On 18 September, the third batch students of MDRM arrived at UTM KL to be greeted by Professor Dr. Masafumi Goto, Director or MJIIT’s Disaster Management Program – who gave the opening speech to encourage the new students to achieve the most out of their year to learn from prominent Malaysian and Japanese experts on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) issues in the region.

The first course on Integrated Disaster Risk Management was lectured by Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, Professor Emeritus of Yamanashi University and Founding Director of International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM). Prof. Takeuchi introduced the Transdisciplinary Approach (TDA) for DRRM that is not only an approach for research, but also as an implementation methodology for science-based decision making that can truly bring a societal change to build disaster resilience of countries. The concept of MDRM program that targets DRRM practitioners is based on TDA that makes the program applicable on the field, in actual situations.

One of the uniqueness of MDRM is the co-learning environment between lecturers and students as well as among students who are all experienced DRRM professionals. MDRM also provides a platform for experienced officials, such as from the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) joining as Certified Professional Training (CPT) student, to share their know-hows and exchange views on various disaster management issues in an academic setting. The partnership and friendship built in such setting is another aim of the program in establishing a network of DRRM professionals, so that they can work better together in the future.

5 core and 5 elective courses will be administered in the 2018/2019 academic year bringing DRRM experts, researchers and other stakeholders from Malaysia, Japan and ASEAN countries. MDRM is offered as a full-time taught course (intake in September) or as CPT in which professionals may choose a topic of their interest to strengthen their knowledge on a specific subject.