KUALA LUMPUR, 23 September 2021 - UCSI Group became the first organisation in Malaysia to receive double recognition from a global think tank, United Nations University (UN), Japan as a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) after the first recognition received by UCSI University Kuching campus in 2019.
UCSI Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Dato’ Peter Ng said the recognition provided an opportunity for UCSI to continue to speak out for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
"We will do our utmost to impact the community and champion Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur is anchored on our ironclad belief that no one, Malaysian or non-Malaysian, should ever be left behind.
"Speaking from experience, enhancing access to quality education is one way to improve the life chances of youths in the B40 segment. Various efforts were made to get underprivileged students to stay in school. But the global pandemic turned things on its head. Less fortunate students often lacked the tools to switch to online learning.
"This is where RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur comes in. To be the voice of, and for, the vulnerable. To lead advocacy and raise public awareness of the importance of ESD," he said while speaking at the launch of RCE GKL virtually.
According to him, traditionally, UCSI seeks to provide educational opportunities to refugees and other vulnerable groups who may not gain access to national schools.
He also expressed his gratitude to all parties involved in making RCE GKL a reality as well as the unceasing support from partners in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Australia.
"I would also like to thank the RCEs in Malaysia for their partnership. RCE Greater Gombak, hosted by IIUM, and RCE Central Semenanjung, hosted by Universiti Malaya.
"We also fostered links with the Afghan Youth Empowerment Peace Organisation and we hope that conditions in Kabul will allow them to collaborate with us soon," he added.
RCE GKL is led by Norani Abu Bakar (chairman) assisted by Nurul Fatihah Suhaini (secretary) from the UCSI Group Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Secretariat Office and two vice-chairmen namely UCSI College President and Chief Executive Officer, Associate Professor Dr Mabel Tan Hwee Joo and Thai Ming Yeow from the Central Management Committee of the Buddhist Missionary Society of Malaysia. Apart from that, the treasurer is the Director of Foreign Affairs of the Bahai Malaysia Community, Vidyakaran Subramaniam.
In Norani's presentation, she explained that the centre will focus on Peace with People and Planet in addition to emphasising SDG 4, 13 and 16.
Also at the launch, a forum entitled “The Role of Education in the Development of Peace and Union” was conducted by Dr Mabel Tan.
The invited panellists consisted of UCSI University Council Member, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Datuk Dr Omar Abdul Rahman; Head of the Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia on Sustainable Development Goals (APPGM-SDG), Professor Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria; Senior Director of Business Development, Office of the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Green Technology And Climate Change Centre (MGTC), Elina Jani and Director of the Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity - IIUM, Associate Professor Dr Zainal Sanusi.
There was also RCE GKL Youth Celebration held virtually in the afternoon where the President of the Malaysian Youth Council, Jufitri Joha delivered a welcome speech. Students and educators from all over the country were part of the event in conjunction with International Peace Day.