Universities And How They Create There Own Societies Education Essay

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Universities are meant as educating chambers that provide knowledge, leadership, and other soft skills to pupil towards building the future of the nation. According to Carlos Balsas (2003), universities build societies that are transitory and lasting, and have an ideal human scale. Though the pupils in universities are with various lifestyles and attitudes, the cognitive thinking, the team work, leadership skills have been taught at the university environment to lead the future nation.

In general, Universities are usually self-contained facilities namely administrative offices, student study centers, performance halls, sports arenas, hostels, canteens, and other facilities that are geographically near to each other. In other words, universities had their own streets, squares and open spaces, where the students can stroll and get together.

It is very obvious that a facilitated environment enhances their learning culture and also attracts international students and hence impact to the universities' reputation and prestige. The University's facilities and services can be measured under the perspective view of students, the key respondents those who are dedicate their life in campus. Hence, it is very important to the university administration to keen on providing sustainable facilities which is a back bone and prompting a learning culture.

Even though, all these facilities are located in a closed and guarded environment, an in campus bus service is necessary for students to move from one location to another within the campus. Hence, a sustainable transportation structure is needed as one of the services to the students in every university.

According to Brundtland Commission (1987) and Black (1997), sustainable transportation structure can be defined as the development of transportation structure that satisfies all the possible mobility needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

In addition, Carlos Balsas (2003) details that the sustainable transportation structure planning on campuses can prove incentives for walking, bicycling, taking mass transit, ridesharing, discouraging the use of single-occupancy cars by passing on the full costs of parking to drivers, and linking transportation planning to land-use planning. Most of universities do not totally exclude the student's personnel automobile, beside the shuttle bus services, cycling are the expected way to get around.

The Online TDM Encyclopedia (2010) stresses about the issues of poor transportation structure planning may cause traffic congestion, accidents, modal conflict, and high parking demand in a university environment. A sustainable environment project namely "Walkable Campus Project" had implemented by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in year 2003 by several alternative transportation strategies, such as "Two Hours without Vehicles" Campaign held in campus, introduce bicycle lanes for students in campus, and minimize the emission of carbon monoxide that can destroy the campus's environment.

Other than that, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is also one of the pioneering universities in Malaysia covering 1,222 hectares which located in Skudai, Johor Bahru, a technologically rich and culturally vibrant area in southern-most part of Malaysia. UTM comprises of 6,239 post graduates and 15,232 undergraduates of total more than 20,000 students (UTM Online, 2010).

Currently UTM has 15 faculties, 14 hostels (and most of the hostels facilitated with playground , reading hall, community hall), 5 big recreation areas, 1 horse riding and coaching place, 2 sports centre, and around 15 food courts, 1 Post Office, 1 CIMB Bank, 5 ATM machines, etc.

In UTM Transportation System, Students Affairs and Asset and Development Department are highly important administration to provide a sustainable transport structure according to the students needs. Being a university with foreign students staying in campus, the university should be facilitated with a good public and local transport structure to provide a better mobilization in and around the university campus. The capital of Johor Bahru is connected with the public bus service whereas the nearby campus cities are reachable through taxies and private transports which are costly and not affordable by students to connect the nearby campus cities.

The traffic department of UTM declares that they are operating 20 shuttle busses in the campus and the service starts at 7.15am to 11.30pm on weekdays. In addition, the shuttle service extends to nearby city's two main shopping places namely Taman Universiti, and U-Mall on weekends. This automatically raises the question about how the sustainability of existing transports structure at UTM.

This study is to investigate the needy factors of the current UTM transportation method from the students' point of view and to explore the appropriate transportation structure to enhance and optimize the present transportation method towards a sustainable transport structure.

1.2 Problem Statement

The principle concept of sustainable transportation structure is to discourage students having own vehicles in campus and encourage to use alternative transports, such as shuttle buses, walking, and cycling, etc. Richardson (1999) defines sustainable transport provides fuel consumption, carbon emissions, student's safety, low traffic congestion, economic, and sustainable without causing great or irreparable harm to future generations of people throughout the world.

A preliminary survey conducted by the researcher confirmed that the in-campus number of motorcycle accidents increased from 41 to 59 cases during period of year 2006 to year 2010. Figure 1.1 shows that the car accidents are gradually increased and there is a fall in the motorcycle accidents within last five years time. The number of car accidents within the three quarters of this year almost touches the previous year's total accidents. In year 2010, the number of in- campus accidents are also increased to 46 cases by cars while motorcycles were fallen down to 13 cases (Musa, 2010). The statistics of UTM in campus accidents are given in table 1.1.

