Volunteerism Sparks Collaborative Initiatives Between UiTM and Russia

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In line with the university’s vision to become a globally renowned university,  Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) has developed many collaborative initiatives with various local and international educational institutions.

Recently, a senior lecturer from the Faculty of Applied Sciences, UiTM, Ts. Dr. Judith Gisip received an invitation from the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) to meet H.E. Naiyl M. Latypov, the Russian Ambassador to Malaysia. Operating in Malaysia since 1981, RCSC was set up with the aim to promote cultural, scientific, and educational relations between Russia and Malaysia.

The meeting was held at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia on 19 August 2020. Also present at the event was Dr. Ayrat Ahkmetov, director of the RCSC in Kuala Lumpur and the Advisor for Education and Culture at the Russian Embassy in Malaysia.

The meeting was prompted as one of the positive outcomes from Dr Judith’s experience as an international volunteer at the 45th WorldSkills Competition which took place at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.

The 2019 Kazan WorldSkills Competition (WSC2019) is Russia’s largest international event involving 63 WorldSkills Member countries and regions, including Malaysia. There were more than 1,350 competitors who participated across 56 various skill areas including manufacturing and engineering technology, construction and building technology, information and communication technology, social and personal services, transportation and logistics, future skills and creative arts and fashion.

The Malaysian contingent came home with nine Medallion of Excellence medals. Dr Judith said the valuable experience as an international volunteer at the WSC2019 provides a platform for academicians with the opportunity to exchange information and best practices regarding industry and professional education.

As part of her experience at the WSC2019, Dr. Judith Gisip had written an article on her views on Russian traditions and culture which focused on the charm and distinctiveness of Russia.  This caught the attention of H. E. who expressed his appreciation for the article and invited her.

During the meeting, future collaboration between UiTM and Russia was discussed in the effort to encourage further academic, research and development exchanges for both countries.

Both parties agreed that programs of such collaborative research with Russian universities, student and staff mobility, as well as academic and cultural activities will be beneficial in promoting friendly relations and co-operation between Russia and Malaysia in the field of science, culture and education.

The suggestions were well-received by H.E. and the positive outcome from the discussion will become the starting point for future collaborative initiatives between UiTM and Russia.