The Faculty of Science (FS) hosted four visiting international students (two postgraduate students and two final year undergraduate students) from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Andalas (UNAND), Padang, Sumatera from 30eOctober 2019 to 5eNovember 2019. The students were: Gusrian Putra, Alber Efan Mohammad, Rahmawati Yusri and Nanda Nelfitriza. The visit was one of the outcomes due to an agreement (MoU) signed by UTM and UNAND last year on July 23, 2018. Under the MoU, education-related activities and for learning, research collaborations and student exchanges are encouraged between the two universities. The visitors’ program was organized and hosted by a special working group led by Dr Zarina Mohd Khalid with Dr Hang See Pheng, Pn. Wan Rukaida Wan Abdullah and Mr. Mohd Najib Zakaria from Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science.
On the first day, the director of mathematical sciences, Assoc. Professor Sharidan Shafie greeted the students at a welcome reception at the Department of Mathematical Sciences of the Faculty of Science. The student experience was then extended to a day trip around the main UTM campus started with a courtesy visit to the Dean’s office of FS, lecture halls, research areas and computer labs around the FS main buildings at Lingkaran Ilmu (blocks C17 – C22) and the new clusters (Blocks TO2-TO5), UTM libraries (PSZ and PRZS) and UTM Observatory.
The 2sd Day of the program, the students had the opportunity to visit three research laboratories at the Faculty of Sciences: Biotechnology and biochemistry laboratory (briefing by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Roswanira Abdul Wahab), laboratories of the UTM Laser Center (briefing by Dr. Muhammad Muhammad Safwan Abd Aziz) and Optics Application Laboratory (briefing by Dr. Maisarah Duralim).
Visiting students were also exposed to the teaching and learning environment of UTM by attending selected lectures on their 3rdvisit day. During these sessions, the four UNAND students were joined by UTM students named FS @ UTM friends to help and accompany them during the conferences and classes planned. FS @ UTM buddies were: Khairiah Nur Ain Mohammed Hassan (MSc Physics), Nor Shahira Md Rudin (MSc Physics), Mohd Fakhri Hazim bin Azmi (MSc Mathematics), Nurhanis Hasmani (BSc Biology, Year 4) and Muhammad Asraf Bin Ahmad Zahidi (BSc Chemistry, Year 4).
On the last day of the program, the students had a brief meeting with the Director of the UTM-Center for Industrial & Applied Mathematics, Assoc. Dr. Arifah Bahar and his team of researchers. Afterwards, a short closing and farewell session for visitors was held in the Department of Mathematical Sciences of the Faculty of Science. The event was attended by the vice-dean of FS (Research, Innovation, Development and Alumni) Assoc. Teacher. Dr. Zaiton Abdul Majid, and the Deputy Dean (external and global engagement), Dr. Ezza Syuhada Sazali.
A certificate of participation and a sign of appreciation from the UTM-CIAM were given to each of the students invited by Assoc. Teacher. Dr. Zaiton Abd Majid
Feedback from UNAND students on their visit to UTM has been positive. They said that they enjoyed their time at UTM very much, as they not only gained valuable learning and research experience, but also had the opportunity to network with FS experts and students from around the world. UTM.
It is hoped that following this visit by UNAND to UTM, future collaborations between the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UNAND can be encouraged and continued.
Finally, the working group would like to express its deepest gratitude to all members of the Faculty of Science who cooperated in making the visit of UNAND students a rewarding and beneficial learning experience, directly or indirectly.