A Polish Connection

KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University (UCSI) played host to a Polish delegation from the Jagiellonian University of Kraköw (JU) and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Malaysia recently to discuss potential academic collaborations between both universities. 

As the oldest university in Poland, JU is one of the top ranking universities in Europe known for its comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programme offerings. 

The delegation – comprising vice-chancellor (International Relationship) Professor Dr Zdzislaw Mach, chair of European Culture and Societies; Professor Marta Kudelska, chair of Comparative Civilisations Studies; vice-chancellor (Development) Professor Maria Flis from the Institute of Sociology; and a representative from the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Malaysia (Consular Assistance, Promotion of Culture and Education), namely Magdalena Skowyra-Jelonek – received a warm welcome from UCSI’s management team. 

UCSI’s deputy vice-chancellor (Academic Affairs & Research) Professor Emeritus Dr Lim Koon Ong and deputy vice-chancellor (International Relations) Professor Dr Lee Chai Buan, along with other faculty academic staff, were on hand to greet the visitors. 

One of the key areas for collaboration that were discussed during the visit include promoting UCSI’s Pre-University programmes – that also serve as a pathway to its well-established medical and pharmacy courses. 

“We have many students – from our Pre-University programmes – who look forward to experience study life in Europe and are waiting to be enrolled into the universities there,” said Mabel Tan Hwee Joo, Director of the Centre for Pre-University Studies. 

“Malaysian universities have a quota system for medical students but we have many A-level learners who are eager to major in the medical field and pursue further studies in European universities.” 

Prof Lim enthused that the collaboration would certainly lead (to a new partnership) for both universities and would fulfil one of UCSI’s aspirations: To promote its Pre-University programmes to the international community. 

Vice-chancellor (International Relationship) Professor Dr Zdzislaw Mach also expressed his hopes of exploring possible partnerships that will benefit learners – at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 

“As far as students are concerned, we want to create opportunities for students of both nations to study at our universities, through joint degrees that will further enhance their learning, career prospects and self-development,” he said. 

“In so doing, we hope to open doors for students to not only gain certified education but increased knowledge and experiences.” 

“As education is becoming more globalised, it is imperative that we pool our resources together to continuously pursue knowledge. This is why international partnerships like this in the academic world are important.” 

“We also hope to establish a platform for collaborative research, where academicians from both universities are able to collaborate in various areas including biotechnology, biophysics, applied mathematics, and information technology, to name a few,” added Professor Mach, who expressed interest in joining efforts with UCSI in research. 

Apart from research, student exchange and credit transfer programme opportunities, plans are afoot to upskill academicians from both institutions – particularly in terms of expanding their teaching competency and experience – through exchange programmes. 

After the discussion, Professor Mach conducted a lecture session titled “Interdisciplinary European Studies and the Question of the European Identity” and provided UCSI’s students and staff with valuable insight on European studies, the impact of globalisation and the European integration, among other topics. 

With all that was shared and discussed, there is much that UCSI can look forward to through this collaboration with JU.

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