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)

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

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

TWO USM PhD STUDENTS SHINE AT MALAYSIA 3MT COMPETITION

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SELANGOR, 14 June 2024 - Two PhD students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) won awards at the Malaysia Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition held recently at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

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The competition was organised by the Council of Malaysian Postgraduate Deans in response to the widespread interest and enthusiasm among Malaysian universities and students.

Hamidah Mohd Zain, a student from the Advanced Medical and Dentistry Institute (AMDI) USM clinched First Place in the Science, Engineering, and Technology category with her presentation "Nano-Propolis From Kelulut: Extinguishing the Flame of Inflammation”.

This victory qualifies Hamidah to represent Malaysia at the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition at the University of Queensland, Australia, in October 2024.

On the same stage, Arathai Din Eak from the USM School of Distance Education secured Third Place in the Social Science category with her presentation titled "Screencast Video Feedback: A Revolution in Open and Distance Learning."

Among other contestants from USM who competed in the same competition were Alexander Tan Wai Teng from the USM School of Mechanical Engineering and Vanesri A/P Kasi from the USM School of Educational Studies.

These students were carefully selected from the USM 3MT competition held on 7th November 2023, and who had undergone rigorous coaching by the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) USM.

The competition was first introduced by the University of Queensland, whereas 3MT was organised by the Council of Malaysian Postgraduate Deans in response to the widespread interest and enthusiasm among Malaysian universities and students.

The inaugural Malaysia 3MT competition was held in 2015, with the aim to cultivate research presentation and communication skills among postgraduate students. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) co-organised the first competition, which featured participants from over 20 Malaysian public and private universities.

This year, the tradition continues with UKM as the main organiser and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) as the co-organiser.

The competition was held on 13 June 2024 at UKM, with participants comprising of 66 contestants from 22 universities across Malaysia, competing in two categories namely Science, Engineering, and Technology; and Social Sciences.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Objective 1: Enhancing Financial Literacy and Awareness

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

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Objective 2: BNM’s Economic Assessment and Research

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

Objective 3: Exploring Career Opportunities in BNM

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

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

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

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

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

USM 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 LAUNCHES SUSTAINABLUE PROJECT TO FOSTER SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY

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USM PENANG, 26 June 2024 - The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) recently hosted the SustainaBlue Info Event, marking the launch of the "HEIs for Sustainable Blue Economy in Malaysia and Indonesia" project.

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This event underscored the vital role of the prestigious ERASMUS+ grant in promoting a sustainable blue economy and facilitating a green transition in the region.

The SustainaBlue project is a collaborative venture spearheaded by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), with participation from an impressive consortium of 11 partners, including universities, corporations, and associations from Malaysia, Indonesia, Greece, and Cyprus.

SustainaBlue aims to enhance the relevance of higher education institutions (HEIs) to the labour market and society by developing sustainable practices and innovations in the blue economy sector.

USM SBS Dean and Project Leader, Professor Dato’ Dr. Amirul Al Ashraf Abdullah, emphasised its critical role in integrating the blue economy into higher education.

He highlighted how this would integration prepare students for future careers by developing skills essential for sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

“This approach not only enriches their academic journey but also equips them with the practical knowledge and experience necessary for the emerging job market in green and blue economies,” he said.

The event featured key sessions and discussions, including:

1. Introduction to Blue Economy in Malaysia and Quintuple Helix Model by USM Centre for Policy Research (CPR) lecturer, Dr. Sazlina Md Salleh, who provided a comprehensive introduction to the Blue Economy in Malaysia and the role of the Quintuple Helix model in fostering sustainable development.

2. Piloting New Courses and Skills Development by USM SBS lecturer, Associate Professor Dr. Mahadi Mohammad, who introduced new courses focused on Blue Economy skills and internship opportunities to enhance student employability and industry relevance.

3. Blue Economy and Ocean Health by Dr. Hazzeman Harris, who discussed the critical relationship between the blue economy and ocean health, stressing the importance of sustainable practices for marine conservation.

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Also present were the Malaysia Aquaculture Development Association (MADA) President, Benedict Lim Chin Khian; Fisheries Research Institute Senior Researcher, Zaidnuddin Ilias and SEAMEO RECSAM Business Manager, Baharulnizam Baharum.

One significant announcement during the event was the establishment of the Sustainable Blue Economy Centre at USM SBS, whereas this centre will serve as a hub for collaboration and innovation, fostering partnerships between students, faculty, and industry stakeholders to drive sustainable practices in the blue economy.

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As USM leads Work Package 5 within the SustainaBlue project, the focus will be on modernising academic offerings, elevating skill levels and employability, and providing reskilling and upskilling opportunities for the active labour force in blue industries. This initiative will significantly impact participating nations and serve as a model for eco-friendly practices worldwide.

The SustainaBlue Info Event would begin an exciting journey towards a sustainable future. USM and its partners are committed to driving change and innovation, ensuring a greener and more prosperous world for all.

Source: SustainaBlue Info Event Press Release/Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: School of Biological Sciences, USM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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