PEKAN, Malaysia � Poised to become the automotive centre of excellence in the region, DRB-HICOM University of Automotive Malaysia (DRB-HICOM University) is ready to fulfill the human capital requirement by producing highly skilled graduates much sought after by the automotive industry.

Holding steadfast to the premise a university by the industry, for the industry, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Omar Osman said the university has been working towards developing talents who not only shine in the academic fronts, but were also passionate and motivated.

Talent does not necessarily mean straight A students, but students who are passionate in going through the career path provided by the university.

We want to produce talents who are equipped with invaluable industry experience at the companies within the DRB-HICOM group and are ready for the workplace upon completion of their programmes, he said.


DRB-HICOM University began as the International College of Automotive Malaysia (ICAM) in April 2010, before being upgraded into a full-fledged university in 2016. The university has now expanded to offer programmes in fields beyond automotive as it continues to grow and cut a niche in the industry.

It is the only university in the region which offers home-grown bachelors degree, masters, and doctoral programmes relating to the automotive ecosystem, as well as management studies including finance and accounting courses.

Currently, DRB-HICOM University offers 24 programmes accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency including diploma and masters degree.

The campus is built on a 18.5 hectare land and sited next to the DRB-HICOM Automotive Complex in the royal town of Pekan, Pahang state.


As the campus is located near the bustling automotive industry hub, the students are exposed to the industry early and have a lot of opportunity to learn from hands on experience.

We want to bring the industry in early to our students, we do not want to wait until they graduate.

So by having the ‘spill over’ effect of the industry activities around our campus, it is very useful to us, not only internally, but also externally, said Omar.

He said the DRB-Hicom subsidiaries were also supporting the university by contributing vehicles such as cars, lorries and prime movers to be used by the students to learn. Many of the companies also host the students for training purposes.

The main thing is that we want to be part of TN50, the future youth development, and fulfil the requirement of the industry especially in automotive and service sector that use the technology, he said.

In ensuring that the students are updated with the knowledge on advanced automotive technology such as the electronic drive vehicle (EV) and the green vehicle, Omar said the university works closely with the DRB group of companies.

The companies, including in manufacturing, services, transport logistic, as well as aviation transport, are fast heading towards the future technology, therefore able to provide the required resources and support that the university needs.

To me Malaysian talent development has to be based on the fundamentals of how the youngsters are able to cope with technologies, changes and advancements.

So we are looking into putting more on advancement of new technologies into our curriculum, so that our students would not be left out, he said.


Though a neophyte among other higher learning institutions in the country, DRB-HICOM University is not merely a mediocre institution.

Recently its first degree student Muhammad Asyraff Yusni won the Bronze Award in the World Skill Competition in the Automobile Technology category.

The biannual competition, held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, witnessed the 22-year old beat 35 more experienced contestants from all over the world, in eight arduous tests of solving automobile related issues over four days.

The Puchong lad was not only tested on his knowledge, but also on his ability to manage time and communicate effectively in explaining his diagnosis to the examiners.

Prior to the competition, which was held in early October this year, Muhammad Asyraff had also won Gold in the WorldSkills Malaysia, as well as in the ASEAN Skills Competition for the same category last year.

The achievement boosted the university’s image as it celebrated its second anniversary in November this year and is hoped to inspire other students to pursue excellence.

Muhammad Asyraff was chosen to represent the university, not only because of his skills, but also due to his diligence and self-discipline.

For us to produce world level experts, we have to start nurturing the qualities that he (Muhammad Asyraff) has into other students, said Omar.