UTAR, USIM are set to work together

(From left) Ewe and Ridza exchange souvenirs to mark the visit.

UNIVERSITI Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) are set to work together.

USIM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin and his team comprising deputy vice-chancellor (Academic & International) Prof Dr Abdul Rahim Abd Rahman, deputy vice-chancellor (Research & Innovation) Prof Dr

Mohammad Hamiruce Marhaban, Research & Innovation Management Centre director Assoc Prof Dr Mahazan Abdul Mutalib @ Taib, Head of Division of Student Affairs Md Ishah Rahman and Assistant Registrar Mohd Saifullah Zulkapli, recently visited the UTAR Sungai Long Campus.

On hand to welcome the delegates were UTAR president Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Dr Faidz Abd Rahman, Division of Community and International Networking (DCInterNet) director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn, Department of Student Affairs head Loh Nyuk Leung, Department of Soft Skills Competency head Fook Oi Yee, Division of Corporate Communication and Public Relations director Ong Soo Weon and staff.

Ewe introduced the background of UTAR, including the programmes it offers as well as the UTAR Soft Skills Development Certificate (USSDC).

“The USSDC comprises 10 core components, some of which are complex problem solving and entrepreneurship skills, ” he said as he shared some insights into the programme, which derived its core components of essential skills from the World Economic Forum.

Ridza was interested in adopting the USSDC model to improve the soft skills programmes conducted by USIM.

They also sought resources to enhance the Chinese language learning experience in their varsity through the UTAR Centre for Chinese Studies.

At the same time, UTAR was keen to gain an insight into USIM’s halal expertise.

“We are glad to assist UTAR in this area through the World Fatwa Management and Research Institute, ” said Ridza.

With the intention to broaden the horizon of students, UTAR and USIM are also expected to collaborate in a number of programmes and projects involving the students from both sides.

“We will conduct community projects in rural areas and hold free medical checkup and classes.

“We can have students from both universities to organise the projects together, ” Ewe suggested.

Both universities have MBBS students doing internships at Ampang Hospital. Ridza believes that it would be a good place to start.

“We can start there to build rapport, ” he said.

“We can also increase the learning experience in subjects such as Ethnic Communication, ” said Abdul Rahim.

With USIM in the picture, UTAR will also be able to expand the New Village E-Commerce Project to more potential villages around Malaysia. The programme had successfully boosted local products from villages through the e-commerce platform.

Ranging from soy sauce, coffee, snacks and many more, some of the products were redesigned to upgrade the packaging through the assistance of UTAR students as a means to increase the market value of the products.

On a side note, Faidz also welcomed USIM to join the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair (KLESF) effort in increasing awareness and interest of school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and courses.

The discussion also saw both parties agreeing on other collaborations including research, student exchange programme and talk sharing sessions.

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