TUESDAY, 8 MAY – An ‘Educational Visit and University-Industry Interaction Programme’ was successfully conducted yesterday when 25 students taking tourist guide licensing course from Borneo Tourism Institute (BTI) visited Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) under the coordination with the UMS EcoCampus Management Centre.
The visitation and interaction programme was aimed at preparing the students with accurate information about UMS and its campus sustainability concept, named EcoCampus concept, besides introducing the students to various unique tourist attractions within the campus on nature, scenic views, architecture, galleries and museums, and local cultural heritage.
“UMS EcoCampus concept is very encompassing to include not just creating an eco-friendly higher learning environment for our undergraduates and postgraduates from all over the world towards a green lifestyle, but also providing a fresh tourist attraction for the tourism industry in Sabah based on a green campus initiative,” said Deputy Director of the EcoCampus Management Centre, Kueh Boon Hee during his briefing to the BTI students.
“The sharing of green knowledge by UMS equips tourist guide students from BTI with a special set of know-how that is in line with Sabah State Government plan – Sabah Long Term Strategic Action Plan (Sabah LEAP) 2016-2035, and even global agenda – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-2030 under the United Nations,” added Kueh.
Subsequently, the programme gave the students better understanding on the principles and framework pertaining to responsible and sustainable tourism which relates to Sabah LEAP and SDGs, as well as the Region Specific Tourist Guide Course being undertaken by them.
The students from BTI who will become licensed tourist guides upon passing the course in August 2018 were hosted at the EcoCampus Visitor Information Centre (EVIC) within the EcoCampus Park situated at Block C, Faculty of Science and Natural Resources.
EVIC functions as a first-stop information centre for tourists to UMS that contributes to the formation and enhancement of UMS reputation to the general public, locally and internationally.
After the briefing, they were brought around the park, and given a try of the electric pedal assisted bicycles (EPABs) that is a mean of green transportation in the campus for UMS staff, students, and tourists.
EPABs are indeed an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint in the environment we can use the bicycles to move around with ease, fun, and environmental conscience! Next, the students were brought to visit two of UMS’ 7 existing galleries and museums, namely UMS Museum and Galeri BORNEENSIS.
UMS Museum which is situated at the Chancellery Building exhibits the historical journey of UMS since the beginning in 1994, and shows the amount of natural environment that the university has opted to safeguard till now. On the other hand, Galeri BORNEENSIS at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation showcases the wonders of Sabah and Borneo’s terrestrial biodiversity from insects to frogs and toads, and to the endemic Bornean Pygmy Elephant.
BTI students were impressed with the EcoCampus concept, and UMS initiatives and facilities under the concept. Many expressed their surprise and awe.
The half-day programme concluded with BTI students sharing their thoughts and suggestions with Kueh and his EcoCampus Management Centre team. Present during the Programme was BTI Training Coordinator, Janice Hiew.