Saturday, 1 December 2012


SIGNING ......Kasim and Minami signing the Memorandum of Understanding.


A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MoU) was signed between University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and University Kochi of Japan to set the framework for close collaboration in areas of mutual interest between the two universities.

Initiated by Associate Professor Dr Sharifudin Md Shaarani, Dean of the School of Food Science and Nutrition of UMS, and Dr Hiroko Minami, President of University Kochi, the MoU sets the parameter of common interest between these two universities. For the moment, the common interest is in the field of food and nutritional science.

The collaboration will begin with student and postdoctoral exchanges. The UMS Deputy Vice-chancellor said he had in mind a stint of industrial training to equip students with real-life practical skills in the relevant industries to augment the more academic side of their education at university.

He saw other benefits as well from the student exchange programme. He said the student exchange between UMS and University of Kochi will not only provide educational enrichment but will also promote friendship and better understanding between students from Malaysia and Japan.

DONE.....Exchange of documents between Kasim and Minami

At the same time, Dr. Minami saw in the exchange programme the great value of students from both cultural environments to live in each other’s country and learn about different cultures. She said Malaysia’s multi-ethnic culture will teach the Japanese students how to live with people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

“They will learn to communicate in various ways, and Japanese students will learn to appreciate diversity in food, music and art forms. Japan is a country that has developed a homogenous culture and language. This will offer a different perspective to the Malaysian students.”

The agreement between the two universities also encompasses the exchange of academic publications as well as educational materials through joint research projects, academic discourses, training, seminar and symposia. Academic exchanges that  will involve professors, academics, researchers and teachers are also included in the agreement.

Prior to the signing of a formal MoU a number of lecturers at the UMS School of Food Science and Nutrition, had already been involved in nutrition research and knowledge-sharing with the University of Kochi.

According to Dr. Minami, of late the University of Kochi together with four other Japanese universities have launched a Disaster Nursing Global Leadership Program.  She said she was aware that University Malaysia Sabah is also one of the leading institutions in carrying out research work on natural disasters.  

She said she hoped that UMS and Kochi would work together closely not only in the current areas specified in MoU but also expand the field to develop systematic collaborative researches so that the co-operation would lead to  more comprehensive and complete care programme to respond more effectively to help the public in the event of any disaster.

Formally established in 2006, the Natural Disasters Research Unit (NDRU) has served as UMS’ focal point for all research activities that are related to natural disasters. – Insight Sabah

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