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Vol 48, March 2020

 
 
This is the second year REPSOL has been involved with the Faculty of Science and Marine Environment (FSSM) in aiding our own students in their studies. REPSOL 2020 focussed on two themes which are Biodiversity Conservation and Management, as well as Analytical and Environmental Chemistry.  In line with these themes of interest, FSSM nominated a total of 30 candidates from the respective focus of studies. After a rigorous selection process, 10 shortlisted candidates were selected for the final interview.
Three outstanding undergraduates and one postgraduate student were announced as the recipients for REPSOL Scholarship Awards 2020. These students will receive financial support, which covers tuition and exam fees, living and book allowances. The scholarship will also provide computer and printer allowances to these recipients as well.

All three undergraduate recipients were graduates from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu’s STEM Foundation Centre. Nik Nur Syamimi Ramli and Nur Solehah Othman are FSSM first-year students enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Conservation and Management) programme. Meanwhile, the other recipient is Muhammad Alif Kamarul Azman, a first-year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) programme. The fourth recipient is Mohamad Zahid Baharom who is the first FSSM postgraduate to receive this scholarship. His research in marine science (marine toxicology) impressed and convinced the REPSOL representative on how vital his research is to the community.

Sources: Associate Prof ChM. Dr Maisara Abdul Kadir, maisara@umt.edu.my ; Associate Prof Ts. Dr Wan Mohd Khairul Wan Mohd Zin, wmkhairul@umt.edu.my ; Mrs Siti Adzim Ghazali, sitiadzim@umt.edu.my  ; Faculty of Science and Marine Environment
 
 
UMT Foundation Centre (PASTEM) in its effort to producing excellent students has passed a few milestones in a short time as a pioneer of STEM foundation Centre in Malaysia. The government’s goal of encouraging students to pursue tertiary education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has led PASTEM to strive to bring forth technically competent local graduates who fulfil the demands of the industry. Realizing the importance of the STEM Foundation has driven PASTEM to exert more effort in shaping students towards this goal. 

The successes of PASTEM students are the proofs that it has been gearing students towards developing the right skills required in ensuring a qualified workforce in STEM fields. Here, students were exposed with various activities in a lot of outreach programs such as a mentor-mentee program with PASTEM’s adopted schools and other communities whereby students grow their interpersonal skills through these outreach and innovation programs. PASTEM not only intends to nurture their talents but also aims to produce holistic students who are successful academically as well as non-academically.   
                                                                     
                                                                   
PASTEM has developed its education system and environment to enable students to become intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally balanced. In achieving that, PASTEM has created a fun learning environment for the students to further spark their interests in STEM. So far, PASTEM has proudly accomplished in producing 50 per cent alumni who received dean’s list award, and in addition three of the alumni have also been awarded REPSOL Malaysia scholarships.

Just recently the students basked in the glory of their success at the Malaysian Technology Expo (MTE) 2020 where three innovation projects from STEM Foundation Centre won two gold and silver and one special award. PASTEM is still striving to achieve more and hopes to share plenty of success stories in the near future.

Source: Assoc. Prof. Dr Laili Haji Che` Rose laili@umt.edu.my, Director, STEM Foundation Centre
 

Highlands in the tropical rain forests are sensitive areas impacted by rapid land clearing and uncontrolled development for agriculture and infrastructure construction for the mass recreation and tourism industry. Land cover changes will result in erosion, landslides, and pollution of the rivers that drain into the estuarine and seas.   We aim to identify appropriate study sites in Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular for the comprehensive understanding of the long-term sustainability and environmental problems in the development of highlands across entire Malaysia. The scope of the research is not only on the highlands themselves but also on the regional development in the highland impacting the livelihoods, drainage systems, lowlands, and coastal zones.
 
On the 27th and 28th of February 2020, three delegations from the Bio-D Tropika UMT (Prof Taj, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nobuyuki Yamaguchi, and Dr. Aqilah Mohamad) held a discussion with the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak researchers. Associate Prof. Dr. Sim Siong Fong (representing Dean of Faculty of Resource Science and Technology), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Azlan Jayasilan Abdul Gulam Azad (Director of Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Poline Bala (Director of Institute of Borneo Studies), Professor Indraneil Das, Professor Kasing Apun, Associate Professor Faisal Anuar Ali Khan and some researchers representing UNIMAS. We agreed to revisit the Bario and Cameron Highlands development and study the social, physical and ecological changes over the last decades. These retrospective studies will be the motivation for the application of the large research grant scheme (LRGS) from the Ministry of Education for the second cycle in June 2020.
 
On the 28th of February, we joined the meeting on research collaboration and MoU with Sarawak Forest Corporation (represented by General Manager Mr. Oswald Braken Tisen and Deputy GM Mr. Julaihi Abdullah) along with Dr. Andrew Ngadin of FSME UMT and Dr. Liew Hon Jung of AKUATROP UMT. Dr. Andrew had revised the status of mushrooms of Sarawak and Dr. Liew was keen to collaborate on aquaculture projects with SFC. SFC was keen to participate in the LRGS project that had been conceptualized in UNIMAS the day before. Later we met unofficially with the researchers of Sarawak Energy on potential collaboration with Bio-D Tropika UMT.  
 
Sources: Dr Aqilah Mohammad, aqilahmohammad@umt.edu.my; Assoc. Prof. Dr Nobuyuki Yamaguchi, nobuyuki.yamaguchi@umt.edu.my; Prof. Dato` Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Bin Abdullah, mohd.tajuddin@umt.edu.my; INSTITUTE FOR TROPICAL BIODIVERSITY & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (Bio-D TROPIKA)

 
During her visit to UMT in September, the High Commissioner of Canada in Malaysia, Julia G. Bentley, highlighted the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchange for Development (SEED). These scholarship offer opportunities for students from ASEAN member states to participate in short-term studies or research at Canadian post-secondary institutions, as part of their degree from their home university, in fields that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She expressed the hope that undergraduate and postgraduate students from University Malaysia Terengganu would apply for this scholarship program. The application deadline for 2020-2021 is early March 2020. More details can be found at this link www.scholarships.gc.ca.

Starting in 2020 the SEED program will include a component for mid-career professionals, which is intended to allow individuals from the public or private sectors or academics to go to Canada for a short period for professional development. The application deadline for this is likely to be early February. Details are available on the same website.
 
Source: Bethany Tien, Trade Commissioner - High Commission of Canada in Malaysia bethany.tien@international.gc.ca 
 
 
Our mailing address is:
The Chancellery, 
University of Malaysia Terengganu, 21030,
Terengganu, Malaysia
 






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Universiti Malaysia Terengganu · The Chancellery,  · Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu 21300 · Malaysia

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