USM NEWS PORTAL 

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)

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

NEW FACES JOINING THE NEW SEMESTER AT USM; 254 INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO UNDERGO ORIENTATION AS PART OF NEW ACADEMIC SESSION

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USM PENANG, 19 March 2024 – The new batch of international students have arrived at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to join classes in the new semester, and an orientation programme has been lined up for them to allow them to know more about the university and its surroundings.

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The orientation programme for 254 full-time international students and 108 exchange students will be held beginning 18 - 22 March 2024.

The USM International Mobility and Collaboration Centre (IMCC) will be running the programme, with assistance from IMCC Student Buddies, mobility and Visa sections and as well as the Division of Student Development Affairs and Alumni (BHEPA) and the respective academic schools.

IMCC Director, Associate Professor Dr. Muhizam Mustafa said, “This orientation engagement is important to expose the new international students to a whole new experience in USM.”

“This is a proud moment to showcase to our international students that they have made the right decision in pursuing their higher education with USM as we advocate this idea that ‘Everything is Better at USM!’” he added.

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The new students will be visiting their academic schools as part of the programme, where they will be provided with essential information on their studies, options and academic matters at the schools.

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USM is one of the public universities in the country with a high number of international student enrolment. The current number stands at 9,764. The new academic session at the university is planned to begin next week.

Among the academic schools that have received confirmation regarding international students enrolment are the School of Educational Studies; School of Industrial Technology; School of Languages, Literacies and Translation; School of Management, School of Mathematical Sciences; School of Computer Sciences; School of Biological Sciences; School of Chemical Sciences; and School of Physics.

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Text: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Photos: IMCC USM & BHEPA USM 

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

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 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 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 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 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 

USM NAv6 HOSTS DIALOGUE SESSION REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

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USM PENANG, 19 March 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) through the National Advanced IPv6 Centre (NAv6) recently marks a significant milestone in its collaborative journey involving government, industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia by organising a dialogue session entitled ‘Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Transformation for a Sustainable Net-Zero Future,’ supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Aligned with the Penang state government's agenda, the programme has brought together 60 participants from the government, industry, NGOs and academia with the aim of exploring innovations and technologies to safeguard the environment through scientific advancements.

The event was graced with the presence of the Member of the Penang State Executive Council (Infrastructure, Transport, and Digital), YB Zairil Khir Johari.

In his officiating address, Zairil Khir emphasised the critical importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) data at the state level, recognising the necessity for high-quality statistics in measuring and monitoring SDG progress.

He underscored the state government's commitment to data transformation, highlighting the pivotal role of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Data Analytics.

“These technologies not only provide unprecedented insights into our complex environment, but they also empower us to formulate data-driven strategies to reduce climate risks and foster resilience,” he said.

Zairil Khir also urged organisations to harness the power of technology for the betterment of the planet and future generations, advocating for increased collaboration, innovation attraction in Penang, and resource optimisation.

NAv6 Director, Associate Professor Dr. Selvakumar Manickam highlighted that there are many siloed systems, with everyone creating their own solutions.

“It is important for entities to undergo digital transformation, as there is a collective realisation that by working together, we can more effectively address issues such as climate change,” he said.

The programme featured guest speakers from diverse industries who deliberated on climate change mitigation, cross-sectoral collaboration, challenges, opportunities, and strategies for utilising technology to address pressing environmental concerns and drive sustainable development.

Throughout the session, it became evident that decarbonisation holds paramount importance for both the public and private sectors.

Therefore, the exchange of data and collaboration among government, industry, and academia are essential in implementing effective strategies and addressing complex environmental challenges.

Also present at the session was the programme chairperson and senior lecturer at NAv6, Dr. Chong Yung Wey. 

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: IPv6 USM

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 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

USM STUDENTS AND ACADEMICS TRIUMPH AT SUSTAINABLE ANTARCTICA COMPETITION 2024

BANGI, 16 May 2024 - A group of students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has once again demonstrated its excellence in implementing environmental and sustainability initiatives, and aligning closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica with the theme “Polar Research for Sustainability & Planetary Health” was organised from 14 - 16 May 2024 at Bangi Resort Hotel in Bangi, Selangor, where it was officiated by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, the Patron of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (YPASM).

