The Department of Biology, UiTM Negeri Sembilan Branch (UiTMNS), Kuala Pilah campus, in collaboration with the University of Andalas (UNAND), hosted the first International Virtual Undergraduate Symposium (IVUS), sponsored by the Malaysian Genetics Association, on the 21st of January 2021 via the Webex and Goole Meet platforms.
A total of 40 local students of UiTMCNS and 11 international students from Universitas Andalas Padang (UNAND), Universitas Syiah Kuala (UNSYIAH), and Universitas Maritim Raja Ali Haji (UMRAH) from Indonesia participated in the prestigious programme.
As part of the bachelor’s degree in Biology’s final year project requirement, this symposium aimed to ignite the undergraduate’s interest in the world of research and publication. It was deemed as a platform for the undergraduates to gain experience and exposure in such event and for the university to establish a network of ideas in all areas in the field of science with international academic institutions as envisioned by the UiTMCNS rector, Professor Dr Yamin Yasin in his welcoming message.
The keynote’s speeches preceded the symposium by two prominent entities from each organizing university. The honourable speakers were Ts. Dr. Aishah Hasan from the Faculty of Applied Sciences, UiTMCNS and Dr. Yelly Oktavia from the Faculty of Pharmacy, UNAND.
Both the speakers encouraged young minds to pursue their interest in academic research despite the worrisome coronavirus pandemic that has shrunk learning and job opportunities.
The highlight of the event was the oral presentations by undergraduate participants. The oral presentations were categorized into multidiscipline in biology: ecology, antimicrobials, bacteriology, plant science, scientific methods, applied microbiology, and anti-oxidants.
The session was subsequently enlivened by the Speaker’s Discussion whereby three speakers shared their life experiences in completing their doctorate programmes in different environmental and cultural settings. The speakers were Dr. Rashidah Iberahim (UKM, Malaysia), Dr. Muádz Ahmad Mazian (University of Hyogo, Japan) and Dr. Amirul Adli Abd Aziz (University of Sheffield, UK). This slot was also to further encourage and lift student’s interest to embark on the scientific research field right after completing their bachelor’s degree.
The symposium ended with the award ceremony whereby students with the best presentation and the best research project were awarded accordingly.