Perak’s Illustrious Sultan Forges Transcontinental Academic Accord

By Balqis Jazimah Zahari
Photo: Fb Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan negeri

In an unprecedented move brimming with academic promise, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak has given his regal assent to a groundbreaking Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). The pact, signed with grandeur during a ceremony of dignitaries, solidifies a historic partnership between the venerable Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and the prestigious Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (OXCIS) in the United Kingdom.

Adding an air of grace to this momentous occasion was Raja Tuanku Zara Salim, who donning the role of UPSI’s esteemed Chancellor. As the sun bathed the ceremony in a golden hue, Sultan Nazrin and Tuanku Zara stood witness to the fruition of this alliance, one that stands to transcend borders and educational paradigms.

Representing UPSI were its erudite Vice Chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Md Amin Md Taff, and the Chief Deputy Registrar, Helmi Zaifura Abdul Rahman. On the venerable OXCIS side, the dais bore the presence of the distinguished Director, Dr Farhan Ahmad Nizami, and OXCIS Fellow from the hallowed halls of the University of Oxford, Prof Datuk Dr Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti.

Amidst this august gathering, the Menteri Besar of Perak, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, stood alongside his wife, Datin Seri Aezer Zubin, lending their support to the collaboration.

In eloquent prose, Prof Dr Md Amin conveyed the essence of this partnership, describing it as the harbinger of a new chapter in academia, where heritage, tradition, and scholastic eminence unite. The crux of this MoA, he revealed, unveils a visionary ‘Qari-in-Residence’ initiative. This innovative endeavour, slated to take root in 2024, is set to usher selected students from UPSI’s Tahfiz and Turath Islamic programs to OXCIS’s esteemed halls during the sacred month of Ramadan.

The visionary program is more than a mere academic exchange; it presents an immersive opportunity for these scholars to intertwine with the local OXCIS community. The exchange promises not only a transfer of knowledge but also an invaluable tapestry of experiences woven through community activities. Prof Dr Md Amin painted this initiative as a testament to internationalisation, perfectly aligned with the Ministry of Higher Education’s ambitions of empowering students on the global stage.

With the MoA inked and the foundations laid, academics, leaders, and visionaries from two distinct corners of the world now embark on a shared journey. A journey poised to redefine the boundaries of scholarly collaboration and foster a harmonious symphony of ideas across continents.

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