teaching and learning in line with programme requirements. This includes infrastructure, technology, library resources, and administrative support, all of which should integrate sustainable practices into their operational processes. Laboratory facilities, tailored to specific programmes that involve practical activities, must adhere to standards and recommendations set by the MQA panel. It’s paramount that the systems and technology used support the teaching and learning process and are easily accessible to students, ensuring user-friendliness.
On the other hand, soft facilities are geared towards enhancing academic prowess within the faculty, with a focus on fostering resilience and ensuring successful academic delivery.
Hence, the Facilities Management Department plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the faculty receives robust support from various services to produce top-quality programmes and graduates.
Acting as a central coordinator, the Facilities Department facilitates seamless communication between the faculty and support services. By providing a comprehensive array of both tangible and intangible support services, an ODL university can empower its faculty members with the resources and assistance necessary to excel in their teaching, research, and administrative duties, while also contributing to the broader objective of environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences offers two programmes in facility management: Bachelor of Science in Project and Facility Management and Master of Facility Management and Master of Project Management.