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Malaysia K4C Hub (USM)

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Hub

Penang, Malaysia

APUCEN (Asia Pacific University-Community Engagement Network)


Philosophy: The K4C@USM Hub was established in line with USM core responsibilities by upholding its social responsibility reform agenda as a public higher education institution and being recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education as the first APEX (Accelerated Programme of Excellence) university in Malaysia. Beyond higher education, the Hub leverages on the USM prowess to instigate positive change to a wider reach from social and economic progresses in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). USM’s APEX seven-thrusts envisioned that society-centric agenda, especially the bottom billions, are being translated with social responsibility actions, and university-community engagement (UCE) projects to yield meaningful impacts to the society.

Aim: The Hub aims to infuse and establish a sustainable community-based participatory research (CBPR)-UCE model with strategic community partner(s) as the organisational culture within USM core responsibilities, beyond higher education.


  • To serve as the platform to promote conversations on the co-creation of knowledge
  • To develop and disseminate CBPR into teaching and learning, as well advocacy
  • To develop and expand the adoption of CBPR as a research method in UCE networking
  • To promote and sustain a strategic UCE networking with numerous stakeholders and community-based organisations


ASYIRAH ABDUL RAHIM (asyirah@usm.my)  is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and and member of the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Her research interests are sustainable city and communities, and education for sustainable development. She is at present the Coordinator of the United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) for Penang and previously from 2011-2012. She is part of the second batch of K4C mentors.

DARSHAN SINGH (darshan@usm.my)  is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Drug Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Besides his research interests in studying illicit drug users, people living with HIV, incarcerated prisoners and female drug users, he is also actively engaged in university-community projects. He is part of the second batch of K4C mentors.

MUZAIMI MUSTAPHA (mmuzaimi@usm.my)  is an Associate Professor in Medical Neuroscience at the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). He is currently the Programme Coordinator for mixed-mode graduate studies (Master and Doctor of Neuroscience). His interests are in the brain reward circuits, cerebrovascular disease and neuroscience university-community engagement. He is part of the second batch of K4C mentors.


Case Project 1 (Asyirah): The project “Co-Construction of Catchment Ecosystem Knowledge of the Semang Kensiu, Ulu Legong, Kedah” aimed to co-construct knowledge of river value appreciation of the Semang Kensiu community for the young and future generations.  Focus of the project is on the importance of preserving water catchment to ensure clean water supply and sense of identity and appreciation of the ecosystem. Community mapping of the village and important sites within water catchment has been conducted, however, the main mapping activity (which include video/ documentation) of the ancestral land had to be deferred due to pandemic situation and movement control order by the government.

Case Project 2 (Darshan): Given the unprecedented emergence of the Covid-19 health crisis, the long-awaited “Program Sentuhan Naluri” which aims to work with people who use drugs (PWUDs) in prisons before their release into the community had to be deferred due to the strict lockdown imposed by the Prison Department. This university-community project aims to introduce PWUDs to addiction fundamentals, equipped them with the right knowledge and information in overcoming relapse and to maintain sobriety after their post-release. The project is slated to kick off at the end of this year and will be carried in two prisons located in the northern region state of Penang and Perlis. In this project, PWUDs will go through an intensive one-full day workshop with the project facilitators and will be conducted in the prison premises. It is hoped that this project will somehow help reduce relapse prevalence or recidivism rate among PWUDs transitioning into the community after their release. A large percentage of jail inmates (PWUDs) are expected to benefit from this university-community project.

Case study 3 (Muzaimi): Project ‘BrainBee@USM’ which involved students’/teachers at the primary/secondary schools in Malaysia. The project aimed to introduce the field (brain science/neuroscience) to the Schools in the form of an extra-curricular engagement, by co-establishing neuroscience clubs in several schools while attracting the rest with neuroscience Quizzes by using standard neuroscience learning resources. To date, the project attracts 13 other local higher education institutions, and participation of over 4000 schools’ students (primary and secondary) and over 600 schools nationwide.


Professor Dato’ Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwaiaileen@usm.my

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