KITA-UKM Awarded the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural Communication

By Asmahanim Amir
Pictures by Centre for Corporate Communications

BANGI, 22 Mac 2019 – The Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has been honoured by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Social Practices in Intercultural Communication and Social Cohesion, recently.

This UNESCO Chair is led by Founder Director of KITA-UKM, Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, one of the Distinguished Professors in Malaysia and a Fellow of the Academy of Science Malaysia.

This is the very first UNESCO Chair to be honoured to UKM and the first in Malaysia within the field of intercultural communication, focusing on ethnic studies and social cohesion.

This award highlights the role of KITA-UKM as the critical focal point for issues pertaining to national unity, integration and social cohesion not only in Malaysia but also throughout South East Asia.

In addition, the award also signifies the leading role of KITA-UKM in the study of inter and intra-ethnic relations, everyday-defined social practices in intercultural communication and the construction of social cohesion.

It also cements the position of UKM as a leading research institution in ethnic studies in Malaysia and the region.

The role of the UNESCO Chair is to act as the hub of collaborative research between various high-level internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff of all institutions in Malaysia and in other regions of the world.

Apart from implementing core business as an academic research institution, KITA-UKM also contributes to public advocacy activities, as exemplified by the recently completed National Unity Index 2018 of Malaysia (IPNas 2018).

From the point of professional engagement, KITA-UKM has also contributed expertise to the private sector, such as the smart partnership with Airbus, a global brand name with an ethnically diverse workforce.