The Faculty of Built Environment will receive a visit by seven Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) students who will take part in UTM-SKKU Graduate Students Exchange Program beginning from 2nd April until 7th April 2007. Their arrival at the Faculty of Built Environment was welcomed by the Dean, Prof. Dr.Supian Ahmad, Deputy Deans, Heads of Department and participants of the exchange program. The main aim of the program is to provide greater understanding on sustainable planning and development issues both in developed and developing economies.

According to Prof. Supian, SKKU graduate students will be able to gain insights and understanding of Malaysia’s socio-economic development and culture via research and educational activities, cultural experiences and social interaction. UTM graduate students will gain knowledge on development issues in Korea through the conference and the interaction with the other participants. A total of 30 students will be directly involved in various activities during the five day period.

He added that all students involved in the exchange program will participate in a number of research visits and an international conference jointly organised by the Faculty and Graduate School of Governance, SKKU.

The exchange programme will commence on Tuesday 3rd of March with a visit to the several housing development projects in Johor Bahru including the Setia Tropika, one of the largest housing project in the city, the Danga Bay and Johor Bahru City Centre.

On Wednesday 4th April they will visit the Tanjung Piai National Park located at the southern most tip of Asia in Pontian District, Johor. During the whole day visit there, they will be able to discover the National Park rich flora and fauna such as the jungle plant species and various kinds of mangroves. They will be briefed by the Park officials on efforts to conserve the mangrove areas.

On Thursday the 5th the group will participate in the International Conference on Sustainable Planning and Development Issues in Developing Countries. 17 working papers will be presented in the Conference, 7 from SKKU and 10 from UTM with participations of graduate students from Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Algeria and Libya. The panel discussions will be attended by Professor Ho Chin Siong of UTM, Professor Kwang Sik Kim, Korea and Professor Emeritus John Dickey, Virginia Tech University, USA who is a Visiting Professor at the Faculty.

The group will also have a research visit on Thursday 6th April to selected development projects in the eastern part of Johor particularly in the Kejora Regional Development Region. During the day long visit, they will be briefed by Kejora officials and visit to several agriculture as well as tourism projects in the region. Saturday 7th will be the last day for the group when they will be taken to several places in Johor Bahru City including the Urban Forest, Art Gallery and the Tebrau City.

According to Professor Supian, the opportunity to be in Johor will be very meaningful to them since some of the Korean students do not know much about Malaysia and this program will provide them greater understanding about Malaysia socio-economic.