Walailak University's School of Science and Universiti Sains Malaysia's School of Biological Sciences have joined hands to organize the Inter-University Bio-Link 6.0 program. This collaborative initiative, taking place from 17 to 20 May 2023, aims to provide students with an opportunity to exchange knowledge in the field of biology, create a dynamic learning environment, and encourage potential research collaborations among faculty members.
Yesterday, on 18 May 2023, at the opening ceremony held at Khao Luang Chamber of Cooperative Education Building, Walailak University, Assistant Professor Dr. Patnarin Supakorn, Director of the Center of International Affairs, along with Associate Professor Dr. Mullica Jaroensutasinee, Dean of the School of Science, and Associate Professor Dr. Chatchai Kanlayanapaphon, Head of the Department of Biology at the School of Science, warmly welcomed students and professors from School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), led by Dr. Mohamad Fadhli Bin Mad' Atari and Dr. Rosazlina Binti Rusly.
Assistant Professor Dr. Patnarin briefed the students and professors from Universiti Sains Malaysia about Walailak University’s history and overview. In the past academic year, Walailak University was awarded the QS Asia University Rankings 2023 as one of the top 551-600 Asian universities and was placed at 1501+ by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023. During the welcome address, Dean Mullica expressed her enthusiasm for hosting the program and mentioned the possibility of organizing a marine ecology class, offering students the unique opportunity to explore captivating coral reefs and seagrass areas in the southern part of Thailand.
Initially supposed to be launched in 2020, the Inter-University Bio-Link 6.0 program has been postponed due to the unforeseen challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the pandemic under control, the program has finally commenced. Ms. Chirawan Rattanasuk, a third-year student majoring in Entomology and Parasitology from the School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, shared her excitement, expressing how Walailak University’s environment and its proximity to the beach captivated her interest. "It is a very beautiful campus, and it's located near the beach as well, where we can go and see pink dolphins and all those," she said.
"This will be a good collaboration between Walailak University and USM in the future in our field, biology. We share a common interest in studying biodiversity, and I’m very impressed by their motto, which states Excellent through Biodiversity, said Associate Professor Dr. Chatchai, emphasizing the potential collaboration between the two institutions. “This means that we can study biodiversity in the Malay peninsula, which includes Southern Thailand and Malaysia,” he added.
After the opening ceremony at the Khao Luang Chamber, the students and professors from Universiti Sains Malaysia were led on a tour of Walailak Botanic Park, a 533-acre land that covers a traditional forest area, an herb garden, and an eight-story sky tower that offers a scenic view of the university and Khao Luang National Park. Apart from academic exchanges, the program offers a diverse range of activities, including visits to Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum, the principal Buddhist temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province - Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, engaging in beach activities in Khanom District, and exploring the captivating Wat Chedi (Ai Khai Temple).
"We hope that our students return to USM and learn as much as possible from our friendly Walailak University," said Dr. Mohamad Fadhli Bin Mad' Atari. He also emphasized the potential for future collaborations in internships and other cooperative endeavors. Looking ahead, during the first-semester break in September 2023, the team from the Department of Biology at the School of Science, Walailak University, is planning their first visit to Universiti Sains Malaysia, further strengthening this fruitful collaboration.
Photos by Settaboot Onphakdee and Center for International Affairs
News by Settaboot Onphakdee, Division of Corporate Communication