The University of Maine and HELP University Malaysia have signed a five-year-long research partnership to encourage cooperation between the institutions. UMaine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HELP University on Dec. 3 which outlines the nature of the partnership.
The memorandum was signed by UMaine Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs John Volin and HELP Vice Chancellor Datuk Paul Chan at a virtual ceremony. Amongst the goals outlined in the agreement are joint research initiatives between the institutions, as well as collaborative programs and faculty exchanges. The partnership will also provide educational transfer pathways for both graduate and undergraduate students.
HELP University was founded in 1986 by Paul Chanat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The institution is one of the leading research institutions in the country, and has programs in business, IT, law, management and economics, among other programs. The institution also has partnerships with over 100 other U.S. and Canadian universities, which have provided over 4,500 students with educational opportunities through the American Degree Transfer Program.
Both institutions are looking forward to the opportunities that this partnership will bring.
“This MOU lays a foundation to be creative and innovative in exploring new academic and research collaborations,” Volin said. “Partnerships such as these send a strong positive signal that we are advancing and growing our international relationships, and they highlight the importance in the broader educational enterprise.”
Chan echoed these sentiments, explaining the potential for climate change research brought about by this partnership.
“In Asia, there’s a great concern about climate change [and] sustainability issues, and UMaine is conducting this type of research,” Chan said. ”Hence, besides the dual MBA program that we’re discussing and the other credit transfer programs in business, psychology, education and so on, we would like to include research, staff development and training. I want to emphasize mobility because we want young Americans and our young Asians, who are both the future leaders of the world, to get to know each other.”
Along with climate science and sustainability, HELP has also created the Center of Regenerative Sustainability, which features a partnership with Thought for Food, an innovation engine for food and agriculture, to explore food sustainability programs.
The institutions are currently exploring a number of transfer pathways for graduate and undergraduate students in their MBA programs. Pathways include a dual MBA program, as well as a 2+2 pathway. Collaborations for other programs include a 3+1 psychology program for undergraduate students and a graduate program in global policy.
Dr. Norm O’Reilly, the dean of UMaine’s Graduate School of Business, spoke to the nature of the program as a great opportunity for the diversification of the university’s MBA program.
“The fact that students would receive two MBA degrees, one from each institution, is not to be underestimated in the current global environment. This partnership has the potential to diversify the student experience, internationalize our classes, share knowledge and graduate leaders with a global perspective,” O’Reilly said.
The collaboration between these institutions promises growth in the fields of business and climate research.