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UUM ONLINE: The idea of setting up a World Association of Business Schools in Islamic Countries (WAiBS), which is strongly championed by the Vice-Chancellor of  Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, has been favourably received by the President of the University of Qatar, Prof. Dr. Sheikha Al-Misnad. He voiced his acceptance of the idea during the meeting between him and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), UUM, Prof. Dr. Rosna Awang Hashim, at the University of Qatar, on 16 April 2012.

At the meeting, Dr. Sheikha Al-Misnad also agreed to be a co-founder of the association, accepting the financial commitment that comes with the honour of being a co-founding member.

Apart from this, the academics also discussed the close collaborative work that could be undertaken between the two universities involving, among others, the sharing of experience and knowledge in the areas of research projects, the writing up of case studies, and staff mobility.

The University of Qatar also extended an invitation to UUM lecturers to enter into mutually beneficial cooperative research projects and apply for research grants under the Qatar National Foundation.

In the meeting, Dr. Rosna stressed the importance of collaboration, among business schools of celebrated universities in the Islamic world, in strengthening the people of the faith via the sharing of knowledge, experience, and skills.

When met with later, Prof. Dr. Rosna expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the University of Qatar’s top management for readily agreeing to join forces with UUM in advancing the noble aspiration of developing the Muslim communities in the Islamic world, rather than casting doubts on the ability to bring the aspirations to fruition.

The meeting was also attended by other personnel of both institutions, namely the Assistant Vice-Chancellor of the UUM College Of Business, Prof. Dr. Rushami Zein Yusoff, the Dean of the College of Business and Economics, Prof. Dr. Nitham Al-Hindi, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, Dr. Mazin, the Dean of the School of Computing, UUM, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Huda Ibrahim, and the Deputy Dean of the College of Business and Economics, Prof. Dr. Khaled.

Apart from the official visit to the University of Qatar, the delegation from UUM also paid courtesy calls on the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (Member of the Qatar Foundation), the King Saud University (Saudi Arabia), the University of Bahrain, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain, and the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Bahrain.

In a related development, the UUM delegation to the Middle East was also entrusted with the task of running a booth at the 3rd International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE), in Riyadh, from 17 till 20 April 2012, and at the Education Malaysia Exhibition 2012 in Jeddah, from 23 till 24 April 2012.

In her report concerning the reception of the booths run by UUM at these events, Dr Rosna was thankful that the booths received a high response from visitors at each of the occasions.

“The impressive local response to our booths at the events was quite heartening. It underscored the statement from the Malaysian Consulate in Jeddah that the Saudi Arabian society was beginning to sense the need to seek knowledge in earnest and not to lay too much emphasis and dependence on national wealth alone.

“Through the open policy as practised by the King of Saudi Arabia currently, it is believed that, within a decade, the Saudi Arabian society will undergo changes where a greater number of their educated fellow citizens will opt to stay home and work to serve their nation.

“The name of UUM has also made headlines in Saudi Arabia because it is among the 7 institutions of higher learning that have been recognised in the higher education sector by the Saudi government,” she said.



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