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The USM students who participated in The Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024 - TikTok Creative Video Competition that was held in conjunction with the seminar had achieved outstanding success. Competing amongst 150 participants, they won multiple top awards, showcasing their creativity and commitment to sustainability.

Lee Ling Hui, a second-year student from the Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM won the Grand Prize with her winning video.

Phang Khang Wei, a third-year student from the Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM secured the Second Prize.

Chin Pei Yi, also a third-year student from the Food Technology Division, won a Consolation Prize.

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The team of Nadiah Mohammad Yusof and Nur Arni Sabrina Azmin, both fourth-year students from the School of Biological Sciences, also won another Consolation Prize.

Meanwhile, a student from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Ahmad Adam Osman Nurhazli won the "Most Liked Video" category.

The awards were presented by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad during the seminar.

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Other notable achievements by USM extended beyond the video competition.

Jiei Kobe from the Environmental Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM, secured the First Prize for ‘Best Oral Presentation’ with his final-year project titled "Mercury Reduction by Micrococcus sp. Isolated from Signy Island, Antarctica."

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This research is a collaborative effort between USM and the British Antarctic Survey, supervised by Associate Professor Dr. Japareng Lalung and Professor Dr. Peter Convey. The project aligns with SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) by addressing the impact of mercury pollution on ecosystems.

Adding to the accolades, Associate Professor Dr. Yusri Yusup from the Environmental Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM, was announced as a recipient of the YPASM grant worth RM130,000 for his project titled “Enhancing Understanding of Antarctic Atmospheric Processes and their Teleconnection to the Monsoons in the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia through Comprehensive Data Management.”

The award was presented to him by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. This project supports SDG 13 (Climate Action) by enhancing understanding of climate processes and their effects.

Both the Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024 and the 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica provided a significant platform for highlighting innovative research and creative approaches aimed at promoting sustainability and planetary health.

The remarkable achievements by USM underscore its dedication to environmental stewardship and its leadership in education and research on sustainability and contributing to various SDGs, including SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

For more details about the competition, visit Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024. To learn more about the seminar, visit 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica.

Text: Associate Professor Dr. Japareng Lalung (School of Industrial Technology, USM)/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

USM VC RECEIVES COURTESY CALL FROM SZCU AND ACEC

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USM PENANG, 17 April 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed today welcomed a distinguished delegation from Suzhou City University (SZCU) and Asia China Education and Culture Association (ACEC), led by SZCU President, Professor Dr. Zhao Zhihong.

The purpose of the visit was for SZCU to introduce their Visiting Expert Programme and share insights into their ongoing industry-education integration project, as well as to announce the launch of the SZCU-USM Global Study Centre. 

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October 2023, both institutions have cultivated a robust and fruitful relationship.

Abdul Rahman expressed his delight at the visit, citing it as yet another milestone in the journey of mutual cooperation and friendship.

He emphasised the potential for such partnerships to elevate academic and research excellence, foster cultural understanding, and drive societal development.

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“I am confident that the discussions and interactions between our institutions will then lead to new and impactful collaborations,” he said.

He added by saying that USM has always been committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive academic environment, and together, both parties can continue to make a positive impact on the students, institutions, and communities.

Zhao Zhihong underscored the shared responsibility of SZCU and USM as significant research and educational entities in their respective nations.

He outlined plans to actively promote projects such as student exchanges and industry-university research cooperation, particularly focusing on areas like the digital economy and green development.

In aligning with these aspirations, ACEC Regional Executive Director, Yang Cheng Cheng, expressed hope for increased collaboration, emphasizing the importance of expert exchanges from USM.

Following these remarks, the meeting proceeded with a focused discussion on future collaborations. Representatives from various schools and departments exchanged insights, highlighting their respective strengths and proposing strategies to bolster the partnership.

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Also present were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Exercising the Function of USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and International, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab; deans and principal officers of USM, SZCU and ACEC.

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

USM-BMI SEALED MoA FOR INTERNSHIP AND INDUSTRIAL ATTACHMENT PROGRAMMES

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USM PENANG, 26 April 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) via the School of Physics today has set another significant milestone for a closer collaboration through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with B. Braun Medical Industries Sdn. Bhd. (BMI).
 
The collaborative effort is aimed to open up a wider collaboration space involving researchers and students from USM and the industry, wherein the core of this agreement lies the establishment of internship and industrial attachment programmes tailored for the bright minds graduating from the USM School of Physics.
 
