Ohio University delegates’ benchmark visit to UiTM SISU

Ohio University delegates’ benchmark visit to UiTM SISU

A group of academics from Ohio University was in UiTM for an international conference. The delegates comprise Dr Brad Cohen, Vice Provost of Teaching & Learning, Prof Renee Middleton, Dean Patton College of Education, Dr Dawn Bikowski, Director of English Language Centre and Prof Dr Christine Bhat. Upon learning about social innovation initiatives in the university, the delegates were taken to visit UiTM SISU which serves as a balcony to the SI initiatives in the university. The OU delegates were impressed with the impacts of the project and found UiTM SISU to be a friendly platform for future discussions and network. Prof Middleton expressed her interest to have a similar platform in her faculty. The friendly benchmark visit took place on the 30 November, 2018.

STEM: Math Challenge & Science of Clay

STEM: Math Challenge & Science of Clay

It is a common practice among UiTM students to conduct events that will encourage community participation. In this project, a group of Civil Engineering students initiated sets of workshop related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). More than 100 students from various schools around Klang Valley came to participate. In this sets of workshops, the participants were guided and trained on how they could be creative by playing with numbers and clay. The outcomes of the workshops include raised awareness on STEM, ability to be creative and the ability to produce or create. The project took place on the 2 November, 2018 in UiTM.

“Acid to Art” workshop with Prof John Sabraw

“Acid to Art” workshop with Prof John Sabraw

This workshop was conducted as one of the activities celebrating the month of Innovation in UiTM. Additionally, in was conducted as post-conference workshop hosted by the Faculty of Education, UiTM. Prof Sabraw’s work focuses on environmental issues. Collaborating with a chemist, he managed to turn acidic elements into beautiful paints. The workshop was conducted to raise the awareness of the young generations about acidic residue in the river and how pollution could be curbed. A total of 40 students and 10 facilitators from three different faculties and institutions participated in this workshop. The workshop took place on the 30th November, 2018 at the Menara Foyer, UiTM and was featured in TV3, one of the local TV channels.

Launching of “SI @ 1EDU – the only ONE!: Social Innovation Initiatives”

Launching of “SI @ 1EDU – the only ONE!: Social Innovation Initiatives”

This book captures relevant social innovation initiatives done by the staff and students of the faculty which involved various parties across the university, industries and communities. The featured social innovation projects in this book have the following criteria:
a) bridging and sharing of knowledge between the university, community and industry
b) encourage improvement to the quality of life in terms of newly applied skills or knowledge acquired through the projects
c) sustainable that the projects could be replicated by others including the industries and communities involved
The book was launched by the Vice Chancellor on the 13th of December, 2018 during the Innovation Month Celebration held at Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor, UiTM.

SEASIN Interview Series: Dr. Marzlin Marzuki

SEASIN Interview Series: Dr. Marzlin Marzuki

I believe that students can become better problem solvers of future challenges if they can understand the real situation.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself.

I am Dr Marzlin Marzuki, Head of Study Centre, Faculty of Accountancy at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Kedah Branch, Malaysia. I am passionate about helping the community. I would like to see the community gain knowledge and generate income to increase their economy. I am willing to extend my professional services as well as other possible assistance to help the community. In my opinion, helping the community would increase the sense of social responsibility.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

The most important social challenge is to educate the community to increase their economy. Currently, my group members transfer our professional knowledge in designing branding and packaging, marketing and maintaining account records low income communities that produce traditional cookies. The sharing of knowledge provides the community with a chance to learn from experts in a non-formal context and improve their level of income.

How do you think students or young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges?

Students and young people can play a role in helping these challenges by providing an avenue for the students to contribute to the society. They should be exposed to activities or programs that would engage them to work with the community or society. In fact, there are various potential ideas that can be drawn from the students to assist the community.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

I have learnt a systematic way to implement the social innovation project during the SEASIN studio workshop. In fact, there are many ideas that can be converted into the social innovation project. Indeed, SEASIN studio has changed my perspective on social innovation initiatives. For me social innovation are initiatives that would benefit the community at large.

Do you think it is important that university play a role in the community that is more than as academia? How?

In my opinion, universities can play an important role to help the community. Universities can provide human resources in terms of academia as well as students to initiate project that can benefit the society/community. Academics can apply their knowledge to assist the community. The academics can guide the students to assist the community within their ability. This win win situation between the university and the community would increase the rapport between these two entities. Subsequently, it promotes the life-long learning process between the academia, students and community. I believe that students can become better problem solvers of future challenges if they can understand the real situation.

SEASIN Interview Series: Farah Syuhada

SEASIN Interview Series: Farah Syuhada

What’s your name? Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Farah Syuhada and I am a masters students in UiTM Shah Alam. I am passionate about creating possible solutions of existing problems and helping others in achieving a better quality life – no matter how small or how big it might be.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment?

As of recently, there are worries of how graduates from educational courses, especially, are still unemployed despite graduated since a year ago and have gone through the interview process in order to be an educator.

What are you doing to address this challenge or what do you hope to do?

Coming from educational courses myself, it does worries me a little. However, students or graduates (not only graduates from educational faculty) have to take initiative for themselves. What I did in order to overcome it myself is to engage in different skills that could potentially be useful in future employments. What I hope to do is to create awareness on the self-initiative strategy that the graduates can employ in order to get hired. What I also hope to do is to create awareness and platform somewhere along the sayings that goes ‘if they cannot get the jobs, create them’.

How do you think students/young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges? 

The most important role the students might have to take on is being the workforce in translating ideas into actual work. Since students are mostly young and healthy, they should take on these challenges head on. With the guidance of lecturers and supervisors, students can also be the generator of possible ideas and creators of innovation that could actually be used in solving certain social problems.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

What I learnt for the SEASIN studio was that in creating solutions, you need different sets of eyes in helping to create a flawless and ideal solutions. Different perspectives brings out different angles that needed to be looked upon which is impossible to do alone. Networking and strategies about executing it are also part of the lessons that I’ve learnt.

Has the SEASIN studio introduced you to new ways of thinking/working? Has it changed your perspective or your behaviour?

It definitely introduced me to brilliant ideas and new ways of working/thinking that really gave me different perspectives in social innovation. It does not necessarily change my perspective but it really does add on, on my views of certain things.

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

Social innovations are new strategies, solutions and ideas in meeting the needs of social challenges that could create a better quality in civil community.

Do you think it is important that universities play a role in the community that is more than as academia? How?

I think universities have the greatest degree of roles in the community as they have the educators and students that not only act as the workforce but also act as hubs in creating ideas and solutions to the problems at hand. Universities also have one of the largest networking that would help in approaching those problems.

What can universities do to help students become better problem solvers of future challenges?

In my opinion, universities should create or create hubs/centres where students of different courses background can submit ideas and those ideas will be openly discussed among the students in order to fill in the gaps or loopholes that might be overlooked. This ways, students’ ideas are not totally dismissed but improved upon. Not only that, involving students from different backgrounds of courses will give them a glimpse of what other problems that might exist outside of their own capacity of their own learning. These hopefully will create a better environment to create students with great problem-solving and innovation skills.