Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has become the first in Asia to introduce a shared services course in its curriculum, the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) announced.

Nearly 350 companies have set up their shared services operations in Malaysia, and they are “desperate for talent”, Dr Aini Aman, Associate Professor of Accounting, UKM told GovInsider. Dr Aman heads the Global Business Services Research Group and is working with MDeC to set up this new course.

The Global Business Services (GBS) course was first introduced last year to a small group of students, and has been expanded this year with 200 students signing up.

The university has over 100,000 graduates in finance and accounting, but employers are not happy with their skills. “We found that the skills and the talent that the companies want is not what we produce,” she said. Employers want graduates with real-world experience.

Students have to attend a three-day workshop where companies will speak to students about the industry. They will then be assigned projects where they are attached to a company to understand and solve a specific challenge. The university is partnering with seven companies for these projects, including AMD, Xerox and Sellbytell.

The projects give them “first-hand information” on the challenges and opportunities in shared services. “Compared to traditional classrooms where the lecturer has to just explain, with this course students can have direct contact with the companies”, Dr Aman said.

Image from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Facebook page.