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USM PENANG, 7 March 2022 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) through the Division of Research and Innovation (R&I) and the Division of Industry and Community Network (BJIM) held the ICAP 2022 Engagement Session (IES 2022) today.
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The ICAP 2022 Engagement Session (IES 2022) with the Vice-Chancellor is a routine session for each new ICAP appointment. This engagement session involved more than 162 ICAP panel members that have been appointed for the period 2022-2024, USM Head of Departments and also captains of industries from various sectors.
Also present at the ceremony were Dato’ Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, the Chairman of USM Board of Governors (LGU); Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation); Deputy Vice-Chancellors; Dr. Shaizatulaqma Kamalul Ariffin, Director of Industry Network BJIM; Syed Yusof Syed Kechik, Director of Community Network BJIM; and the top management of USM.
Awang Adek in his welcome speech said that on behalf of USM, he would like to express the deepest appreciation to all ICAP members, who are senior industry leaders with their busy commitments leading their companies and yet willing to provide the time to come to  USM.
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“We truly appreciate ICAP members who have willingly accepted the appointment to be on the USM industry advisory board for a 3-year period,” he added
He also said that ICAP has been established more than 15 years ago in USM. It was known initially as Industry Advisory Panel, and in April 2011 the university decided to expand the panel to include experienced and knowledgeable individuals from the community, and rebranded it as Industry Community Advisory Panel (ICAP).
At the ceremony, Professor Dato’ Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan has given feedback and updates regarding USM.
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Faisal said that USM has managed to surpass other public and private universities for two consecutive years, with the highest intake of international students for 2020 saw an increase of 31% from the previous year and in 2021 with an increase of 100%.
“Not only that, USM has also managed to become the university with the highest intake of postgraduate students with an increase of 51% in 2021. These happened during the period when the country was still struggling with Covid-19,” he added.
Faisal also added that USM is also empowering the students’ experience through the USM H.E.B.A.T agenda, hostel room facelift, entrepreneurship hub, providing creative spaces & studios and student leaders’ lounge to cultivating future leadership.
“In order to support the best experiential learning, USM is committed to give the utmost in offering the facilities to their community by reengineering their spaces to meet their needs.”
“This is taken further with the establishment of the KOPA Arena football field that supports sport and talent development in the long term, the Nest project that comprises holistic and balance for start-up and enterprise ambiance and on the visibility of USM in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur by SCIENCE@USM,” he explained.
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Faisal also hopes that university residents can draw inspiration from USM achievements during these pandemic years and all initiatives will benefit the USM as well as the surrounding community.
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Conventionally, universities were considered as ivory towers whose members (faculty and students) were less concerned with daily life in the actual world. That has limited the potential impact of the knowledge and talents nurtured from the universities. The universities of today can no longer confine themselves solely to the creation of new knowledge without considering the stakeholders. In fact, Universities must engage more intimately and meaningfully with both industries and communities to remain relevant and extend positive impact to both groups.

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The formation of the Industry/Community Advisory Panels (ICAPs) within respective Academic Schools and Centres in USM is in direct compliance with the university’s overall efforts, towards building a closer working relationship with industries, companies and the community. The presence of ICAPs is timely and useful in enhancing institutional and national competitiveness. ICAPs comprise of selected academic staff, senior and technical executives from the private sector and well-respected leaders from the community. The ICAPs functions as a platform and serves as a forum and shall cover the following topics (but not limited to): curriculum, training programmes, solutions for coordinating industry/community expectations and relevance, best practices for industry engagement, and practical approaches to address current issues and other matters of concern to all parties involved.

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Text: Mohamad Hafiz Asyraf Mohd Arop / Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa
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