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

BANGLADESH HIGH COMMISSIONER STRENGTHENING BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH COURTESY VISIT

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USM PENANG, 21 May 2024 - The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed today received a courtesy visit from the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Md. Shameem Ahsan at the Chancellory Conference Room, Chancellory Building in USM.

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The visit aimed to discuss and explore avenues for enhancing collaboration between Malaysia and Bangladesh, fostering mutual growth and progress in education and research.

Abdul Rahman was pleased to welcome His Excellency and to receive the courtesy visit from the Bangladesh High Commission to Malaysia, and the discussion between both parties was very fruitful.

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During the meeting, Abdul Rahman gave a brief overview regarding the university profile, background and achievements.

He expressed the confidence that cooperation between Malaysia and Bangladesh can unlock new opportunities for academic and research collaboration and mutual growth.

“As we continue to navigate the challenges of the 21st century, our partnership will be instrumental in shaping the future of education, research and innovation,” he said.

Following that, Md. Shameem then highlighted how the presence of Bangladesh embassies may serve to facilitate cooperation in relation to business and cultural matters, with established partnerships in industries, education, and economy.

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USM currently has 99 students from Bangladesh among its international student population of 7,904.

These students are pursuing postgraduate and undergraduate studies in various fields such as dental science, computer science, engineering and business studies.

Since 2019 until July 2024, USM has established three collaborations with institutions in Bangladesh through the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA), Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and other agreements.

Also present at the meeting were the Counsellor (Political) of Bangladesh High Commission, Malaysia, Pranab Kuman Bhattacharjee; Honorary Consul of Bangladesh in Penang, Dato' Shaik Ismail Allaudin; USM Top Management; USM Head of Departments and principal officers of USM.

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

COMMONWEALTH ACADEMIC FORUM 2024: EMPOWERING WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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USM PENANG, 25 March 2024 - The Commonwealth Academic Forum 2024 was held online today, via Cisco Webex, to look at the issues on the growing importance of women taking leading roles in different areas, especially in higher education, where they are reshaping paradigms and propelling transformative change.

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The forum was jointly organised by the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility (CTEF) and Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), and the Malaysian Society for Higher Education Policy and Research Development (PenDaPat).

Focusing on the issue of "Shattering Expectations: Women Leadership in Higher Education", the forum addressed a critical juncture, encapsulating the transformative journey of women who are breaking barriers, defying stereotypes, and assuming leadership roles within the academia.

It is crucial to recognise the interrelation of the dialogue with global initiatives aimed at fostering gender equality and promoting quality education.

According to USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and International, Professor Dato’ Gs. Dr. Narimah Samat, in her opening speech, she underscored the profound significance of women's leadership in driving progress towards fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal 5,on Gender Equality.

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“We recognise the pivotal role of women's leadership in driving progress towards this goal, fostering inclusivity, and ensuring equal opportunities for all,” she said.

Narimah further emphasised the pivotal role of women's leadership in higher education as a catalyst for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4, relating to Quality Education.

Recognising the transformative power of education in empowering individuals and communities, she stressed the importance of nurturing talent, fostering creativity, and promoting lifelong learning through inclusive and equitable education systems.

“As we navigate this discourse, we must also confront the challenges that persist. It is incumbent upon us to address these challenges collectively, through collaborative efforts and targeted initiatives that create a conducive environment for women to thrive and succeed,” she added.

The speakers who presented relating to the overall theme of the forum were the Executive Director, Centre for Academic Partnerships and Engagement (CAPE), University of Nottingham Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr. Rozilini Mary Fernandez-Chung, PFHEA; and the Vice-Chancellor, SABS University of Art, Design and Heritages Jamshoro, Pakistan, Professor Dr. Arabella Bhutto, moderated by the Programme Director of Taylor’s University Malaysia and also Deputy Secretary of PenDaPat, Marzura Abdul Malek.

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The Undersecretary, International Relations Division, MOHE, Datin Noorazah Omar then delivered the closing remarks at the end of the programme, in which she highlighted the significant role of women in Malaysia’s higher education sector.

Noorazah urged for the continuation of efforts to foster diversity, inclusion, and excellence in higher education, emphasising that women's leadership is key to achieving a brighter, more equal future.

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“Let us continue this momentum and commitment towards fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and excellence in higher education, where women's leadership not only shatters expectations but also paves the way for a brighter and more equal future for all,” she said.

The CTEF acts as a network for Commonwealth countries, facilitating the development of tertiary education by sharing knowledge and best practices.

Also present at the virtual forum were the Programme Director, Sri Jeyanthirar Subramaniam and IPPTN Director, Ts. Dr. Rohayati Mohd Isa.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility (CTEF)

ENHANCING KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION AMONG ACADEMIC LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANS THROUGH SEA LIBRARIES OF THE FUTURE SUMMIT 2024

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PENANG, 11 June 2024 – In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and evolving societal dynamics, libraries emerge as pivotal hubs of knowledge and innovation.

