Kota Samarahan, February 2-3, 2024 – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) is pleased to host Sunway College, Kuala Lumpur for a benchmarking visit on Service Learning Malaysia – University for Society (SULAM). Facilitated by the University Sustainability Centre (USC), the visit aims to benchmark the implementation of SULAM projects at UNIMAS and explore opportunities for future collaboration in community empowerment.

Delegates from Sunway College, led by Associate Prof. Dr. Yazilmiwati Yaacob (Director of Centre for Continuing Education), and lecturers Ms. Usha Nagasundram, Mr. Md Sairolazmi, and Ms. Nur Izzati, received a warm welcome by USC Director, Associate Prof. Noraziah Abdul Wahab, along with Dr. Ahmad Syafiq Ahmad Nasir (Deputy Director Community Engagement), Dr Mohd Farid Atan (Deputy Director Sustainability), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rafeah Wahi (Coordinator Qadim Hub), Mdm Nadzirah Jausus (Coordinator Sustainability) and Mr. Abg Asmadi Abg Shokeran (Chief Assistant Registrar), engaged in fruitful discussions covering governance, best practices and sustainable implementation of SULAM projects at UNIMAS.

During the visit, Ms. Noorhaslina Senin, SULAM Coordinator at the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts (FACA), delivered an insightful session highlighting the successful implementation of SULAM and showcasing remarkable achievements by students and faculty members. Seizing the opportunity, both institutions explored potential collaborations in community socioeconomic development and fostering students intercultural exchange.

The benchmarking visit concluded with a SULAM site project visit to Kg. Sungai Putin, Sadong Jaya, where Dr. Shazwan Mohamed Shaari, SULAM Coordinator from the Faculty of Built Environment (FBE), briefed the delegates on the rainwater harvesting and solar projects implemented by the faculty over the past five consecutive years.

Dr. Ahmad Syafiq Ahmad Nasir, USC Deputy Director of Community Engagement, expressed optimism about the outcomes of the visit, stating, “University benchmarking visits enable academic institutions to enhance the quality of education through transformative teaching of service learning and foster partnerships, strategically aligning with SDG 4: Quality Education and SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals”.

“This acknowledgment emphasizes UNIMAS’s dedication to serving as a model for best practices in service learning within the academia. It highlights the successful implementation of the SULAM initiatives, aligning with the university’s niche area on Sustainable Community Transformation and its tagline – Community-Driven University for a Sustainable World”, he added.

Previously, UNIMAS has been benchmarked by several public and private universities including UMP, UUM, UiTM, UM, UPM, USIM and Taylor’s University through its exemplary SULAM implementation.

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