Carrying the theme, “New Global Higher Education Partnerships for Resilience and Climate Action”, the event gathered experts, leaders, and people in academia to deliberate on best practices, case examples, and partnerships and the way forward for higher education in the Asia-Pacific Region.
A regular and significant feature of the event, the QS APPLE Creative Award honors and recognizes creative and compelling designs that epitomize effective communication and brand building.
Every year, the event is organized in different countries by different universities, however, because of the pandemic, the organizer had opted for a virtual event. The move to adapt to the new normal made it possible for people in academia to stay connected, anytime and anywhere regardless of their geographical location or time.
‘Made in UiTM, Made for the World’ was spearheaded by the Institute of Quality and Knowledge Advancement (InQKA), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and made possible by the UiTM Ads Campaign Curation team comprising staff, students, alumni and led by UiTM GESTURZ.
The ads stipulated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as its theme for this year’s campaign and they had to be specially curated for the QS-APPLE 2020 Creative Awards Competition.
‘Made in UiTM, Made for the World’ featured 12 print-ads series, TV commercial, and book publication. In the midst of the global pandemic, within 68 days, for over 1,632 hours, with 18,921 shots and 894 designs, 22 crew and 37 talents, 52 scenes at 14 different locations, UiTM curation team had successfully showcased the importance of sustaining life with the message of ‘Rewrite the Possibilities and Repurpose Our Creations’.
Because it was made with love, on 27 Nov 2020, UiTM was named the Gold Award winner for the Best International Print-Ads. In the past, UiTM had received Bronze in 2017 (Best International Print-Ads), Silver in 2018 (Best International Print-Ads), and Bronze in 2019 (Best International Video).
“It is a year-end deliverable, thanks to the curation team. If anyone had asked me if I had evidence of a synergistic collaboration that I had “curated”, I would say the work of the UiTM Ads Campaign Curation team was definitely one of them. I could see the real empowerment, trust and excellence revealed again and again in the past four years”, says Prof. Dr Hajah Roziah Mohd Janor, Asst. Vice-Chancellor of InQKA.
Mel Rasidi, Senior Curator, UiTM GESTURZ explained that curation demanded the sharpness of a curator’s intuition, “your content has to be infectious, and if your intention is pure ultimately the message will get through deep into the soul”. It required mental and visual acuity of a curator in studying, understanding, selecting, and combining visual, textual as well as scientific data. He reiterated, “Take that instinct and transform it into a masterpiece”.
He claimed that the existence of UiTM GESTURZ as the Centro for Curation & Engagement is significant in supporting the sustainability of creativity through a curatorial approach that went beyond the exhibition walls. Amidst the Covid-19 challenges, the curatorial methods had to be modified to be adaptive and flexible in order to remain relevant in the new normal era.
The curation of “Made in UiTM, Made for the World” for example represented an exemplary collective synergy of artists, designers, and curators in the field of photography, graphics, advertising, creative lingo, fashion, communication, fine arts, design, videography, media technology, and more. The artworks were exhibited using the new media and digital platform, instead of conventional canvases or physical walls.
Prior to the QS-APPLE 2020, Quacquarelli Symonds Limited or QS announced the QS-World Rankings Asia 2021 results whereby UiTM had improved its ranking by climbing 11steps to hit rank 108 in Asia and rank 10 at home.