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Three esteemed public universities in the northern region, namely Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in collaboration with Elsevier, a global leader in scientific information and analytics company, today organised a pivotal event, which stands as a regional milestone, bringing together librarians and information science professionals from across Southeast Asia in the Southeast Asia (SEA) Libraries of the Future Summit 2024.

Held at G Hotel Gurney Penang, the summit's theme "Building the Library of Tomorrow: Sustainable Innovations for a Resilient Future" embodies the collective aspirations of librarians and information science professionals dedicated to driving and enduring progress in their field.

The Summit was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE), YB Datuk Ts. Mustapha Sakmud.

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In his speech, Mustapha highlighted that industry-academia partnerships set a new benchmark for driving innovation, advancing digital transformation, and empowering research within universities.

He expressed confidence that this summit would lay the foundation for future libraries by fostering an environment where emerging trends and innovative practices can thrive. Ultimately, this will enhance the research capabilities and impact of academic institutions.

“Academic libraries and librarians have played a crucial role in supporting research, research data management and promoting open access to knowledge.

“Thus, we must invest in sustainable digital repositories solutions and platforms that provide open access to academic research, ensuring that knowledge is freely available to all. By doing so, we contribute to the global exchange of information and support the advancement of science and scholarship,” he said.

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He also emphasised that building the library of tomorrow requires a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation.

He stressed further on continuous learning and adaptation as essential elements for building libraries of tomorrow amidst today's VUCA scenarios - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

Meanwhile, Regional Director of Elsevier Southeast Asia, Omar Malik expressed his pride in collaborating with USM, UniMAP and UUM as it exemplifies how diverse strengths can unite to create a roadmap for future-proofing libraries against evolving challenges. This partnership highlights their critical role in shaping education's future through community engagement.

“Today's summit is part of the Higher Education Electronic Resources Consortium (KONSEPt) capacity-building programme for Malaysia; emphasizing collective commitment towards enhancing library professional skills, crucially empowering them towards meeting institutional goals while supporting universities' research objectives.

“In addition to investing in capacity building programmes aimed at nurturing library communities worldwide through Elsevier’s broader Library Futures Programme, this initiative lays the groundwork for libraries worldwide to thrive while leading into the digital age,” he said.

Also present were the USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed; UniMAP Chief Librarian, Mazmin Mat Akhir representing the UniMAP Vice-Chancellor; UUM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. Mohd Fo’ad Sakdan; USM Chief Librarian, Arinawati Ayob; UUM Chief Librarian, Professor Dr. Che Azlan Taib; Chief Librarians and Librarians of the Academic Libraries of Southeast Asia.

Present at the same event was the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab, who delivered a keynote address titled “Libraries as Catalysts for Sustainable Research Innovation.”

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi & Tan Ewe Hoe/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

HBP VIVAZ FIESTA 2.0 UNITES USM COMMUNITY AND INDUSTRY PARTNERS FOR CAREER GROWTH AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE

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USM PENANG, 9 July 2024 - The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Housing, Building and Planning (HBP), in collaboration with Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), recently held the HBP Vivaz Fiesta 2.0., a grand celebration that aimed to unite students, faculty, industry partners, and the broader community for a day of communal spirit, cultural exchange and excitement.

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The event commenced with a vibrant Career Fair, offering attendees the opportunity to engage with representatives from esteemed companies and organisations.

This platform provided valuable networking opportunities and insights into various career paths, making it an indispensable point of reference for students and job seekers alike.

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Present at the opening ceremony was the USM HBP Dean, Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Mohd Rodzi Ismail, who highlighted the importance of such initiatives in fostering professional growth and development.

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“I would like to extend a heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved in this collaboration. It is through these collective efforts that we can create meaningful opportunities for our students and strengthen the ties between academia and the industry,” said Mohd Rodzi.

Meanwhile, TalentCorp’s Internship Facilitation, Graduate and Emerging Talent Leader, Siti Noratikah Kasmoi, sponsored two key slots for the event.

The first slot focused on career roadmaps and internship insights, targeting second, third, and final-year students from seven HBP programmes namely Architecture, Building Engineering Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Project Management, Interior Architecture, Quantity Surveying, and Urban Regional Planning.

This session provided students with valuable guidance for planning their future career paths and internship placements.

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The second slot centered on corporate collaboration and knowledge exchange with industry partners, conducted in a hybrid manner and participated by 20 companies from Penang and other regions.

Talent Corp presented their various programmes to industry partners, including National Structured Internship Programme (MySIP) and Industrial Training Matching Grant Initiative for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (LiKES), fostering stronger connections between academia and the industry.

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The event also featured a range of engaging mini-games that sparked friendly competition among participants of all ages, a movie night, and concluded with a grand finale firework show that illuminated the night sky with a spectacular display of colours and patterns.

