USM NEWS PORTAL 

"PROTECT YOUR MONEY, SECURE YOUR FUTURE": MFPC-SOM HOSTED WORKSHOP TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL LITERACY

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USM PENANG, 27 April 2024 - The Malaysia Financial Planning Council (MFPC), in cooperation with the School of Management (SOM) Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), has once again set the scene for financial literacy through its signature event, 'My Money & Me 2024'.

This year's programme, which continues the tradition that begun in 2008, centred on the topic 'Protect Your Money, Secure Your Future', a rallying cry to encourage financial awareness among youths.

The 'My Money and Me' programme is a cross collaborative programme facilitated by MFPC, with the support of Bank Negara’s Financial Education Network (FEN), Securities Commission Malaysia, Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (FIMM), Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN), BIX (Bond-Sukuk Information Exchange), Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA), The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN), the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) and the Private Pension Administrator. The programme has been endorsed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Rakan Muda and the Ministry of Higher Education.

With the theme 'Financial Planning for the Future,' the event was held at Dewan Budaya USM, and attended by distinguished visitors and industry experts, with the opening ceremony officiated by Malaysia's Deputy Finance Minister, YB Lim Hui Ying.

Her introductory remarks established a motivating tone, emphasising the necessity of understanding financial responsibility from an early age.

Lim said that in light of the problems that have arisen today, we are reminded of how important and critical it is for young adults to become financially literate at an early age.

“I hope that the participants can benefit from this programme, in terms of smart and planned money management from a young age, avoiding persons becoming trapped in critical financial troubles early in life,” said Lim.

“It is hoped that participants can benefit from this programme in terms of smart and planned money management,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Student Development Centre, Division of Student Development Affairs and Alumni, Professor Dr. Azizah Omar said that USM is acutely aware of the role that universities can and must play in promoting financial literacy.

“We are dedicated to provide our students with the financial education necessary to ensure their success in the future, and we are eager to collaborate with MFPC and other agencies to further these efforts,” she elaborated.

This one-day programme featured engaging workshops led by industry leaders, whereby the programme agenda included important topics such as tax benefits, the importance of insurance coverage, and strategies in avoiding money fraud, which were presented by distinguished speakers from major financial institutions such as Bank Negara Malaysia and LIAM among others.

The event served as both a learning platform and a networking opportunity, allowing guests to meet with their peers and professionals.

This effort corresponds with FEN’s goals of instilling key financial skills in participants, ensuring that they are better equipped to handle and protect their finances.

Also present were the MFPC President, Andy Ng Yen Heng; Penang Chapter Chairman, Charles Tan Swee Choon; representative of USM SOM Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Abdul Hadi Zulkafli; Dean, School of Economics, Finance and Banking, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Associate Professor Dr. Bakti Hasan Basri; LHDN Director, Penang Branch, Nasruddin Mat Nasir; and FIMM Chief Executive Officer, Kaleon Leong Rahman.

Text: Siti Fatimah Abu Mansor/Editing: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi & Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

GIVING HOPE TO THE HOMELESS – USM STUDENTS HELP RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS

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PENANG, 10 June 2024 – The School of Communication at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) recently organised a student-led Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project titled "Hope for The Homeless Project” at the Pusat Transit Gelandangan (PTG) in George Town, Penang.

The project is one of the assessments for YBP230 CSR course under the supervision of Professor Dr. Jamilah Ahmad and Dr. Suriati Saad, and is aimed to enhance the well-being of PTG's homeless population by providing essential food and hygiene resources.

Additionally, it sought to promote self-sustainability among PTG residents through urban farming initiatives and to establish partnerships with local communities and businesses.

According to Suriati, "Based on our previous research on teaching CSR courses at university students, engaging the students with industry and community is a fundamental element to ensure students gain an overall understanding of the course. This is what we are trying to incorporate in this course." 

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“Our students have also developed a website for PTG to increase awareness of the services provided by PTG and to enable others such as corporate organisations, NGOs and general public to contribute to PTG,” she said, referring to the newly developed website to raise awareness about Pusat Transit Gelandangan that includes a donation form and contact details for the centre.

