Universiti Malaysia Sarawak is Malaysia’s 8th university. A university that is contemporary in character and forward-looking in outlook, it is committed in providing the nation with leaders, managers, scientists and technical specialists as well as thoughtful citizens who are capable of handling the complex challenges of our common future - confidently, competently, and creatively.
As of September 2013, UNIMAS total enrolment is 16,085 consisting of 14,033 undergraduates, 1,343 postgraduates and 709 pre-university students. In addition, a total of 2,189 staff have been employed as of August 2013.
UNIMAS has won the Premiere Information Technology Award from the Malaysian Government, the “Bridging the Digital Divide” category of AFACT’s eAsia Award. It has also won the Industry Innovators Award for System Development and Application from the US-based Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), for its success in setting up a telecentre in the remote community of Bario, Sarawak, to assist the community in communication, education, e-commerce, health and government services.
Today, UNIMAS’s strength in research is being acknowledged by peers in at least three niche areas of research:
• Biotechnological research in epidemiology (dengue, JE, FMHD, malaria), biogeography (phylogenetics) and agriculture (sago);
• ICT, specifically on rural communication and image analysis; and
• Biodiversity, natural resource and environmental management.
Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) , formerly known as the Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics (CoERI) is a research institute in University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) established in 2011. The institute aims to empower marginalized communities by developing and deploying innovative solutions catering to four niche areas: Community Sustainability, ICT for Development (ICT4D), Socio-Technical Innovation and Indigenous Knowledge Management. The institute is actively contributing to fourteen of the17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations with its community based research projects in the rural areas.
Some of the projects include:
eBario: A multi-award winning ‘bridge-the-digital-divide’ project which introduced ICT infrastructures and internet access to Bario - a remote village in the Borneo Island of Malaysia, back in 1999. The project set out to define the extent to which contemporary ICTs could deliver sustainable human development to remote rural communities.
TPOA: The ‘Telecenter Program for Orang Asli’ is a community-university initiative to develop community telecentre in West Malaysia, as a platform to enhance quality of life through mobilizing community, building capacities, identifying programmatic gaps, and impacting social policy.
Creative Culture: The project is an initiative to address educational challenges within the context of inclusive learning for learners from the rural parts of Malaysia Borneo. The project enhances creative thinking and development in education (primary and secondary levels) through game design and computational thinking approach.
COMPETEN-SEA: The project offers MOOC-based educational intervention to empower rural communities mostly excluded from traditional educational outreach.