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In order to remain competitive and driven in the field of research, expertise and service at both national and international level, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) announced the establishment of the University Centres of Excellence (U-CoE) and Schools Centres of Excellence (SCoE).

The Asian Research Institute for Corruption (ARIC) and Asian Research Institute of Banking and Finance (ARIBF) were among the two U-CoEs as well as the other 17 SCoEs under the auspices of the respective schools which were introduced at a special ceremony yesterday.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dato' Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said a university would not be a good university without centres of excellence.

"Research done today is multi-disciplined, and cannot be done individually. These Centres of Excellence are established so that experts from various disciplines can jointly undertake research in areas of primary focus in order to conduct more comprehensive and relevant study," he said during the ceremony to mark the handing over of letters of appointment to the newly elected key office-bearers of the recently established SCoEs. The ceremony was organised by the Research and Innovation Management Centre (RIMC), UUM at the EDC Hotels & Resorts yesterday.

He further reiterated that in the context of UUM, the setting up of the SCoE would accelerate the intention of the University to create leading centres of excellence (national and international) in the field of management.

According to him, every established SCoE would be required to produce demand-driven and industrial based research which would address real world problem. These researches would of course be in line with the University’s thrust or niche area.

"The investigation focuses on niche areas and this will indirectly make the SCoE as a ‘go to centre’ where solutions are provided to the public, government agencies and industry. This will help the University in terms of branding especially in the field of management and generating income for the University through high impact research similarly carried out by other leading universities such as Harvard University and the University of Oxford," he said.

Earlier a briefing on SCoE was presented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Prof Dr Noor Azizi Ismail.

Meanwhile ARIBF Director, Dr Irwan Shah Zainal Abidin said that the establishment of U-CoE would be a strategic plan to boost research and publication in UUM to a higher level, especially with the emphasis on relevant and high impact research.

"What is important is the collaboration between the lecturers and the industry in conducting research, thus in the long run ARIBF will establish itself as a centre of reference to the parties concerned, be it the government, industry and society as a whole. These are the roles and the basic design of ARIBF in its effort to boost the University’s research agenda," he said.

At the same event, the Vice-Chancellor also presented newly promoted Professors namely Prof. Dr. Azhar Abdul Rahman of the Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz School of Accountancy (Tissa); Prof. Dr. Nor Azila Mohd Noor Abdullah of Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business (OYAGSB); Prof. Dr. Sharipah Soaad Syed Yahaya of the School of Quantitative Sciences (SQS) and Prof. Dr. Shahimi Mokhtar of the School of Technology Management and Logistics (STML) with their respective promotion letters.

Also present to receive their respective appointments letters were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zahirudin Ghazali as the newly appointed OYAGSB Deputy Dean of Academic and International and Dr. Md. Zawawi Abu Bakar as the newly appointed Deputy Dean of the School of Applied Psychology, Social Work and Policy (SAPSP).

Present to witness the ceremony were members of the University Management Committee, members of the Senate, Deans of various Schools and Centres of Authority as well as UUM senior officials.

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