This collaboration encompasses several key initiatives namely: 
 
(a) Nurturing academic-industry linkages through student and staff placement programmes, including the establishment of internship and industrial attachment opportunities; and 
 
(b) Facilitating networking avenues between both parties in research and development endeavours, academic programmes, as well as workshops, seminars, conferences, and training programmes.
 
Signing on behalf of USM was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Industry and Community Network, Professor Dr. Azlan Amran representing the Vice-Chancellor, and from B. Braun was its Senior Vice President CoE IV-Access and Operations, Christian Kapischke.
 
Also present as witnesses were the Dean of USM School of Physics, Professor Dr. Abdul Razak Ibrahim and B. Braun Vice President Head for Research and Development (R&D), Dr. Fu Yongji.
 
In his address, Azlan Amran highlighted the significance of fhe collaboration in providing a highly skilled workforce equipped with the necessary expertise in operational methods, administration, and research and development in the fields required by the industry.
 
“Among the benefits of this cooperation in research and training between the two organisations is to further expand the scope of research and research facilities for researchers from both organisations,” said Azlan Amran.
 
Meanwhile, Christian Kapischke in his speech said that the bond between BMI and USM is not merely a contractual agreement; it represents a fusion of expertise, a commitment to innovation, and a dedication to nurturing the talents of tomorrow.
 
"These programmes signify more than just opportunities for students; they represent a bridge between the academia and industry, a conduit through which theoretical knowledge finds practical application, and where classroom learning meets real-world challenges head-on," Christian Kapischke elaborated. 
 
He highlighted the transformative potential of such collaborations in infusing workplaces with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.
 
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Also present at the event were principal officers of USM and BMI.
 
Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Shahnizam Ab Rahim

USM-MGRC FORGE PARTNERSHIP, INK DUAL MOAs UNVEILING THE GENETIC SECRETS AND HISTORICAL CHRONICLES OF PENANG WOMAN

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PETALING JAYA, 13 March 2024 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), through the School of Health Sciences (PPSK) and Centre for Global Archaeological Research (PPAG), recently has established a groundbreaking partnership with the Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad (MGRC).

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This collaboration, marked by the signing of two Memorandums of Agreement (MoA), is poised to unravel the genetic secrets and historical chronicles of the Penang Woman.

The first MoA focuses on an in-depth study of the Penang Woman genetics, involving the extraction and analysis of genetic materials.

Through this collaboration, USM will provide materials and technical assistance, while MGRC Therapeutics will handle genomic DNA extraction and sequencing, along with funding support.

Joint responsibilities include preparing a research report, sharing knowledge, and co-authoring a peer-reviewed publication.

Parallel to this, the second MoA is dedicated to determining the age of the ancient Penang Woman skeleton using the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Dating technique, alongside conducting Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating on Guar Kepah pottery.

USM's expertise in AMS dating will be utilised, with funding support from MGRC, as both parties will engage in data analysis, interpretation, and co-authoring a manuscript for peer-reviewed publication, contributing significantly to the understanding of human history in the region.

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Signing on behalf of PPSK USM was the Dean, Professor Dr. Wan Rosli Wan Ishak and on behalf of PPAG USM was its Director, Professor Dr. Stephen Chia Ming Soon, representing the Vice-Chancellor, while on behalf of MGRC was its Executive Chairman, Azri Azerai.

Azri expressed enthusiasm about the collaborations, stating, "These research collaborations with USM are not just about delving into the past; they represent an exciting convergence of history, science, and technology.”

“By uncovering the genetic and historical narratives of Penang Woman, we're not only contributing to the academic and scientific community but also enhancing the brand awareness and technical prowess of MGRC.

“This venture into the unknown underscores our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in genomics and biopharmaceuticals," he said.

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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Edinur Hisham Atan, from the USM School of Health Sciences, is the Principal Investigator for The Genetics of Penang Woman project, while USM PPAG Dr. Suresh A/l Narayanen is the Principal Investigator for Determining the Age of the Ancient Penang Woman Skeleton using AMS Dating Project.

This collaboration signifies a synergy of expertise and resources, promising groundbreaking insights into the genetic and historical aspects of the Penang Woman, further enriching the scientific and archaeological knowledge of the region.

