IPOH: Quest International University (QIU) and RYTHM Foundation have jointly launched the QIU Community Impact Programme to cultivate a culture of social responsibility among its faculty and students.
Primarily aimed at nurturing students to become socially responsible scholars, creative thinkers, and thought leaders, the university also encourages them and its faculty members to serve others and build bridges within their communities.
RYTHM Foundation is the social impact initiative of the QI Group. The Foundation empowers lives and transforms communities through various sustainable impact initiatives.
This emphasis on sustainability is evident through various activities within the QIU Community Impact Programme framework. The Foundation has worked with a dedicated in-house university committee since 2022 on numerous community development projects to help a diverse range of communities.
Recent projects under this programme have included digital and financial literacy workshops for the capacity building of single mothers operating home-based micro-enterprises, academic coaching for Form 5 students from underprivileged households, soup kitchens, and public health campaigns.
QIU also recently held a tree-planting and community clean-up exercise at the Tasik Taman Indah park and jogging track with support from the Department of Drainage and Irrigation and the Global Environment Centre. Other community service activities have included Christmas events with children with special needs, and workshops on healthy eating, mental health, horticulture and more.
The university has worked closely with various state government entities to see these efforts through, including the Health Department, Women’s Development Department, and Hospital Besar Raja Permaisuri Bainun.
Since the initiatives began last year, more than 160 QIU employees have participated in the 2022 community impact activities that benefitted the children, women and other communities in Ipoh.
“Volunteerism and community service have always been integral to our corporate ethos because we believe in the critical role private entities play in community engagement,” the Founder and Executive Chairman of the QI Group, Datuk Seri Dr Vijay Eswaran, said during the launch. QIU is the education arm of the Group.
“With the QIU Community Impact programme, we are taking things further in our academic approach by encapsulating social responsibility into our strategic goals alongside our commitment to research and education.
“As citizens and leaders of tomorrow, we want to ensure our staff and students develop both academic and professional skills and a sense of ethical, social, and environmental responsibility towards the societies they will serve. Now is the time to make a difference; now is the only time we have.”
The Chairperson of RYTHM Foundation, Datin Seri Umayal Eswaran, said the Foundation’s focus is to go beyond social responsibility and emphasise community development through the capacity building of local, underserved communities for the long run.
“With the rate of inequalities still rampant, our initiatives create education and vocational training opportunities, impart personal development and life skills, and contribute to environmental sustainability. Our goal is to equip people to open windows of opportunities and break down the disparities engulfing low-income communities,” Datin Sri Umayal added.
“The university is a powerful place to shape lives and minds and we want to see a different breed of students emerging from QIU. We want them to have a heart, serve the community and develop gratitude. We walk the talk, so we hope they follow us on that path.”
The Vice-Chancellor of QIU, Professor Zita Mohd Fahmi, noted that the duty of educational institutions goes beyond academics to educate, empower, and assist the society with resources.
“When we work closely with the community, we help communities grow, and we want our teachers to be part of that impact. But, at the same time, this programme helps our staff and students develop character and values that can transcend throughout their lives.”
The QI Group established QIU in 2011 to develop well-rounded individuals through its cutting edge, market-driven programmes and interdisciplinary research that have a lasting impact on the local and global knowledge economy.