In addition, the table 1.2 shows the in-campus accident death shows that there is 1 death case recorded due to motorcycle accident in year 2009. Dagett and Richard Gutkowski (2003) insists that the mobility of the students totally rely on the local transportation and a poor transportation structure let the students to bring own vehicle consequently develop issues related to professional risks like accidents and deaths. As the accidents at universities are classified into professional and serious, need high attention from the admin either to reduce or to avoid at early stages.

Table 1.1: Statistic about Accident in UTM Campus

YEAR

CAR ACCIDENTS

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

TOTAL

2006

12

29

41

2007

8

34

42

2008

21

45

66

2009

25

43

68

2010

46

13

59

Data: 2005 until 31 August 2010

Source: Pejabat Pengarah Keselamatan, UTM

Figure 1.1: Statistic about Accident in UTM Campus

Data: 2005 until 31 August 2010

Source: Pejabat Pengarah Keselamatan, UTM

Table 1.2: Statistic about Death of Accident in UTM Campus

YEAR

CAR

MOTORCYCLE

TOTAL

2006

0

0

0

2007

0

0

0

2008

0

0

0

2009

1

1

1

2010

0

0

0

Data: 2005 until 31 August 2010

Source: Pejabat Pengarah Keselamatan, UTM

According to the researcher's observation, during weekdays the traffic congestion is high around the vicinity of the UTM Campus due to countless of vehicles (UTM shuttle buses, cars, and motorcycles). This heavy traffic arises from 8am to 11am and continues from 4 pm to 5.30pm on weekdays except Friday which has the traffic from 12.30 pm to 2.30pm.

An official discussion with Mr. Musa bin Haji Urif, Information Officer, Investigations and Intelligence Unit, UTM, it informed that the vehicles namely the cars usage by students is around 3,700 units in the semester 2009/2010. The statistics show that 3,785 car licenses are issued for students during the academic period 2005/2006 and increased to 3,854 to current academic period semester 2008/2009. Thus, there is increased 1.82% by the vehicles namely cars from semester 2005/2006 to semester 2008/2009.

Contradict to students car license, the motorist license gradually decreased and there is a drop around 70% in motorcyclist compare to five years ago. By following the statistic, it is clear that 5,046 motorcycle license were issued during 2005/2006 and 3,926 are issued so for this academic year 2009/2010 and given in table 1.3. Though the number of motor licenses are decresed, but the number of accidents by motorcycles are not that significant.

Following the facts of incampus accidents and death, this research is curious to know the triging factor of students interest to bring the own transport. Furthermore, students who have own transport, need to pay additional charges through buy vehicle stickers from UTM admin and from their hostels admin. According to Online UTM Website, RM110 is included inside the student's semester fees for the facilities including shuttle bus service. Besides this, student who owns transport need to pay around RM 30 for each semester. The students those who do not posses UTM transport stickers summoned in RM 25 by UTM.

Consequently, make this intention to know this raise up a question that what is factor behind the students bring their own vehicles in the campus even though UTM had provided in campus bus services, compulsory pay the bus services every semester, and pay for the price of petrol. The Sun2Surf (2010) reports that the petrol type RON95 is currently retailed at RM1.80 per litre whereas the petrol type RON97 and diesel at RM2.05 and RM1.70 a litre respectively. The informal discussion with own transported students, they needed to pay extra amount on fuels cost around RM 40 per week or RM 200 per month. Thus, it is also one of the financial burdens for some of the drivers.

Table 1.3: Statistic about Number of Vehicles in UTM Campus

YEAR

NO. OF

CARS

NO. OF MOTORCYCLES

TOTAL

2005/ 06

3785

5046

8831

2006/ 07

3580

4574

8154

2007/ 08

3550

4295

7845

2008/ 09

3854

4100

7954

2009/ 10

3721

3926

7647

2010

1481

1453

2934

Data: 2005/06 until 2010 (15 September 2010)

Source: Pejabat Pengarah Keselamatan, UTM

Moreover, it is very obivious to see that the cars are parked beside the pedestrian path is very common. Based on the informal discussion with the own transported students, the car parking that is located near to the faculties are ever full on weekdays. An offical discussion with Mr.Mohamad Faizal, Public Unit officer, UTM informs that UTM facilitated with 1,400 parking lots for the students around the faculty areas and currently the registerd vechiles by students exceeds 3,000 and hence the increasing number of students' vehicles is the factor for parking at unauthorised places demand in campus. Table 1.4 shows the statistics about the available parking lots near by faculties.

Table 1.4: Statistic about Number of Parking in UTM Main Campus

NO.