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Text and Photo: Associate Professor Dr. Radzi Ismail, USM HBP Deputy Dean (Academic, Career and International) & Gautham A/L Segar/Editing: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi

IC3D 2024 ADDRESSES GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGES ON DRUG DISCOVERY AND DELIVERY

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PENANG, 14 May 2024 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), through the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences together with the Malaysian Society of Pharmaceutical Technology (MSPT) recently organised the International Conference on Drug Discovery and Development (IC3D) 2024.

The jointly-organised scientific conference brought together more than 100 scientists, researchers, clinicians, policymakers, representatives from the government agencies and pharmaceutical companies to share their latest research and insights on drug discovery and development.

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Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab, who is exercising the functions of the USM Vice-Chancellor said that in the current rapidly-evolving landscape, the quest for discovering new drugs and enhancing their delivery methods has never been more critical.

“This year's theme, "Drug Discovery and Delivery: Present and Future," highlights the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing global health challenges.

“From combating infectious diseases to alleviating chronic conditions, the impact of collective efforts in drug discovery and delivery has touched the lives of millions.

“Across the globe, researchers and practitioners are utilising cutting-edge technologies and methodologies to produce novel therapeutic agents and optimised drug delivery systems to address unmet medical needs,” she said.

Habibah added that all these are made possible through interdisciplinary collaborations, data-driven approaches and precision medicine initiatives.

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The President of MSPT, Dr. Thaigarajan Parumasivan said that IC3D 2024 represents more than just a conference. It symbolises a beacon of collaboration. It is a platform that unites local and international experts under one roof to foster the exchange of ideas and knowledge essential for shaping the future of pharmaceutics.

“The theme ‘Drug Discovery and Delivery: Present and Future’ encapsulates the current advancements in drug discovery and delivery, while simultaneously foreseeing the path for future developments in tackling global health challenges,” he added.

IC3D 2024 was held in a hybrid manner to allow both in-person and virtual interactions during its keynote and plenary sessions as well as its poster and oral presentations.

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In addition, a post-conference workshop session offers attendees the opportunity to further understand the issue of drug development.

Also present at the opening ceremony was the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Dean, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurzalina Abdul Karim Khan.

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Text: Siti Fatimah Abu Mansor/Editing: Tan Ewe Hoe/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

MOU BETWEEN USM WITH SHANDONG UNIVERSITY AND QINGDAO DANENG REPRESENTS A SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENT IN THE FIELD OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

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USM PENANG, 6 May 2024 - In a immense step towards fostering international collaboration in the realm of sustainable energy, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shandong University and Qingdao Daneng Environmental Protection Equipment Incorporated Company from China.

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The Vice-Chancellor of USM, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed stated that the signing represented a significant milestone in the global pursuit of clean and reliable energy sources, while underscoring the vital role hydrogen plays in the ongoing global transition towards sustainability.

“It has garnered the attention of experts across various disciplines, owing to its potential and signifies a commitment to fostering synergistic collaborations that drive groundbreaking advancements as a clean energy alternative,” said Abdul Rahman.

“As the world continues its rapid transformation towards sustainability, collaborations such as these also serve to illustrate the importance of global cooperation in addressing pressing environmental challenges,” he added.

Meanwhile, during his address, Vice President of Shandong University, Qingdao Campus, Song Zuobiao, highlighted the institution's unwavering commitment to international cooperation and its strategic focus on globalisation.

“Shandong University is dedicated to fostering global talent and advancing academic excellence on an international scale, particularly through collaborative student training initiatives with the objective of developing high-quality talents,” stated Song.

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He further elaborated that the partnership will subsequently be aligned with discipline clusters focused on the following areas such as Biology-Environics-Oceanology, Computer-Optoelectronic Information-Network Security, and Politics-Law-Public Administration.

Additionally, at the signing ceremony, the Chairman of the Board at Qingdao DaNeng Environmental Protection Equipment Co., Ltd., China, Wang Yong, underscored the company's unwavering dedication to supporting the national ecological and environmentally sustainable development strategy.

"For nearly two decades, Qingdao DaNeng has been committed to designing, manufacturing, and distributing energy-saving, environmental protection, and emission reduction equipment across various sectors, including electricity, heat, metallurgy, and waste treatment," he stated.

According to him, the company has achieved notable success due to its comprehensive research, development, production, and sales system while driven by its commitment to internationalisation and innovation.

“The objective of this collaboration is to conduct joint research on energy-efficient, green, and low-carbon technologies, facilitate the transformation of key research findings into industrial applications, and overcome intellectual property barriers.

“This initiative is designed to leverage the combined strengths of these three parties in order to facilitate technological upgrading and foster industry-university research cooperation,” he told.

Also present were the Dean of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, representing the Director of the USM Engineering Campus, Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Shahrel Azmin Sundi @ Suandi; Dean, USM School of Mechanical Engineering; Associate Professor Dr. Jamaluddin Abdullah; President of Penang Muslim Entrepreneurs Association, Datuk Sr. Dr. Muhamad Farid Saad and Director of the USM Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Wira Mohd Shafiei.

