STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2018-2019 : MAIDEN COLLABORATION BETWEEN UTHM AND UNIVERSITAS GADJAH MADA

STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2018-2019 : MAIDEN COLLABORATION BETWEEN UTHM AND UNIVERSITAS GADJAH MADA

PAGOH - The Student Exchange Program 2018-2019 , the first of its kind, between students of the
Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology (FAST), UTHM and students of the Faculty of
Biology, UGM was successfully conducted from September 2018 - January 2019.


This exchange program was carried out as one of various activities planned when signing the
Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) in September 2017. Signing of the MoA was done in
Yogyakarta, Indonesia during the International Conference on Biological Sciences (ICBS) 2017 ,
which is also a collaboration between UTHM and UGM. Delegates from UTHM , represented by
lectures and post graduate students from FAST, went to Yogyakarta to attend the ICBS 2017, and
henceforth witnessed the MoA between FAST, UTHM and the Faculty of Biology, UGM. Prof.
Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed was invited to be the keynote speaker
for ICBS 2017 while the lectures and post graduate students presented the findings of their research.
Their research findings have been published in the international proceedings indexed in SCOPUS.


With its prominent history and great achievements, it is without a doubt the lecturers and students
of UGM are an esteemed group. Thus, the students chosen to represent UTHM, who are small
ambassadors of not only UTHM but that of Malaysia too, were done strictly and with care. The
process to choose representatives were carried out rigorously and diligently, coordinated and led by
Dr. Furzani Pa’ee. Five (5) students from the Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity and Conservation)
with Honours were chosen, namely, Hanis Azman, Mohd Amril Ramzi Mohd Rahim, Nur Raihan
Maheran, Nurin Husnina Mohd Faid and Nurul Afiqah Mohd Azan. Also, three (3) students from
the Faculty of Biology, UGM joined UTHM in September 2018 for 1 semester . Total credit hours
involved in this program is 12 credits (outbound) and 17 credits (inbound).


Upon the students’ arrival at UGM, they were housed in the student residential college together
with other UGM students. This invaluable opportunity permits our students to interact with the local
students to learn more about the language and culture of Indonesia. Orientation course was
organized by the residential college where various fun activities including ice-breaking were carried
out .


Besides the orientation course, the students were introduced to their Academic Advisors in UGM to
discuss their subject registration and were also introduced to the Faculty of Biology. All 12 credits
of the subjects were registered and students attended all of their classes. It is hoped that the
students will appreciate and internalize the different learning experiences between UGM and
UTHM.


The orientation course was extended beyond the campus grounds where the students were taught on
how to use public transportation and where to shop for their daily needs such as for groceries and
halal food. Since the cost of living and currency exchange rate of Indonesia and Malaysia are of
relative value, the students easily adapted themselves for their short stay in this foreign land.


The organizers and students faced many challenges and interesting experiences in their journey to
realize this maiden collaboration dream. One unforgettable, heart-stopping experience was during
the visa application in the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. All the necessary student
documents were prepared, but nevertheless, 30 minutes before the visa application counter was to
close, the embassy official informed us that some other documents were needed. Without these
documents, the application will not be processed and will not help to facilitate matters. To make it
worse, these documents could only be prepared by the UGM. With only 5 minutes to spare, all these
documents were finally handed over to the application personnel. This experience certainly taught
those involved skills in decision making and problem solving.


Besides student exchange programs, other activities have been planned and carried out between
UTHM and UGM. In February 2018, a 2nd Joint Seminar on Biodiversity & Conservation (JSBC )
was held in UGM. In this seminar, Prof. Datin Dr. Maaryati Mohamed was invited as the keynote
speaker and Prof. Madya Dr. Alona Cuevas Linatoc was the invited speaker. Besides seminars, the
management teams of both FAST and the Faculty of Biology , UGM, held discussions on the
development of other activities for the year. One example is the International Conference on
Biodiversity (ICB) 2018 which was held in November 2018. This is another one of many
collaborations between UTHM and UGM.


Our highest appreciation goes to all who have helped in making this program a tremendous
success . Our heartfelt gratitude to Department of Technology & Natural Resources, FAST,
International Office, Academic Affairs Office, Student Affairs Office, Student Housing and
Transportation Office and Pagoh Residential College.


We wish all the best to all students involved and may this be a yearly affair to foster a closer
relationship between UTHM and UGM.

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