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Universiti Malaysia Kelantan vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azizi Ismail (left) with international students, ambassadors and embassy representatives at the Ambasssadorial Hi-Tea in Kuala Lumpur recently. -NSTP/OWEE AH CHUN.
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azizi Ismail (left) with international students, ambassadors and embassy representatives at the Ambasssadorial Hi-Tea in Kuala Lumpur recently. -NSTP/OWEE AH CHUN.

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) intends to increase its international student population to boost its visibility, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship education.

With a target of 300 international students by year-end, UMK believes it has the expertise to attract international students to pursue further studies at the university.

UMK vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azizi Ismail said the university hopes to have 10 per cent of its student population from abroad within the next two years.

“The marketability rate of our graduates have skyrocketed from 53 per cent in 2017 to 89 per cent last year, ranking us fourth among public universities for graduate employability. Of the figure, 9.85 per cent have become graduate entrepreneurs.

“This brings us closer to realising our vision of yielding graduate entrepreneurism as well as entrepreneurial and enterprising graduates in practice.”

He said UMK would step up efforts in creating strategic collaborations and partnerships to introduce and promote its academic programmes internationally.

One of the ways was to embark on the Ambassadorial Talk Series, which aimed to invite ambassadors or foreign diplomats to the university to share ideas and views on current issues, besides getting their input on the educational needs of their countries.

UMK held its first Ambassadorial Hi-Tea in Kuala Lumpur, themed “Towards International Sustainability” last month, which was attended by ambassadors and embassy representatives of Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Senegal, Ghana, Iraq, Indonesia and Thailand.

“We plan to hold two more of such events later this year,” said Noor Azizi.

“The feedback we received from the embassies are very positive, and they are very excited about the entrepreneurial education we offer.

“UMK wants to grow and have a close and ongoing relationship with the embassies as it not only gives confidence to existing international students, but brings many other benefits, such as new student enrolment, international collaboration projects and increase UMK visibility in the eyes of the world.”

The Ambassadorial Hi-Tea was also attended by 12 international students and three UMK international staff members.

At the event, Indonesia student Ainnur Shahirah Hasyim, who is in her second-year at the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business, shared her experience of studying at UMK.

She said the cultural similarities between Malaysia and Indonesia had helped her to adapt and study at UMK.

A PhD student from Ghana, Solomon Zaato, described his learning experience at UMK as relevant and conducive, especially under the supervision of highly qualified UMK professors in entrepreneurship.

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