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

PHARMACY CAREER DAY 2024 BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO ENGAGE WITH INDUSTRY EXPERTS

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USM PENANG, 21 May 2024 – The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Pharmaceutical Sciences organised a programme today to provide engagement opportunities for students with experts and players in the field.

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In her opening speech, the Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Associate Professor Dr. Nurzalina Abdul Karim Khan said, the programme is pivotal as it is planned for the students to explore a myriad of opportunities to establish connections and to be involved in network sessions with industry experts.

She continued by saying that though many students can excel academically, it is the first impression that counts, be they in an interview for a job, or upon seeing a patient. The strength of character is just as important, as they would need to have the desire for lifelong learning, to be compassion, and to have the empathy in dealing with customers or patients in the future.

In representing the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Nurzalina further said that the event could assist in the students’ journey to become healthcare professionals. The field of pharmacy is constantly evolving and an event such as this could provide valuable insights and guidance into areas of healthcare, science and patient care.

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She then said, involvement in the pharmacy field is not only about dispensing medicine; it is about improving lives, enhancing patient outcomes and contributing to the wellbeing of communities, regardless of where you may serve. As long as they continue to have the core values of the profession, namely integrity, empathy and commitment to excellence, they would surely be able to make a positive impact in the lives of whom they serve.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony was later held between the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and HeyDOC, with Nurzalina representing the School and HeyDOC being represented by Christina Oui Hui Che.

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Held at Dewan Budaya USM, the ‘Pharmacy Career Day and Talent Recruitment Drive Event’ include collaborators from the pharmaceutical industry and companies such as Alpro, HTM, Nova, Guardian, Hovid, PMG, Duopharma, Malaysian Community Pharmacy Guild and the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM).

The one-day programme also held different talk sessions from 10 different speakers, each one focusing on their area of expertise, in addition to having a few booths set up at the foyer of Dewan Budaya for the participants to view the various products and services offered by the respective companies involved.

Text: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

STRENGTHENING INTERNATIONAL LINKS: USM ENGINEERING CAMPUS HOSTS OFFICIAL VISIT FROM KYUTECH

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NIBONG TEBAL, 8 March 2024 – In an effort to strengthen international collaborations, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), through the Director's Office of Engineering Campus, today hosted an official visit from Kyushu Institute of Technology (KYUTECH).

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Based in Fukuoka, Japan, KYUTECH is one of the leading universities aiming to establish strategic partnerships worldwide and the meeting is part of their initiative to expand its global collaborations, with a target of establishing 10 collaborative relationships with universities around the world by 2026.

The meeting, chaired by the Dean of the School of Civil Engineering, Associate Professor Ir. Dr. Fadzli Mohamed Nazri, is hoped to be a crucial step in strengthening ties and fostering meaningful collaborations between USM and KYUTECH, ultimately promoting research, academic exchange, and international cooperation.

Notably, USM and KYUTECH have already engaged in collaborative efforts within the fields of Civil Engineering,involving programmes such as PhD mobility and supervision,as well as joint initiatives in biotechnology and research.

Representing KYUTECH at the meeting were Special Assistant to the Vice President cum the Chief Specialist of the International Operation Headquarters, Wakabayashi Toshiro; Director of Education & Research Centre in Malaysia cum Director of Collaborative Research Centre for Green Materials on Environmental Technology, Associate Professor Yoshito Ando and Associate Professor Shinya Ikeno.

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The collaborative relationship between USM and KYUTECH is expected to mirror successful partnerships between other universities and to include various levels of engagement that have proven to be effective in terms of internationalisation.

This is in line with the University's vision to strengthen its international presence and promote academic collaboration, and the institution also aims to formalise and evaluate these collaborative activities.

As for KYUTECH, it aims to designate USM as its fifth international strategic partner, marking a significant milestone in the growing relationship between the two institutions and opening avenues for further collaborative ventures that will benefit both universities while contributing to the global academic community.

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

USAINS FURTHER STRENGTHENS COMMITMENT AS UNIVERSITY-BASED COMPANY TO POSITION QUALITY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

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PENANG, 6 July 2024 – USAINS Holding Sdn. Bhd. (USAINS), the business arm of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), has successfully hosted an Open Day event at the Eureka Complex at the USM main campus on 4 July, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

USAINS featured various products and services, giving opportunities to visitors primarily, USM staff and students to engage, ask questions and get their queries answered. 

Visitors enjoyed the informative Open Day with refreshments served throughout the day. 

One of the highlights of the Open Day was the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) Awareness Programme for China students pursuing their studies at USM in various fields and levels.

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Approximately, 100 China students attended the session which aims to support the students in enhancing their English language ability through the TOEIC and Certification Programme.

