DISTED College recently held an auspicious celebration to mark two significant milestones – the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Finnish institution of higher learning HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences (HAAGA-HELIA), and the official opening of SPACE, DISTED’s new student residence.
The MoU, signed on 1st November in the presence of guests which included YB Chow Kon Yeow, Chairman of DISTED College Board of Directors Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap and Honorary Consul of Finland Dato’ Poh Kim Seng, spells out collaborative activities and joint efforts that will contribute to cultural enrichment and scientific progress for both institutions. These include exchange programmes involving students, faculty and staff; transnational education experience study tours; collaborative research and development projects; collaborative development of educational programmes; lectures, seminars and workshops; and exchange of academic information and materials.
The agreement will also pave the way for the establishment of a Finnish Degree Transfer Programme – the first of its kind – in Malaysia. Significantly, the MoU establishes an articulation protocol for students between DISTED and HAAGA-HELIA. For students at DISTED, the articulation arrangement will enable its students to pursue a diploma programme locally, and then proceed to a HAAGA-HELIA degree programme either locally or at the HAAGA-HELIA campus in Finland.
“This collaboration will enable us to tap into the vast pool of expertise and strengths of both institutions to generate new knowledge, innovation and intellectual property. We are honoured to be collaborating with an institution renowned for its teaching excellence and top quality research in business and service,” said Dr Seah Soo Aun, President and CEO of DISTED College.
He also reiterated DISTED’s commitment in ensuring that students receive not only the best education, but also the best facilities, care and support in the form of conducive living and study environment at SPACE, the Student Residence.
“HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences has strong traditions – our oldest campus was established over 120 years ago. These days, HAAGA-HELIA maintains a close and special relationship with businesses in Finland and internationally,” explained Jouni Ahonen, Project Director.
He added, “Our educational programmes are based on real-life business situations and the quality – as in Finnish education generally – is strongly emphasized in our operations. We are sure that these features will bring benefits to Malaysian students and look forward to excellent cooperation with DISTED College.”
In his speech, YB Chow said that the partnership with HAAGA-HELIA will provide a strong catalyst for DISTED in its efforts to be at the forefront of higher education in the country and in the region.
“DISTED’s strategic location in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand growth triangle is ideal in positioning Penang as a regional hub for post-secondary education and tertiary education. I hope that today’s events will set DISTED College on the global educational map and signify the start of many more international initiatives to come,” he elaborated.
On the official opening of SPACE, YB Chow commended DISTED’s decision for having the DISTED Student Residence situated at Lebuh King, as it coincides with efforts to breathe life into the inner George Town area. The opening of SPACE was marked by a symbolic cutting of ribbons by YB Chow, Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap, Chairman of Sunyield Venture Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Dr Chin Fook Weng and Dr Seah Soo Aun.
SPACE is currently home to over 100 local and international students coming from as far as China, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Russia.
The auspicious occasion celebrating the two milestones was also marked with a high-energy lion dance performance to signify blessings, good fortune and well wishes. The ceremony culminated with YB Chow cutting a specially prepared cake at the Paul Loiis Café, operated by one of DISTED’s alumnus.