Assistant Operation Manager of PTG, Mohamad Nazrin Dolmat, warmly welcomed the USM students to the centre.

Nazrin stressed that homelessness is a growing problem in Malaysia, with more people forced to stay in shelters and struggle for food and survival. He expressed a particular need for food, especially meat, as it is rarely available to the homeless.

“We are thankful and grateful to have the students helped clean the shelters and set up hydroponic racks for fresh produce within the PTG area.

“This hydroponic initiative ensures that the centre has fresh produce to feed the residents, promoting health, wellness, and self-sufficiency. Additionally, the centre can sell the fresh produce to earn income,” he said.

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Meanwhile, USM Pusat Sejahtera dentist, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, provided dental care education to the homeless individuals, emphasising the importance of dental hygiene. He demonstrated the proper method to brush teeth and gums and answered questions from the audience.

“Thank you to USM for their presence. This is not the first time a university has visited, but it is the first time there has been a hydroponic programme. Thanks to USM for coming and raising awareness about homelessness,” said Nazrin at the end of the programme.

Suriati summed up by saying, “Homelessness impacts the entire community. We must unite to tackle this challenge and help those who are struggling to find a better life.”

For the record, USM students curated sponsors and organised fundraising activities to collect food and money for essential items for the homeless including toothpaste, sanitary pads, biscuits, towels, and shampoo. These items were distributed, helping the homeless meet some of their basic needs and improving their well-being.

Source text & photo: Dr. Suriati Saad, School of Communication, USM/Editing: Tan Ewe Hoe

USM ENGINEERING CAMPUS CAREER FAIR 2024, A BEACON OF PROMISE FOR FUTURE CAREERS

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NIBONG TEBAL, 24 April 2024 – Representing the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Industry and Community Network, Professor Dr. Azlan Amran emphasised that Career Fair 2024 symbolises an essential point for students as they embark on their career paths.

According to him, in addition to academic recognition, USM’s graduates share a common goal, which is to build fulfilling careers that provide stability, financial security, opportunities for advancement, and the ability to contribute back to society.

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“However, in a world that is characterised by rapid change and uncertainty, students have to embrace versatility and ready to explore avenues that they may not have considered in the past,” says Azlan during the Career Fair 2024 opening ceremonytoday at the USM Engineering Campus here.

“Adaptability and resourcefulness are required in the ever-changing landscape of the job market,” he added.

Azlan also stated that USM's unwavering commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that embodies the University’s vision of leading a sustainable future, also known as 'HEBAT'.

“That instils in each of our students the qualities of a Holistic, Entrepreneurial, Balanced, Articulate, and Thinking, serving as a guide as well as providing them with the essential virtues necessary to succeed in today's dynamic yet demanding professional landscape,” he said.

Meanwhile, Huawei Human Resources Manager of Asia Pacific Delivery and Service Department, Yong Sze Miin, representing Platinum Sponsor of Career Fair 2024, Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn. Bhd. said, Career Fair is not just a gathering, it is a catalyst for change and serves as the intersection where aspirations meet opportunities, where dreams find wings to soar.

“As a platinum sponsor, Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn. Bhd. recognises the profound impact this event has on the lives of countless individuals as they enter the workforce and understands the importance of investing in talent, nurturing potential, and creating pathways to success,” said Yong.

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“Beyond financial support, our commitment is one of excellence, innovation and inclusiveness,” she added.

She also said, Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn. Bhd. wholeheartedly embraces the diversity of talents and perspectives that this event attracts; through diversity, we find strength, creativity, and resilience by approaching every interaction with curiosity, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Established in 2007 to bridge the gap between USM students, graduates, and stakeholders in the industry, the Career Fair 2024 has been successful in attracting more than 63 companies to participate in this two-day event.

Also present were the Director of the Student Development Centre, Professor Dr. Azizah Omar, who represented the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Student Development Affairs and Alumni, and the Director of the Engineering Campus, Professor Datin Dr. Azlina Harun @ Kamaruddin.

