KDU And KADOKAWA Launch The First Ever Tertiary-Level Sequential Art Collaborative Programme In Asia

SHAH ALAM, 18th April 2019 - KDU University College (KDU) and Kadokawa Contents Academy (KCA) today officially launched their collaborative brainchild- the Diploma in Sequential Arts Programme at KDU’s Glenmarie campus. The launch was officiated by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI Malaysia) Trade Deputy Secretary General, Dato' Sri Norazman Ayob and KDU’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Hiew Pang Leang; witnessed by representatives from InvestKL; an investment promotion agency under the MITI Malaysia.

The Diploma in Sequential Arts Programme is the result of a unique Industry-Academic collaboration between KDU and KCA that was sealed in an MoU signing ceremony held on 9th May 2017, between KDU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Hiew Pang Leang and KCA CEO Mr. Tetsuya Koga. Sequential Art is an art form that uses images and content deployed in a specific order for graphic storytelling or conveying its messages, such as comic books, graphic novels, cartoons and Manga.

“The Diploma in Sequential Art collaboration was initiated to cultivate visual artists and story-tellers with a high work standard synonymous with the Japanese culture, along with flair for localised Malaysian content and to address the growing need for talents in the creative content industry. We are very proud to be the first university college to launch the Diploma in Sequential programme, which is the first-of-its-kind to be offered in the whole of Asia”, stated Professor Dr. Hiew Pang Leang, KDU University College Vice Chancellor.

The creative industry is expected to provide 9.3 million jobs and contribute RM33 billion to Malaysia’s GDP by 2020. Today there are approximately 11,000 professionals in Malaysia’s creative content and technology industry. The comic book industry in Malaysia is worth about RM1.5 billion a year, with over one third of 500 publishing houses active. However, technology is changing the face of entertainment in certain areas, such as comics and manga. For decades, Japanese publishers have been churning out volumes of comic strips known as manga with themes adapted to particular age groups and gender; their printing runs into the millions. With the highest consumption now on digital devices, fans have now access to countless manga titles as well as western comic titles. Sales of digital manga volumes excluding magazines have jumped 27.1% to USD1.3 billion in 2018.

“We are currently in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0). Therefore, it is imperative for students to be well prepared to anticipate and adapt to the future technologies especially in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and IoT enabled technology applications. As the Creative Industry has become one of the fastest growing industries in the last couple of years, Malaysia is keen on further accelerating the creative development segment and expanding the massive pool of talents in this new marketplace. To this end, there is a need for ‘hybridisation’ which refers to combination of knowledge and skill-sets in coding, data science, AI and IOT with the traditional professional disciplines. Therefore, higher education institutions in Malaysia need to acknowledge this demand and be ready to play a pivotal role in this shift through a close-working relationship with industry partners,” stated Dato’ Sri Norazman Ayob, Deputy Secretary General(Trade) of MITI.

“We are proud that Kadokawa Contents Academy is collaborating with KDU University College to enhance and drive our local talent landscape. This strong industry-academia partnership is a testament to Greater KL’s proposition as a regional services hub that provides and nurtures high skilled talent, and ready to meet the industry’s demand for critical thinking, creativity and technology. InvestKL will continue to work with global multinationals to provide high-value opportunities to our local talent that will fuel our local economy”, stated Datuk Zainal Amanshah, InvestKL CEO.

KDU University is the first education institution in Asia to collaborate with KADOKAWA Contents Academy on offering a programme to address the demand of the thriving creative industry. Whilst the syllabus content predominantly originates from Japan, the structure is a collaborative effort between both organizations and the programme will be conducted at KDU University College, Glenmarie campus. KADOKAWA Contents Academy is a subsidiary of KADOKAWA Corporation; one of Japan’s largest publishing houses and is an integrated media company with print and digital interests, including magazines, movies, games and more. In Malaysia, KADOKAWA just recently acquired GempakStarz Publishing, one of Malaysia’s largest and most successful publishing/comics studios.

Together with KADOKAWA Contents Academy, KDU University College aims to help drive Malaysia to become a producer of first world talent in this new and exciting growth area – creative digital content and the world of comics and manga!

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