A similar programme was successfully conducted for Boston Scientific employees and USAINS in collaboration with USM, and there are plans to further expand the programme to include the campus community in the future.  

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Through this event, USAINS further initiates the commitment to position quality products and services ranging from consultancy, contract research, education and training, lab testing to selling of USM plate numbers.

The Open Day serves as a valuable platform for USAINS to effectively communicate its roles and services to USM staff and students.

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Through this initiative, USAINS hopes to enhance the value of its products and services and subsequently, sustain its pursuit of excellence as a promising university-based company in Asia.

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Source: USAINS Holding Sdn. Bhd./Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photo: USAINS Holding Sdn. Bhd.

USM AND AMS OSRAM CONTINUE EFFORTS IN EMPOWERING POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARS; IMPLEMENT INNOVATIVE ‘INDUSTRY IN CLASSROOM’ INITIATIVE

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USM PENANG, 8 May 2024 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and ams OSRAM successfully organised the “3rd School of Physics & ams OSRAM Industry in Classroom” programme for postgraduate students within the field of applied and engineering physics and students who undertake the MSc Solid State Physics course.

The programme aims to empower postgraduate students with information on recent developments related to semiconductor epitaxy techniques and device development through structured guest lecture series by ams OSRAM doctorate engineers.

Close to 30 emerging scholars participated in the programme launched recently at the USM School of Physics. The programme commenced with an engagement session by ams OSRAM Director of R&D, Dr. David Lacey.

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Throughout the semester, a series of lectures would be delivered by ams OSRAM engineers; Dr. Fabian Kopp, Dr. Abdelkarim Kahouli and Dr. Azharul Ariff Kamarulzaman, with topics covering properties and MOCVD growth of III Nitrides, design and production of LEDs and the optimisation of growth in improving LED efficiency.

As explained by the coordinator of the event, Ts. Dr. Wan Maryam Wan Ahmad Kamil, “This initiative was developed with ams OSRAM to offer added value to the postgraduates, who are geared to become the talent pool for front-end semiconductor industry and at the same time promote academic excellence. I hope the participants would fully benefit from the programme”.

The Director of Advanced Development & Services ams OSRAM, Dr. David Lacey is pleased with the outcome. He said that he is looking forward to fostering a sustainable collaboration between ams OSRAM and the School of Physics.

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He stated that, “This programme is part of our long-term engagement at USM, designed to encourage more students to pursue careers in semiconductor technology.”

“Our interest is to strengthen the ecosystem of scientists and engineers working at universities, research institutes and companies to support R&D needs of ams OSRAM and other players in the semiconductor field here in Malaysia.

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“With this programme, delivered by our R&D experts, we introduce students to the application of physics, materials science and engineering to real-world semiconductor products,” he added.

Source: Media statement from School of Physics, USM/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photo: School of Physics, USM

USM AND FSU INK MOU TO PURSUE COLLABORATIONS AT VARIOUS LEVELS

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Presentation by the Dean on Postgraduate programme

PENANG, 25 April 2024 – The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Distance Education (SDE) recently went on a visit to the Fergana State University (FSU) in Uzbekistan.

The SDE delegates led by the Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Zulnaidi Yaacob visited FSU and were then engaged in fruitful discussions with FSU's top management, including the Vice Rectors for academic and scientific affairs.

During the gathering, USM researchers Dr. Nagaletchimee Annamalai and Dr. Omar Ali Al Smadi, alongside counterparts from two distinguished American universities, Georgia State University and Minnesota State University, shared cutting-edge research findings in the realms of language, innovation, and artificial intelligence (AI).

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In addition to the scholarly exchange, presentations were delivered to FSU students, showcasing opportunities for international mobility programmes and Master's degree pursuits.

This event represents a significant stride towards fostering academic enrichment and cultivating a culture of international collaboration.

Moreover, a workshop on Scopus writing publication was also conducted for the staff, providing them invaluable insights into the scholarly publishing process and enhancing their research dissemination skills.

Zulnaidi said, “This visit marks a significant milestone for both institutions, laying the foundation for fruitful collaborations that will shape the future of education.”

Workshop on Publishing in Scopus indexed journal   With students presentation on mobility programme

Project Coordinator Siti Soraya Lin expressed optimism for the exciting projects ahead, underscoring the mutual benefits of this growing partnership between USM and FSU.

The FSU top management has also indicated a high interest in sending about 10 lecturers to pursue their PhDs at USM, through a hybrid modular learning approach that will be conducted in Penang and Fergana.

The occasion culminated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), cementing a promising collaboration between the two institutions. The ceremony was held in the presence of officials from both institutions.

Source: School of Distance Education (SDE), USM/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

USM BHEPA HOSTS 38TH IMT-GT VARSITY COUNCIL COORDINATION MEETING VARSITY CARNIVAL; FOSTERING REGIONAL COLLABORATION AND TALENT SHOWCASE

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USM PENANG, 18 March 2024 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) through its Division of Student Development Affairs and Alumni (BHEPA) today has proudly hosted the 38th IMT-GT Varsity Council Coordination Meeting Varsity Carnival, which will be held from 18 to 20 March 2024.

