About UTAR New Village Community Project
Since its inception, UTAR moves forward to fulfil its vision and mission including its university social responsibility (USR) that has been guided and shaped by its core values stated in its six pillars of education which are Virtue and Morality, Knowledge and Intellect, Sociality and Humanitarianism, Aesthetics and Harmony, Physical and Mental Health and Creativity and Innovation. These core values encompass all the key areas of learning for a holistic education and a balanced life. While it is crucial to attain academic excellence, the development of soft skills, moral values and character building is equally important.
The University ’ s social responsibility projects and initiatives cover a diverse spectrum of activities, rooted in its core values and reflected in its voluntary services in support of the people and the community. From working with the underprivileged in villages and cleaning up homes to collaborations with various key industries to improve products and services and conduct research; these activities are conducted throughout the year, providing enriching experiences for both the givers and receivers.
New villages in Malaysia were formed mainly during the Malayan emergency period (1948-1952) in order to segregate the villagers from supplying any resources to the Malayan Communist Party. To date, there are approximately 613 new villages in Malaysia. However, most of these villages are ageing and there is a lack of job opportunities for the villagers. Aware of this issue, the Science, Technology and Innovations committee of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) worked with the Silverlake Group to design the website www.newvillage.com.my, to promote the uniqueness of the nation ' s Chinese new villages. However, the website was lacking information about these new villages.
UTAR found that it is a good project for students to get involved in contributing to the community; hence the University decided to take up the challenge. UTAR through the Department of Soft Skills Competency (DSSC) initiated a project called the 'New Village Community Project' in 2009 which aims to create opportunities for students to mingle, interact and work with the new village communities and to create meaningful social exchanges, whilst contributing to the economic growth of the new villages. The project began humbly with the survey reports and then followed by the New Village Community Service initiative, ‘We Care We Act’ which aims to cultivate the community spirit among students through the acts of volunteerism; such as providing English and I.T.tuition, organizing school motivational camps; and school or village beautification projects and others.
The project extended its branches of activities later with the New Village Tour, the New Village Survey, the New Village Community Service, the New Village Collaborative Project and the New Village E-Commerce Project.
- New Village Tour is an activity in which UTAR students and partner universities visit new villages as an introduction to them. In this tour, students will be exposed to the New Villages ’ specialties such as food, culture, tourist attractions and small medium enterprises ’ (SMEs) products.
- New Village Survey is an activity in which UTAR students will conduct several visits to the new villages to listen to the villagers to learn and understand better of the issues and problems faced by them. This programme aims to source for any possible solutions to help the new village community.
- New Village Community Service programme with the aim to create opportunities for students to mingle, interact and work with various new village communities outside the cities with the aim to create meaningful social changes.
- New Village Collaborative Project is a project in which UTAR students will collaborate with local foundations, companies and foreign partner universities to serve the villagers. For example, UTAR has collaborated with Kwansei Gakuin University of Japan to introduce Japanese culture to the new village children and promote the local culture to the international students.
- New Village E-Commerce Project is the latest project under the “New Village Community Project” since 2017 in which UTAR students assist SMEs and SMIs to promote their local food and products through e-marketing platforms. Through this programme, the new villages are able to adapt to the latest digital technology to improve their business and promote it to a wider market.
UTAR continues to strive to ensure that these new villages remain relevant in modern society.