Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has forged collaborative ties with 2 renowned universities in Egypt for the purpose of advancing research in science and technology in the areas of nanotechnology, exchange of expertise and the production of halal vaccines.
The two oldest and renowned universities in Egypt, Al-Azhar University and Alexandria University signed separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with USM today.
Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Vice-Chancellor of USM signed the two documents during his official visit to both the universities.
During the MoU signing ceremony between USM and Al-Azhar University, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli stressed that there were many other areas that could be advanced, which required the expertise of academicians from Islamic countries. These areas included the field of nano technology, production of halal vaccines, biology, chemistry, vector control and others.
”Expertise in these areas should be advanced in order to enable Muslims to benefit from the knowledge and empower it globally. It is also important in the efforts to combine science and technology with religion, that was once the force behind the development of knowledge,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Abdallah el Hussen Helal, Vice-President (Graduate Studies and Research), Al-Azhar University said that his university welcomed the collaboration with USM to ensure that the expertise that is already available can be strengthened, especially in bringing together the role of science and Islam.
He said that the this form of collaboration will enable both parties to explore the expertise available, in line with the efforts of Al-Azhar University which is in the process of advancing the study of science and technology as a branch of knowledge that will benefit all Muslims.
Al-Azhar University was established in 1975 and is the oldest university in Cairo and world-renowned for its studies in Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies.
This is the first time that Al-Azhar University has signed a MoU with any university, especially from Malaysia for the purpose of developing science and technology.
Prof. Dr. Mohammed Hassan Awad, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University led a discussion with USM researchers. The discussion resulted in an understanding between both parties to have on-going ties through the organization of a Science and Technology Conference every year.
”USM is prepared to offer places in the post doctoral programme to students from Al-Azhar, with a special fund to help them from year to year, according to their achievement and performance”, the Vice-Chancellor of USM said.
Meanwhile, in a separate ceremony, USM signed a MoU with Alexandria University, Egypt.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli stressed that USM aspires to collaborate with world-renowned universities, especially from Islamic countries which have similar strengths and interests including advancing research in halal vaccines, increase student-exchange especially at Master’s and Doctorate levels and offer post-doctoral programmes.
Prof. Hind Mamdouh Hanafy, the Vice-President (Graduate Studies and Research) signed the document on behalf of Alexandria University while Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli signed the documents on behalf of USM.
Prof. Hind Mamdouh Hanafy emphasized that Alexandria University is also working on developing Science and Technology through various research efforts, including research in the field of nano technology.
She said that currently, Alexandria University is forging close ties with a university in Japan for this purpose.
She welcomed the collaboration between both parties.
Collaboration with USM is important because it utilises the expertise among Islamic nations for common interests and to further advance nano technology through smart partnerships such as this, he added.
Alexandria University was set up in 1938 with more than 17 000 students and 5 000 staff. More than 500 Malaysian students are currently studying Medicine here.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the Nano-Optoelectronics Research and TechnologyLaboratory (N.O.R) USM, Prof. Kamarulazizi Ibrahim who also witnessed the MoU signing ceremony, said that the nano technology laboratory, set up in 2005 at the USM campus, Penang was now ready to further explore its role by forging collaborative ties with world-renowned universities.
The fully equipped laboratory, built at a cost of RM25 million for the purpose of designing and studying materials that will benefit nano technology is among one of the best in the Asean region.
“Nano- technology is very important and has great potential in producing new materials that can be used in various fields especially in medicine, electronics and energy production. In fact the laboratory can help in tackling various issues in the use of nano technology that has a huge impact on the environment and the production of certain equipment,” Prof. Kamarulazizi added.
Nanotechnology is a study of materials or devices ranging from one to several hundred nanometers that are found in nature including the cells that are the building blocks for the creation of man.
Prof. Kamarulazizi, said that nano technology research in USM is focused on the efforts to develop, design and produce devices for “Blue light emitting”, similar to the production of light emitting diodes (LDs) that are cost-saving and environmentally friendly and laser diodes (LDs) that are regarded as very important in the electronic industry, semiconductors, medicine and others.
The USM Vice-Chancellor is on an official visit to forge close ties with universities in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development), USM, Profesor Omar Osman is also in attendance.