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DPM to launch outreach plan at Ohio University

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COLUMBUS (Ohio): Malaysia will celebrate its 50th anniversary of strategic partnership with Ohio University with the launch of an outreach programme tomorrow at the university in Athens, Ohio.

The one-day programme, an initiative under the Tun Abdul Razak Chair in Southeast Asian Studies housed at the university's Centre for International Studies, celebrates the long-standing relationship between the university and Malaysia, which started in the mid 1960s.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is here on a four-day official visit, will deliver a keynote address at the launch.

Muhyiddin and his entourage, including his wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman, arrived here on Saturday night.

The partnership with Ohio University had brought new programmes to Malaysia as well as American style of teaching and curriculum to the then Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

The Tun Abdul Razak Chair is unique and made history as the first to be established in a North American university by a foreign government.

Named in honour of second prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the chair is an extraordinary venture in higher education.

Since its establishment in 1981, it has made important contributions to Malaysian-American understanding and educated more than 2,000 Malaysians.

It had helped Americans acquire expertise on Malaysia and Southeast Asia, develop partnerships and build the finest library collection on Malaysia.

The chair had also made it possible for Ohio to host 14 senior professors from Malaysia to teach, conduct research and organise outreach programmes to enhance mutual understanding between the United States and Malaysia. These programmes had produced hundreds of graduates in the business administration, communications and management fields.

To date, there are some 2,400 Ohio University alumni in Malaysia, making it the largest concentration of alumni outside the state of Ohio.

Currently, there are some 100 Malaysians studying at the university.

According to the Ohio University International Studies newsletter, the current Tun Abdul Razak Chair holder, Prof Habibah Ashari, had initiated many conferences, forums and lectures to promote Malaysia.

During the outreach programme tomorrow, a booth managed by Education Malaysia offices from Washington and Chicago will showcase Malaysian graduate students' research work, as well as the varsity professors' researches and collaboration with universities and organisations in Malaysia.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife, Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman (right), meeting Malaysians in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday. Bernama pic


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