lawatan LPU 1UUM ONLINE: The Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Board of Directors will work together to elevate the university to a higher level.

Chairman of the UUM Board of Directors, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Shukor Mahfar expressed hope that the Board of Directors of UUM would be able to garner the cooperation of all parties.

He said he emphasized on the aspect of branding in which marketing strategies play essential role in enabling the UUM brand to be recognized.

"Branding is very important. Marketing activities should be carried out more aggressively namely look for icons that others are proud of to help exalt the image and reputation of UUM.

"In addition, with the existence of exceptional members of the University Board of Directors that include representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Finance will indirectly add value to the university and help boost UUM," he said during a meeting held at the Senate Room yesterday in conjunction with his Discover UUM and Working Visit to UUM.

He further reiterated that the University Board of Directors would also help the University collaborate with industry, in addition to other universities, not just public universities but private universities as well.

In this regard, he urged UUM denizens to work with the University Board of Directors to ensure that UUM is on track.

At the same time, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Shukor expressed his elation upon discovering that the percentage of graduate employability (GE) of UUM graduate was the highest amongst the public universities in the nation.

He also praised UUM's swift action in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic such as implementing online learning and applying technology in running the campus.

"No one thought that Covid-19 would happen so much so that the whole world is affected including UUM in preparation for the Phase 3 of its Strategic Plan.

"I am also concerned that the impact of this pandemic will affect the university's finances, hence we will work at getting around the deficit by taking appropriate measures," he said.

He also congratulated UUM on its achievements and initiatives such as improving its rankings that can be made as a benchmark for the University.

During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato 'Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani presented a briefing that included statistics of staff, statistics of students and plans to appoint teaching staff from Australia to teach English and to share experiences with UUM students in the University's efforts towards globalization.

In addition, he also enlightened the honoured guest on the achievements of the UUM Strategic Plan starting from Phase 1 (2011-2015), Phase 2 (2016-2020) and subsequently Phase 3 (2021-2025) which will begin soon.

He said two important core thrusts would be added from the existing four core thrusts which would help push UUM into a more prosperous era.

"Rankings are not always easy to compete with the world's top universities under 50 years, but in our pursuit of rankings, UUM has not forgotten the people's agenda especially when the country is facing the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Various initiatives have been taken such as the Covid-19 Special Fund as well as the offering of the ResQ-Covid-19 research grant that focuses on food security and unemployment," he said.

The Vice-Chancellor also described the publication achievements of UUM in SCOPUS and its growing number of citations with the involvement of young lecturers until it showed significant achievements.

In addition, the Vice-Chancellor also said that UUM also had plans to help ease the burden of students from the B40 group by providing 200 laptops before the new admission, expected to be some time in October.

During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor also enlightened the guest on UUM's desire to establish the Centre for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as proposed by His Royal Highness Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, the Sultan of Kedah.

He said UUM would not have any problems establishing the Centre for STEM as the University has a large number of experts in the field, enabling the Centre to be established.

Among the others who conducted presentations were Acting Treasurer, Mdm. Eylani Ahmad on Financial Sustainability and Chief Executive Officer of UMHSB Group, Mr Rodzi Lebai Karim.