INOS Has Officially Graduated as A National Higher Institution Centre of Excellence

INOS is a pioneer centre of excellence (COE) in UMT. Established in May 2001, our main focus is conducting multi-disciplinary research in oceanography. The major objective behind the establishment of INOS is to achieve better understanding on the key scientific questions about the marine environment and its interaction with the earth systems through scientific research, oceanographic observations, data modelling and satellite studies.

Moving towards gearing up research, development, and innovation (R&D&I) in Malaysia, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) found the need to recognise exceptional CoEs in universities as Higher Institution Centres of Excellence (HICoE) to advance them towards internationalisation in becoming a global leader in their niche areas. HICoEs are supported and facilitated by MOHE to become the focused vehicles in driving the R&D&I agenda particularly in fundamental research, as well as contributing to human capital development.

In November 2011, INOS was awarded the status of Potential HICoE by MoHE under the R&I Thrust, and subsequently became the 7th full-fledged HICoE programme in July 2012 under the “Sustainability of Marine Ecology” niche area. INOS was designated as the focal point and leader in marine science, focussing on the South China Sea area. Although our core focus has always been in the broad area of oceanography, realignment took place under this HICoE programme with the aim to bolster three main research areas; marine processes and marine ecology that have always been our strength, and an emerging field of ocean governance that provides the science policy nexus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The HICoE status has elevated our visibility and attracted research collaborations from across the country and around the world. Key performance indicators (KPIs) have been put in place throughout the implementation of HICoE. Among the KPIs set are increased research grants from the industries and international agencies, high-impact publications through research collaborations, postgraduate students, innovation, and income generations from courses and trainings. After a stringent series of audit during Phase One and Phase Two by HICoE panels, INOS has now officially graduated as a national HICoE with outstanding achievement, as announced by the Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad, during her working visit to UMT on 3 October 2021.    

Written by:

Prof. ChM. Dr. Suhaimi Suratman, Deputy Director, Institute of Oceanography and Environment, UMT