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Established over two decades ago, the council comprises of 12 esteemed universities spanning the triangular region of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand with the presence of a total of 60 members from the three countries.

The iconic IMT-GT renowned for its three core pillars namely sports, culture and seminars serves not only as a platform for the international university community to explore and showcase unexpected talents but also act as a powerful tool in promoting universities at the global stage.

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Aims of the programme are to promote maximum benefits for students and staff development of member universities; to foster unity and utilise it as a guideline for organising activities during the IMT-GT Varsity Carnival; to strengthen the IMT-GT spirit and development through the network of students and staff of member universities; and to emphasise on the development of educational quality of member universities without any political involvement.

The opening ceremony was officiated by the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Development Affairs and Alumni, Professor Dr. Shaharum Shamsuddin, representing the USM Vice-Chancellor.

In his officiating address, Shaharum who is also the Head of Organiser 38th Varsity Council Coordination Meeting, described the IMT-GT Varsity Carnival as a pivotal 'bridge' in uniting minds and hearts across the region.

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“The IMT-GT Varsity Carnival is more than an event; it symbolises a beacon of partnership and progress.

“Let us use this platform to elevate our students, not just academically, but as global citizens who will carry forward the torch of innovation and harmony by embracing the value of sports, culture and knowledge sharing to promote solidarity and friendship among its participants,” he said.

He further urged all attendees to embrace the spirit of this gathering, forging pathways to a future replete with opportunities for the youths and driving towards shared goals and mutual successes.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Student Affairs and Alumni, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) cum President IMT-GT Varsity Council, Professor Dr. Ahmad Martadha Mohamed in his speech, highlighted the importance of strengthening diplomatic education of partnership and unity to prepare future generations of versatile, confident and idealistic young people.

Ahmad Martadha emphasised the significance of internationalisation programmes in stimulating global competitiveness and serving as a testing ground for skills development in the digital age of globalisation.

“The IMT-GT Council hopes for new innovations that can give a fresh injection to the implementation of this carnival in the future, especially from USM itself as the host,” he added.

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Also present were the Universitas Syiah Kuala Vice-Rector Student Affairs cum Vice-President of IMT-GT Varsity Council of Indonesia, Professor Dr. Mustanir; Prince of Songkhla University Vice-President Student Development and Alumni Affairs cum Vice-President of IMT-GT Varsity Council of Thailand, Assistant Professor Dr. Wirote Youravong; IMT-GT Varsity Council Secretary-General, Asmawiza Hj. Hussin; members of IMT-GT Varsity Council and IMT-GT delegation officers.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Foto: Shahnizam Ab Rahim  

USM DAN JINKO SOLAR METERAI PERSEFAHAMAN, BANGUNKAN BAKAT BIDANG TENAGA BOLEH DIPERBAHARUI

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USM PULAU PINANG, 3 Januari 2024 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) dan Jinko Solar Technology Sdn. Bhd. telah menandatangani Memorandum Persefahaman (MoU) bagi usaha pembangunan bakat dalam bidang tenaga boleh diperbaharui (renewable energy).

Pemeteraian persefahaman ini akan memberi tumpuan kepada memperkasakan pelajar USM untuk bakat berkemahiran tinggi yang menepati permintaan industri melalui mekanisme program serap-industri (industry-infused).

Naib Canselor USM, Profesor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed berkata kerjasama USM-Jinko Solar akan memberi kelebihan buat pelajar USM dalam penguasaan aspek industri yang lebih realistik dalam bidang berkenaan melalui latihan praktikal (atau internship), projek tahun akhir dengan tajaan biasiswa atau sokongan pembiayaan.

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“Saya berharap kerjasama serap-industri di bawah kelolaan Pusat Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik USM ini dapat menghasilkan pelbagai projek penyelidikan kolaboratif yang akan memberi manfaat kepada kedua-dua pihak dan seterusnya buat negara secara keseluruhannya,” kata beliau di Majlis Penandatanganan MoU kedua-dua pihak yang diadakan di Bilik Persidangan Canselori (CCR), USM.

Pada pertemuan tersebut, Abdul Rahman turut menyentuh perkara berkaitan penggunaan Photovolta (atau PV) sebagai tenaga boleh diperbaharui adalah selari dengan fokus USM sebagai universiti yang menerajui segala aspek kelestarian.

“Sudah pasti ia juga selaras dengan Pelan Induk Perindustrian Baharu Malaysia 2030 (NIMP 2030), untuk menyahkarbon sektor pembuatan bagi mencapai pelepasan karbon sifar menjelang 2050 di negara ini,” jelas Abdul Rahman lagi.

