The Covid-19 pandemic posed significant impacts on mobility and international activities on higher-educational institutions. Nonetheless, despite the growing concerns about the crisis that has left institutions worldwide to shut “physically”, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Pahang Branch, Malaysia capitalized on the opportunity to strengthen the internationalization agenda with university partners from abroad through the virtual platform.
In this “new normal”, UiTM Pahang Branch hosted their first Global Lecture Series 2021 in collaboration with Hasanuddin University (UNHAS) and Halu Oleo University (UHO), Indonesia. The event held on 22nd and 23rd June is one of the strategic activities planned under the MoU signed with both institutions.
This Global Lecture Series was one of the international programs that served as a platform to engage academics and students from the three universities to share their expertise, ideas and experiences on current issues and education. The lecture sessions were made accessible to all UiTM staff and students and other universities in Malaysia and the public. Around 400 participants took the opportunity to attend the two-day
The series featured four speakers from UiTM Pahang Branch, two speakers from UNHAS, and two speakers from UHO. Associate Professor Ts. Dr Megat Ahmad Kamal Megat Hanafiah, Associate Professor ChM. Dr Nor Yuziah Mohd Yunus, Dr Nur Fakhzan Marwan, and Dr Nor Hidayatun Abdul Razak represented UiTM Pahang Branch campus while Dr Rina Masadah and Dr Muhammad Junaid represented UNHAS. UHO was represented by Dr Ramadhan Tosepu and Dr Muhammad Arba. The event covered multidisciplinary topics such as building academic careers, industry expectations on graduates, graduate entrepreneurship, cervical cancer, plant-microbe interaction, accelerating drug discovery process targeting Covid-19 and the impact of Covid-19 on climate change, economic
growth and its influence on future job demands.
The Acting Rector of UiTM Pahang Branch, Professor Ts. Dr Mohd Ilham Adenan, emphasized that “The main purpose of this program is to provide opportunities and experiences for lecturers and students to interact, share expertise and knowledge. The program also encourages all students to be rational and open to receiving opinions from university partners. This mindset is the foundation to creating a conducive platform for strategic and comprehensive partnership between students of both countries.”
Echoing the statement, the Deputy Rector of Research and Industrial Linkages, Associate Professor Dr Wan Mohd Nazri Wan Abdul Rahman also hoped that the program could be an ongoing project to promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise between Malaysia and Indonesia. This effort will also further enhance the quality of students and academics of the institutions involved.
The program is also aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 4, which is to implement comprehensive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities to all levels of society. Emphasis is also given to SDG No. 8, 13 and 17, which is to promote sustainable and comprehensive economic development by providing employment opportunities for all, developing mechanisms for devising efficient climate change-related efforts, and intensifying international cooperation and networking for holistic development.