Thursday, November 5, 2009

Putra Malaysia University

Putra Malaysia University is a fascinating institution – noted as the world leader in tropical agriculture, but also keenly aware of its role for developing both the country and also their own standing. The faculty here are focused upon three major areas - adult extension education , youth development, and human resource development – defined as leadership, conflict resolution, and career development. I have arrived as they work through their final examinations (yes three weeks of exams) and then they have a vacation with a start to the new year on December 27th. As an Islam dominant country – the notion of Christmas break is obviously not of the culture and the official religion is Muslim (although there are other religions represented and seen throughout the country. The department has a dominant interest in qualitative research inquiry interest and hopes to be the leading academic institution in the country in this area. The faculty are actively engaged with students, classes, and concerns for the country. I have been amazed that many of them have American doctorates - North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, University of Maryland (with their graduate students discussing also Cornell, Texas A & M, and the British University Brunei (I believe that is the spelling). Today, I had a luncheon meeting with the faculty and had the opportunity to experience a new fruit called Duran- a spiked outside cover, with a distinctive smell and a unique taste. On last observation….Because Malaysia moved their federal government headquarters and all ministries to this area, Putrajaya, it appears that this program has access to key policy makers and political leaders. And they are engaged in research, funded through their university to help with the major national efforts, with examples in “youth development”, and in “gender equity in leadership.”

4 comments:

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