The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and its Department of Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas have signed a memorandum of understanding with Universiti Putra Malaysia in Selangor Darul Ehsan.
The two institutions are developing agreements primarily focusing on the areas of faculty and student exchange for both undergraduates and graduates.
Faculty exchanges may include residence at each institution for lecturing, research, and developing academic or administrative skills.
UPM College of Animal Science students will be able to earn a Poultry Science Certificate from the U of A while Bumpers College students may participate in summer sessions at UPM, including internships with area companies. U of A students will study Malaysian poultry production and processing practices as well as Malaysian culture.
UPM students can transfer to Arkansas for their senior year to complete the certificate program. This is similar to the recent poultry science certificate curriculum agreement signed with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2013 and the dual transfer bachelor’s degree 3-plus-1 program with Arkansas State University in 2017. UPM students must be seniors and have a minimum 2.5 grade point average.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to meet the needs of the poultry industry for highly skilled and qualified graduates,” said Mike Kidd, poultry science department head and director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. “This is another opportunity for students from a different university to spend a year here and position themselves for a great career in poultry. It also opens the door to new opportunities for our students to go overseas and get experiences that will put them at the top of the list when applying for jobs. It’s exciting to get this finalized and we’re looking forward to working with UPM.”
The agreement also allows for collaborative activities such as research and training, externally funded international projects, programs of consulting and evaluation, sponsorship of conferences, publications and exchange of materials.
“This is a win-win,” said Lona Robertson, interim dean of Bumpers College. “We’re able to offer experiences and professional development to our students while also providing opportunities and education to UPM students, who will help meet industry needs by moving into poultry careers.”
The agreement was signed by U of A Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jim Coleman, Robertson and Kidd. Universiti Putra Malaysia was represented by Vice Chancellor Aini Ideris and department head of animal science Loh Teak Chwen.