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Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi  

USM-RIKEN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED SCIENCES 2024 BRIDGES LIFE SCIENCE AND PHYSICS

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USM PENANG, 11 March 2023 – The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM) and USM-RIKEN Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Advanced Sciences (URICAS) held the USM-RIKEN International Conference on Advanced Sciences on 26-27 February 2024.

The two-day conference continues from the last year’s theme(link: https://news.usm.my/index.php/english-news/8626-usm-riken-uricas-symposium-returns-dwells-on-advanced-science-research) on ‘Advancing Science for a Sustainable Future: Bridging Physics and Life Science’.

The conference brought together four keynote and 24 invited speakers from Japan (Sophia University, Kitasato University, and Shibaura Institute of Technology), RIKEN and USM.

Attending the programme was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab, who represented the USM Vice-Chancellor to officiate the conference as well as being the main keynote speaker.

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In her opening remarks, Habibah highlighted that the USM-RIKEN relationship had passed the 30th year mark, and had benefited USM students immensely as the collaboration had graduated 30 full long-term IPA (International Programme Associate) PhD students and 23 short-term IPA students in various disciplines, since the programme began in 2002.

“The new challenges facing all of us – climate change, pandemics, resource scarcity – demand solutions bigger than any one nation or discipline can offer. And by working together, we can achieve even more,” said Habibah.

RIKEN Executive Director for International Affairs, Dr. Makiko Naka conveyed her message through a recorded video. She emphasised the long-term collaborations that had benefited both USM and RIKEN.

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Meanwhile, RIKEN URICAS Coordinator, Dr Hiroshi Ohno said that he was very pleased USM hosted the conference again this year and he hoped that the meeting will provide a new boost for the renewed URICAS in the coming years.

The conference was attended by more than one hundred participants on site and on Webex online, which is an indication of the growing demand for an interdisciplinary themed conference.

This year’s conference also saw the participation of academicians and researchers from other local universities.

Presenters shared various aspects of the latest research from their groups, and a few speakers also highlighted the applications of machine learning (artificial intelligence) in fundamental research, such as for studying particle physics and cellular morphology.

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Also present at the conference were the Deputy Director of INFORMM, Assoc. Professor Dr. Tye Gee Jun; URICAS Advisor, Professor Dr. Sudesh Kumar, FASc; Chairperson of the URICAS Conference, Dr. Eugene Ong Boon Beng; Co-Chairperson of the URICAS Conference, Assoc. Professor Dr. Badrul Hisham Yahaya; academicians, research officers and university officials.

The URICAS programmes have continued to benefit both institutions through the exchange of talent, expertise, knowledge through student attachments and annual meetings.

For details visit the conference website: uricas.usm.my/conference.

Text & Photo: INFORMM, USM/Editing: Tan Ewe Hoe

USM-RUTS STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP, FOSTER ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

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USM PENANG, 12 March 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed today welcomed a distinguished delegation from Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya (RUTS), led by its President, Professor Dr. Suwat Tanyaros, which is on a courtesy visit today.

During the meeting, Abdul Rahman expressed his pleasure in saying that USM is delighted to host the esteemed guests and long-standing partner. Since the inception of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2011, both universities have nurtured a robust and fruitful relationship.

“Today's visit stands as a testament to the enduring strength of our friendship and our shared dedication to academic and research excellence. The sustained growth and prosperity of our collaboration have played a pivotal role in advancing cultural understanding and societal development," he added.

Suwat then followed, by stating that this provided an overview on how RUTS envisions working closely with USM, extending an opportunity to explore future cooperation in education and other domains.

“I believe that this partnership has truly flourished, showcasing the commitment of both institutions to academic and research excellence. The continuous growth of our collaboration reflects its instrumental role in promoting access to expertise, learning opportunities and sharing of knowledge," said Suwat.

The meeting then continued with a short discussion between both parties, discussing on future collaborations whereby the representatives of selected schools and departments offered insights, showcasing each department’s strengths and proposing strategies to fortify the partnership.

The exchange of ideas and proposals is anticipated to pave the way for innovative and impactful collaborations between USM and RUTS in the coming years.

Also present were the USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Gs. Dr. Narimah Samat; RUTS Assistant to President (International Affairs), Dr. Lamun Kayurin; International Strategic Coordinator of USM Division of Academic and International, Professor Dr. Hazizan Md. Akil; deans and principal officers of USM and RUTS.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo & Infographic: Shahnizam Ab Rahim & Mohamad Zaidi Jaini 


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