Beliau turut berharap kolaborasi USM dan Jinko Solar akan mengintegrasi nilai-nilai kelestarian dalam usaha penyelidikan dan pendidikan melalui program yang relevan industri.

Di majlis yang sama, Timbalan Pengurus Besar, Jinko Solar Technology Sdn. Bhd. Lee Swee Lim berkata pihaknya sentiasa komited untuk bersama-sama USM bagi mewujudkan kerjasama strategik, membangun dan menyokong program penyelidikan untuk manfaat kedua-dua pihak.

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“Kerjasama USM-JINKO Solar sudah pasti memberi impak positif dalam pembangunan penyelidikan industri tenaga boleh diperbaharui sekaligus dapat melahirkan bakat-bakat baharu negara yang pakar dalam bidang berkaitan dan mampu meningkatkan keupayaan bidang ini ke tahap yang disasarkan,” kata beliau lagi.

Beliau turut berharap dengan kepakaran yang dimiliki kedua-dua pihak ini ia sekaligus dapat membuahkan hasil yang relevan kepada industri dan pendidikan tinggi negara.

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Yang turut hadir ke majlis tersebut adalah Pengarah Kampus Kejuruteraan USM, Profesor Datin Dr. Azlina Harun@Kamarudin; Penolong Pengurus Sumber Manusia, Jinko Solar Technology Sdn. Bhd., Huang Dandan; Dekan, Pusat Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik USM, Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Shahrel Azmin Sundi @ Suandi; barisan EXCO Pusat Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik USM,  dan para pegawai utama Jinko Solar Technology Sdn. Bhd.

Teks: Mohd Azrul Mohd Azhar/Foto: Mohd Fairus Md Isa

USM EfP STUDENTS LEAD THE WAY IN SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

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PENANG, 3 July 2024 – The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Bachelor of Arts in English for Professionals (BA EfP) students from the School of Languages, Literacies and Translation (SoLLaT), in collaboration with Penang State Education Department (JPN), recently co-hosted an engaging community project.

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This two-week programme began with workshops on storytelling, public speaking, and debate, and finally culminating in an exciting competition.

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Thirteen secondary schools from Penang participated, with 150 students showcasing their talents. The debate segment stood out, featuring intense and thoughtful exchanges. After tough competition, SMK Penang Free School and SMK Convent Green Lane advanced to the final round, with SMK Penang Free School emerging as the champion. Congratulations to the winners!

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Associate Professor Dr. Malini Ganapathy, the Project Leader from SoLLaT who initiated this programme, highlighted the crucial role of EfP students in ensuring the event's success.

“Their involvement was essential for the smooth operation of the event. They took on key roles such as registration, ushering, chairing sessions, timekeeping, emceeing, photographing, editing, and food distribution,” she said.

Malini further noted that through these tasks, EfP students honed their soft skills, gaining valuable experience in organisation, teamwork, and communication, all of which are essential for their future careers.

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Special recognition goes to Nur Shaznie Faziera Mohamed Shawal, an EfP student and the head of the committee for this programme, for her dedicated leadership.

“Heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this programme a success. The volunteers, especially our EfP students, were amazing. We also appreciate the lecturers and teachers who gave up their weekends to serve as judges. Your support has been invaluable,” she added.

Looking ahead, SoLLaT USM hopes to organise similar events in the future, possibly including interschool debates within USM, especially between science and non-science students, to make things even more interesting.

Here's to more successful events in the future!

Text: Associate Professor Dr. Malini Ganapathy/Editing: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: SoLLaT USM

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 HBP BEsT PROGRAMME WELCOMES ACCREDITATION VISIT FROM ETAC BEM

USM PENANG, 18 May 2024 - The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Housing, Building, and Planning (HBP) recently received a visit from the Engineering Technology Accreditation Council of the Board of Engineers Malaysia (ETAC BEM) for a full accreditation evaluation.

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The purpose of the visit was to ensure that the Bachelor of Building Engineering Technology with Honours (BEsT) programme met the rigorous criteria established by ETAC BEM.

This evaluation intends to acknowledge that graduates from the BEsT programme are well-prepared to embark on careers as engineering technologists.

The two-day assessment was led by Ts. Dr. Sabrina Karim, along with ETAC panel members Ir. Ts. Dr. Nurhidayah Azmy and Ir. Mohd Mawardi Hassim.

USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed participated virtually, delivering a welcoming speech to the delegates.

He emphasised the university's unwavering commitment to excellence in education and continuous improvement.

“At USM, we recognise the significance of meeting and exceeding the standards set forth by the accrediting body, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to showcase the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students,” he said.

Meanwhile, USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab, in her closing remarks, highlighted that the accreditation provides validation of the hard work and dedication of the university's staff and students.

Habibah congratulated everyone involved and encouraged continued efforts towards excellence in education.