Text: Siti Faizah Abd Halim/Photo: Muhammad Taufik Abdul Rahman

USM GSB, BNM YOUTH ENGAGEMENT SESSION: NURTURING THE NEXT GENERATION OF FINANCIAL LEADERS

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USM PENANG, 4 June 2023 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) via the Graduate School of Business (GSB) had recently successfully hosted a Youth Engagement Sessionwith Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), with the main aim of nurturing the next generation of financial leaders.

Held at Balai Pes’eban in USM on 30 May, BNM Assistant Governor (AG), Fraziali Ismail gave a talk on two topics namely “BNM Engagement with Future Nation Builders” and “Economic Developments and Inflation Outlook.”   

He dwelled on the challenges and opportunities faced by Malaysia in a rapidly evolving global economic landscape, touching on the Malaysian Economy, the Growth Outlook and the Implementation of Key Structural Initiatives.

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USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Student Development Affairs and Alumni, Professor Dr. Shaharum Shamsuddin, representing the USM Vice-Chancellor in his opening speech said, the gathering held for the Bank Negara Malaysia Youth Engagement Session 2024 is not merely an event; it is a platform to promote growth, learning, and empowerment among the USM students.

“The financial industry is evolving and changing at an unprecedented pace. As such, it is essential to prepare the next generation of financial leaders with the right skills, knowledge and mindset to navigate this complex landscape,” said Shaharum.

He also briefly shared the three objectives of this engagement session, which were:

Objective 1: Enhancing Financial Literacy and Awareness

Financial literacy is the cornerstone of personal and national prosperity. In today’s dynamic world, understanding financial concepts, managing resources wisely, and making informed decisions are essential skills. This session aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complex financial landscape confidently.

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Objective 2: BNM’s Economic Assessment and Research

Bank Negara Malaysia stands at the forefront of economic analysis and research. Their insights drive policy decisions that impact the nation’s economic well-being. During this session, participants will gain valuable insights into BNM’s assessments, research methodologies, and the critical role they play in shaping the economic trajectory.

Objective 3: Exploring Career Opportunities in BNM

BNM is a gateway to impactful careers. Whether you aspire to be an economist, a financial analyst, or a policy maker, BNM offers exciting opportunities to engage with its professionals present and to explore these paths.

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A quick check with our students who attended the session revealed that many of them had gained valuable insights into current economic developments and outlook.

They also had the opportunity to understand BNM’s economic assessment and research, gaining insights into its pivotal role in shaping the country’s economic landscape and potential career opportunities within the central bank.

Among those who also attended the session included the Director of Health Campus USM, Professor Dr. Shaiful Bahari Ismail; GSB Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Fathyah Hashim; BNM principal officers; and GSB faculty members.

Text: Siti Fatimah Abu Mansor/Editing: Tan Ewe Hoe

USM RETAINS SELF-ACCREDITED UNIVERSITY STATUS BY MQA

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USM PENANG, 4 April 2024 Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has successfully retained its recognition as a self-accrediting university accorded by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) until 2027.

The news was well received with pride and joy by the entire USM community.

The confirmation was conveyed in writing by the MQA Chief Executive Officer to USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, along with the Certificate of Self-Accreditation Status.

This accolade was given following an audit conducted by MQA, which evaluated USM’s strengths and areas requiring attention.

MQA congratulated USM on this achievement and expressed hope that the audit results would assist the university in its future planning endeavors.

USM was granted self-accreditation status by MQA on 29 April 2010, making it eligible to accredit its academic programmes internally based on the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) and standards set by MQA and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) from time to time, except for professional programmes requiring accreditation from relevant professional bodies.

However, as a self-accrediting university, MQA conducts Institutional Audits every five years to retain this status. The audit process is carried out through the Code of Practice for Institutional Audit (COPIA) and Code of Practice for Program Accreditation (COPPA).

Reflecting on the recent audits, USM underwent Compliance Self-Audit on 8, 9, and 14 February 2022, followed by a subsequent Audit on 17 August 2023, to ensure compliance with self-accreditation criteria.

Following the completion of these audits, USM successfully retained its self-accreditation status effective from 25 March 2024 until 2027.

