ESTABLISHED in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) envisions itself as a premier research university.
There are three campuses with the main one located on the island of Penang, and two other branch campuses nestled in Kelantan (Health Campus) and Nibong Tebal (Engineering Campus).
The university is currently the only APEX University in Malaysia, which stands for Accelerated Programme for Excellence.
It is fitting because USM has demonstrated nothing short of excellence in the field of science since its inception.
Science is a part of our everyday lives. That is a fact, though unfortunately, most of us are either ignorant or unaware of its existence, leaving it to be less appreciated, or benefited from.
If you think science doesn't matter much to you, think again. Science affects us every day, from the moment we open our eyes to see the light of day, till we close our eyes and sleep when night falls.
Your digital alarm clock, the weather report, the asphalt you drive on, the bus you ride in, your decision to eat a baked potato instead of fries, your cell phone, the antibiotics that treat your sore throat, the clean water that flows from your faucet and the light you turn off at the end of the day have all been made available to you because of science.
“Everything can be scientific. The way we eat. The way we shop. The way we play games. The way we think. There is science' behind everything we do.
“This is exactly what USM is trying to instill in its students, to allow them to have a broader understanding on science and the role it plays in affecting every aspect of the human life,” said Strategic Communications Office director Prof Badaruddin Mohamed.
Like any other renowned university, USM too offers its students good education.
But what sets it apart from the others?
Referring to USM's motto “We Lead”, the university does not only aim to provide educational excellence to students, but also in producing all-rounder human capital.
The nation is already aware of USM being an established brand.
Therefore, at this point in time, USM is striving to consolidate its position as the leading university by promoting sustainability through its various efforts, and all these can be done through the application of science.
USM has been keen in delivering excellence.
The university has undertaken numerous community projects and initiatives such as providing water supply for the underprivileged as well volunteer projects aiding flood victims and the homeless.
There are also student leadership initiatives, art therapy for special-needs children (cerebral palsy/autism) and free surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.
Through these community projects, USM hopes that the knowledge generated by science will help restore the environment and also impact and transform the lives of people, elevate their socio-economic status, build knowledge on these issues, introduce new technologies and treat diseases.
These are the things that USM is focused on promoting, so that the outcome can be enjoyed, utilised and benefit all levels of society.
In a nutshell, this is what USM is trying to achieve. The students are taught the applications of science, not only within classrooms but also through out-of-classroom activities.
There need to be continuous understanding and application of science in everyone's lives.
By focusing on sustainability and theless fortunate, USM wants to share with the masses that science, nature and humans are inseparable and therefore need to grow and develop in a synchronous manner towards achieving a balanced life.