The BEsT programme was formerly known as the Bachelor of Science (Housing, Building and Planning) (Honours) (Building Technology) and was accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

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To align with the ETAC standards, the programme was upgraded, refined, and rebranded as the Bachelor of Building Engineering Technology with Honours (BEsT).

Also present at the visit were the Dean of HBP, Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Mohd Rodzi Ismail; Programme Chairman Dr. Ariza Sharikin Abu Bakar, and other programme members.

The ETAC delegation engaged with HBP and university management, academic and technical staff, students, alumni, and the Industry/Community Advisory Panel (ICAP).

They reviewed relevant documents and inspected the campus to ensure that USM provides adequate facilities and support for professional development and student learning.

Text & Photo: Dr. Ariza Sharikin Abu Bakar (School of HBP, USM)/Editing: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi

USM HOSTS HARPSWELL SIXTH ANNUAL ASEAN WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

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USM PENANG, 3 June 2024 – “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

This quote was originally said by the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg as it was mentioned by the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and International, Professor Dato’ Gs. Dr. Narimah Samat in her welcoming speech, at the Harpswell Sixth Annual ASEAN Women's Leadership Summit.

Organised by the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA) USM with Harpswell Foundation, the 10-day women leadership programme is aimed at facilitating the exchange of ideas and reflection on women in leadership within the ASEAN region.

Narimah further emphasised that as a public institution of higher learning in an ASEAN member state, USM plays a crucial role in contributing to sustainable development through education provision and development.

“We at USM continues to support such an effort, especially since it directly and indirectly benefits substantially more than half of its student and staff constituents, who are women,” she said.

Narimah hoped that this programme will be an extremely useful platform to learn from each other, as it will also create a space for further international and regional collaborations at various levels. She wished all participants success in their training.

In the sharing session, Alixia Lee Hwei Lih from Malaysia said that she found that this programme is an eye-opening as it provided insights into diverse issues faced by women in the ASEAN countries and Nepal. The discussions offered valuable perspectives on modern life and she hopes to use this information to empower others.

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Rya Celine Ducusin from Philippines thanked everyone involved for hosting them during their stay. She appreciates how stories and words have power within the Harpswell community.

“Despite our differences in experiencing jet lag or workloads, we have built trust through friendship with fellow participants. Small impactful actions towards each other are important, and I am grateful for the new friendships formed during our time at Harpswell,” said Rya.

Also present were the Chairman of the Board of Governors Wawasan Open University (WOU), Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon; Founder of Harpswell Foundation, Professor Alan Lightman; Chair of the Harpswell Board of Trustees, Shelly Kessler; Director of KANITA USM, Professor Dr. Saidatulakmal Mohamad; KANITA USM Head of Project, Profesor Dato’ Dr. Noraida Endut and Executive Director of Harpswell Foundation, Jacyl Shaw.

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

USM HOSTS OIT DELEGATES FOR A WEEK OF CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE

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PENANG, 6 March 2024 - The School of Industrial Technology (PPTI), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) recently welcomed a delegation from the Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT), Japan, in a significant international academic collaboration.

From 29 February to 6 March 2024, twelve delegates from OIT led by Professor Dr. Muraoka Masahiro, together with ten students and Miss Kitagawa Ayumi, an officer at the OIT International Centre, engaged with students from PPTI for a week-long programme brimming with educational and cultural activities.

The initiative, titled "Global Harmony: Sustainable Future, Cultural Roots," was aimed at merging academic knowledge with cultural insights across the divisions at PPTI: Bioprocess Technology, Food Technology, Bioresource Technology and Environmental Technology.

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Participants were immersed in a curriculum that addressed pressing global challenges such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the traditional fermentation process of foods such as ‘tapai’.

The programme also highlighted sustainable practices, including the use of waste as raw materials and bio composting.

Beyond academic pursuits, OIT students were introduced to Malay culture, engaging in "Joget," a traditional dance, and visiting Masjid Al-Malik Khalid for a deeper understanding of Islam and the Muslim community.

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Dr. Noreen Suliani Mat Nanyan, the project coordinator, commented on the success of the program, saying that, "The interaction between the students from USM and OIT has exceeded our expectations. It's been truly inspiring to see how quickly they embraced each other's cultures and knowledge.

"The enthusiastic participation in both the academic and cultural segments of the programme underscores the importance of such international exchanges in fostering global harmony and sustainable futures. We look forward to more such enriching experiences," she added. 

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Feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive, with many underscoring the educational and cultural richness of the programme. The hands-on activities and interactive sessions were particularly commended for their engaging and informative nature.

Topics like AMR and sustainability were found to be intellectually stimulating and relevant. The cultural exchange aspects, especially learning the traditional dance and visiting the mosque, were praised for promoting understanding and appreciation among the students.

The collaborative effort between USM and OIT is hailed as a resounding success, contributing significantly to cross-cultural dialogue, academic enrichment, and the forging of lasting international connections.

Text: Japareng Lalung (PPTI USM)/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin 


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