The university extends its gratitude to the USM Self-Accreditation Centre, led by its Director, Professor Dr. Azura A Rashid, and all PTJs/departments involved in the audit process.

Text: Tan Ewe Hoe

USM SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION CSR PROJECT AIM TO CREATE STRONG BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT FOR SMEs

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PENANG, 12 June 2024 – The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Communication recently organised the ‘Digitalization of Penang Entrepreneurs (D.O.P.E)’ programme, as part of the YBP230 Corporate Social Responsibility coursework.

This initiative, under the guidance of Professor Dr. Jamilah Hj Ahmad and Dr. Suriati Saad, was held at the MBPP Makerspace in Balik Pulau, Penang.

D.O.P.E aims to equip small business owners, especially in Penang, with digital knowledge by up-skilling workshops to adapt to the digital era.

The event was launched by Dato’ Seri Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza, Chairman of the Bumiputera Foundation, Penang.

In his opening speech, he emphasised the importance of a deep understanding of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He further said, "Mastery of these technologies is key to ensuring businesses remain competitive, thereby contributing to the country's continuous and sustainable economic growth."

The event continued with business digitalization sharing sessions by Tan Gaik Tong and Chu Boon, whom were invited by Digital Penang to give the talk.

There were also activities focused on brand positioning entitled “Positioning for Success,” personally conducted by USM students. This session focused on online branding to help these small business owners refine their brand identities, set strategic goals, and develop content suited to their target audiences.

Several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) joined in the programme, namely Saji Warisan Enterprise, Body Secret Home SPA, Kick Coffee, M.E.N.U Tomyam, Gerak Dinamik Enterprise, and Spin Chicken Rice USM.

“I had a great time sharing our stories and picking up new knowledge. I look forward to participate in more programmes by USM in the future,” said Saliyana Shuhaidah from M.E.N.U Tomyam.

According to Jamilah, the programme was held to allow students to connect with the community and the industry, by understanding the needs and provide benefits that will be sustainable in nature for the target audience.

“Additionally, the CSR course has the objective of equipping students with the ability to relate the social needs of the community or target public with that of the organisation (Corporate or NGO),” she said.  

In conducting CSR effectively, the D.O.P.E event highlighted the importance of community efforts to support local businesses and promote economic growth through digital innovation.

By helping entrepreneurs with digital skills, USM students are hoping to create a stronger business environment among the SMEs in Penang.

Source text & photo: Dr. Suriati Saad, School of Communication, USM/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

USM SELECTED AS EMPLOYERS’ CHOICE OF UNIVERSITY

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KUALA LUMPUR, 2 May 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed today is honoured to receive the remarkable recognition for the institution as the "2024 Employers' Choice of University" by Talentbank, held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The prestigious distinction is awarded based on surveys conducted with leading graduate employers, whereas USM has been recognised as one of the Malaysian universities consistently producing graduates in high demand by employers.

This achievement highlights the university's excellence in education and its effectiveness in preparing students for their careers.

This accolade underscores the commitment to excellence by USM in education and its efficacy in preparing students for successful careers, particularly championing in the fields of Interior Design and Science.

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According to Abdul Rahman, this recognition does not only enhance the employability of USM graduates, but also transforms its relationship with employers.

“By fostering collaboration among academia, industry, government, and the community, USM ensures graduates are equipped with industry-relevant skills and networks, thereby bolstering employers' confidence in the quality and readiness of USM graduates for the workforce,” he said.

Inspired by the Graduates' Choice Award, the Employers' Choice Award also celebrates 45 other universities renowned for nurturing highly employable graduates who are in high demand by employers.

The event coincided with Talentbank’s Raya Open House, offering a dual celebration that acknowledges the outstanding achievements of Malaysian institutions while embracing the joyful essence of the festive season.

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Also present at the award ceremony were the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Student Development Affairs and Alumni, Professor Dr. Shaharum Shamsuddin; Director of the USM Student Development Centre, Division of Student Development Affairs and Alumni, Professor Dr. Azizah Omar and principal officers of USM.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa


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