University of Nottingham Malaysia
Faculty of Science

Image of Jaya Kumar Karunagharan

Jaya Kumar Karunagharan

Assistant Professor,



Jaya Kumar graduated from University Putra Malaysia with a BSc in Biotechnology and from University Kebangsaan Malaysia with an MSc in Genetics. He also has a Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers as well as a Postgraduate Certificate for Higher Education from the University of Nottingham Malaysia. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM), studying the effects of stereotype threat on students within a classroom setting.

He taught A Level, UNSW Foundation Year and AUSMAT Biology for 7 years prior to joining UNM in 2013 to teach Biology in the Foundation in Science. He currently Heads the Foundation in Science in UNM.

Jaya Kumar is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (now know as Advance HE) and the Director of the Nottingham Recognition Scheme in UNM. He is also a Professional Technologist with the Malaysian Board of Technologists (MBOT). His interest in teaching and learning has also led to his involvement in the Teaching and Learning Observation College as an Associate and he is the UNM Campus Lead for the Lord Dearing Award.

Expertise Summary

Biology, Genetics, Stereotypes and Prejudice, Social Psychology, Stereotype Threat, Stereotype Inoculation, Role Model Effect

Teaching Summary

Previously taught on these courses in the Foundation in Science and School of Psychology:

  • SCIFF005 Cells & Molecules
  • SCIFF006 Ecology, Energy and the Environment
  • SCIFF007 Genetics & Living Systems
  • SCIFF022 Biomolecules & Genetics
  • SCIFF012 Laboratory Practicals in Science
  • SCIFF019 Study Skills for Science
  • C83SIP The Self and Intergroup Processes

Currently teaching on the following modules:

  • SCIFF024 Biology 1
  • SCIFF025 Biology 2
  • SCIFF019 Academic & Professional Skills for Foundation

Research Summary

Malaysia needs more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) literate professionals as it becomes more digitalised and demand for healthcare-related skills increase amidst the pandemic… read more

Current Research

Malaysia needs more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) literate professionals as it becomes more digitalised and demand for healthcare-related skills increase amidst the pandemic threat. However, the persistent gender gaps in STEM make it difficult to meet the demand and stand in the way of scientific and economic progress. Although female participation in education has improved over the years, fewer female students tend to pursue STEM-related fields even though female students, in total, outnumber their male counterparts. One prominent explanation is that there aren't enough female role models in STEM education to boost women's confidence in pursuing this profession, given the anxiety they face due to the stereotype that STEM is not for women. However, despite the positive effects of role models, these effects are disproportionate which suggests that there could be other factors that counter the inoculating effect of role models. My research work examines the impact that exposure to female (vs. male) role models could have on female STEM students' educational outcomes. The findings could challenge the current thinking around the persistent gender gap in STEM and will help to inform a robust/inclusive government policy around STEM education in Malaysia.

Apart from this, I'm also involved in the following studies:

Development of Augmented Reality Based Training to Enhance Future Representation of Females in STEM.

Addressing the Gender Gap in Spatial Ability Among Engineering Students Using Augmented Reality

Improving the Quality of Teamwork Assessments in the Foundation in Science Programme Through a Peer Assessment System.

Augmenting Teaching with Augmented Reality: A Case for Chemistry and Biology in Foundation in Science.

Faculty of Science

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8018

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