Representatives from the University Sains Malaysia (USM), Kuala Lumpur, conducted exploratory talks with heads of various local schools for possible networking in the field of research on December 17 at Lantaka Hotel by the Sea, Zamboanga City.
Attending the meeting were the following presidents of schools: Dr. Grace J. Rebollos, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU); Dr. Antonio Moreno, SJ Ateneo de Zamboanga University; Dr. Milavel D. Nazario, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology; Dr. Edris M. Hakim, Basilan State College; and Ms. Norwesa L. Madriaga, School Administrator, Systems Technology Institute(STI).
The ten-person Malaysian delegation was composed of professors, administrators and students of USM. Earlier, they were in North Cotabato and Davao City for a similar visit with the academic community.
Mr. Badariddin Mohamed, Dean, Department of Post-Graduate Studies of USM who led the talks, admitted that his team’s visit here has revealed many opportunities for research in Mindanao which remains untapped due to lack of funding. He sees possibilities of joint research efforts between USM and local researchers as a way of collaboration in order to unleash the huge research potential of the region.
Local researchers, he added, may avail of research grants from USM. Possible areas for research include product design/development; peace education and development; and the medical field, although science and technology remains to be the USM’s strongest area, Mr. Mohamed admitted. USM is likewise offering post-graduate and pos-doctoral scholarships, he announced. The latter could run from one to three years, he said.
The USM delegation also met with the WMSU academic community on December 18 followed by a visit to the Nuño clan in Guiwan and Ahmad Sakaluran’s Research Center in barangay Kasanyangan, they were guided by Prof. Ali Aiyub of the Department of Social Work and Community Development, WMSU.
USM’s visit was made possible through the collaboration of Dr. Phaison Daoh, Peace Unit, USM and Dr. Rebollos. Acting as secretariat for the visit in Zamboanga were Dr. Rufina Cruz, Special Assistant to the President and Prof. Ali Aiyub. (Evelyn C. Luceño, PAO-WMSU)