International conference on community-based service learning in Borneo

International conference to explore community-based service learning in Borneo.

KUCHING: An international conference on Community-Based Service-Learning in Borneo will be held on June 15 and 16, co-hosted together by University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Cornell University.

The conference will highlight cross-cultural, cross-national, and interdisciplinary learning gained through the partnership of the three conference organisers and their community partners in Long Lamai, Bawang Assan, and Machan in Malaysia.

Students from Cornell, UCTS, and Unimas have been working with Malaysian partners through the Global Citizenship and Sustainability programme since 2016 and each year, research teams collaborate with village leaders to conduct community-based research in order to get a better knowledge of the concerns of digital preservation, climate change, and cultural resiliency.

“The conference will feature a wide range of faculty, students, community members, and speakers from around the world. The opening speeches will be delivered by Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid, vice-chancellor, UCTS; Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, vice-chancellor Unimas; Ryan Lombardi, vice-president for student and campus life; and Katherine McComas, vice-provost for engagement and land-grant affairs, Cornell University.

“The other speakers represent the Association for Progressive Communications, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Griffith University Australia, University of Cape Town, University of Waikato, New Zealand, and Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia respectively,” a statement said.

“Moderated by Amy Kuo Somchanhmavong (Cornell), Dr Tariq Zaman (UCTS), and ‪Dr Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer (Unimas), the conference keynotes will be delivered by Dr Eric Hartman, co-founder of the community-based Global Learning Collaborative; Prof Carol Ma of University of Social Sciences, Singapore; Prof Shorna Allred, Cornell University; and Garen Jengan, village elder of Long Lamai.”

The speakers will discuss how academia, students, and community members may continually learn together across multiple knowledge systems which the conference will delve deeper into ways to community-based learning in academia, in addition to reflecting on the long-term cooperation.

The conference is sponsored by Yayasan Sarawak, Office of Engagement Initiatives, Cornell University, and The International Network for Postgraduate Students in the Area of ICT4D of Spider, Stockholm University.

For further information, contact conference general chair and head of the Advanced Centre for Sustainable Socioeconomic and Technological Development, UCTS at tariqzaman@ucts.edu.my. Registration is open until June 5.