PARKING PLACES

NUMBER OF PARKING

1

Tasik

230

2

Lecturer Hall (P19)

40

3

Faculty of Built Environment (FAB)

200

4

Nearby Coculiculum Centre (L52)

150

5

Centre for Information and Communication Technology (CICT)

90

6

Faculty of Electrical Engineering

120

7

UTM Administration Centre and faculties

500

8

Meranti Food Count

60

TOTAL

1390

Data: Year 2010 (excluded hostels and cafeterias)

Source: Pejabat Harta Bina, UTM

All the above discussed issues clearly indicates that the UTM transportation is may not satisfy the requirements of the students' mobility within the campus and let them bring their own transport. By looking at this view, Beside the existing transportation facility, it crystal clear that the hidden facts behind the exisitng transportation structure can be that numbered as:

a) The number in-campus accidents by students are increased;

b) UTM environment currently started to face the students parking problem; and

c) The number of own vehicles by students increased.

In order to address and highlight the issue, a survey should be conducted among the university scholars and the collected data should be analysed and an appropriate strategy should be proposed to enhance the UTM transportation structure.

Hence this research would like to enahance the present UTM transportation structure through identify the requirements about UTM transportation from students' point and explore the existing sutainable transport strctures and to propose the appropriate sustainable transportation structure that suits accordding to the students' requirements.

1.3 Objectives

In order to accomplish this study, two of objectives are defined for this study namely:

a) To identify the current issues and the students requirements on the existing UTM transportation structure.

b) To propose an appropriate sustainable transportation structure that supports the UTM students' requirements.

1.4 Scope of Study

In order to achieve the objective successfully, the research scope is limited to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in-campus. In order to estabish a plan for in campus bus service module, UTM hostels has been divided into four zones, namely Zone 1 consists Kolej Tunku Canselor (KTC), Kolej Perdana (KP), Kolej 9 (K9) and Kolej 10 (K10), Zone 2 consists Kolej Tun Dr. Ismail (KTDI), Kolej 11 (K11), Kolej Tun Hussien Onn (KTHO) and Kolej Tun Razak (KTR), Zone 3 comprises Kolej Tun Fatimah (KTF), Kolej Rahman Putra (KRP), Kolej Datin Seri Endon (K12 and K13) and Zone 4 includes the hostels Kolej Tun Ghafar Baba (K14 and K15) and Kolej Dato' Onn Jaafar (K16 and K17).

1.5 Significant of Study

In general, this study examines about the needs of UTM in-campus transportation structure as a sustainable transportation structure hence, the students will have a good transport scheme designed according to the students based on their requirements. The traffic and the in-campus accidents will be reduced. The hidden expenses by students in terms of transportation will be abolished. UTM will have a sustainable transportation structure.

1.6 Methodology

In general, methodology touches on various processes or ways to collect the data for this study. The process of designing a research study involves many interrelated decisions. The most significant decision is the choice of research approach which will determine the ways to obtain the information to answer the objectives if this study. This research has three phases to conduct the research and the flow of this methodology is depicted as figure 1.2.

a) Literature review.

b) Collect the statistics about UTM transportation

c) Formulate the problem statement

d) Define the objectives

e) Define the research scope.

f) Formulate the questionnaire.

STAGE 1

Problem Statement

Objectives

a) To identify the current issues and the students requirements on the existing UTM transport facility.

b) To propose an appropriate sustainable transportation structure that supports the UTM students' requirements.

Primary Data

a) Quantitative method: Questionnaires

b) Qualitative method: Interview & Observation

Secondary Data

- Journals, articles, newspapers, and internet

STAGE 2

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Analysis Method: System:

a) Frequency Analysis - SPSS software

b) Descriptive Analysis

Conclusion

STAGE 3

a) Identify the appropriate sustainable transportation structure

b) Propose the structure as this research finding

c) Document the research work

Figure 1.2: Research Methodology

1.61 Stage 1: Identification of Problem

At this stage, literature review will be held related to the research title through observations, previous studies, experience, and reading the issues of transportation journals. A statistical data will be collected at UTM departments upon the issues related to transportation. At the end of this phase a questionnaire will be formulated and issued among the UTM in-campus students as they are the primary respondents of this research.

1.6.2 Stage 2: Data Analysis

The responded questionnaires will be collected and the results will be analyzed using SPSS tool. At this stage, the respondents' requirements on the transportation facility will be identified. A parallel process of exploring the journals about implementing the sustainable transportation structure at university environment will be held.

1.6.3 Stage 3: Making conclusions and documentation

The appropriate sustainable transportation structure among the current practice according to the result of data analysis conducted in stage 2 will be identified and proposed as the finding of this study. The documentation of this study, further enhancement about this research will be carried under this phase.

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