Lancaster and Sunway business experts collaborate to tackle sustainability challenges

Staff from Lancaster University and Sunway University stand together in two rows in a courtyard at Sunway, with green trees and modern architecture in the background. © Raja Amirul Azizi Raja Amir

A joint research conference between Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) and Sunway Business School (SBS) has sown the seeds of future collaboration and meaningful impact.

‘Collaborating to build a sustainable future together’ brought together experts from both institutions to address major issues.

The conference aimed to showcase staff research at LUMS and SBS; encourage and strengthen research collaborations between the Schools; provide a platform to share ongoing research; identify areas for future joint research-funded initiatives; and engage with local businesses to develop impact case studies. It was supported by the Global Advancement Fund, which seeks to support innovation and connectivity across Lancaster's global networks.

Professor Andy Schofield, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, and Professor Sibrandes Poppema, President of Sunway University, launched the event alongside Professor Mahendhiran Sanggaran Nair, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Engagement & Impact) and Professor Lim Weng Marc, Dean of Sunway Business School.

Dr Hina Khan, Director of International Teaching Partnership Engagement in LUMS’ Department of Marketing, co-chaired the conference with Professor Yuka Fujimoto, Associate Dean (Research) at SBS.

Dr Khan said: “The conference was an enriching and fruitful experience, fostering academic collaboration, networking, and meaningful connections that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the participants and their institutions.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the participants and organisers from both institutions who turned the conference into a truly visionary and memorable event. Together, we embarked on a journey towards a brighter and more interconnected future. We eagerly anticipate seeing you all again in 2024 at LUMS!”

Lancaster academics who took part were co-chairs Professor Marwan Izzeldin, Professor Shantanu Banerjee, Dr Kwok Tong Soo, Brian Gregory – who moderated a research hackathon bringing together Malaysian industry leaders and academics to discuss potential solutions to sustainability challenges – Dr Yu Fu, Dr Amjad Fayoumi, and Dr Uzair Shah. The Keynote address was delivered by Professor Ian Walker.

As well as being part of the conference, LUMS academics had the opportunity to showcase their departments, and meet and explore the various avenues of collaboration. LUMS colleagues also attended a study abroad event with exchange students heading to Lancaster and responded to their queries.

Dr Amjad Fayoumi gives a presentation at Sunway Business School, speaking in front of a large screen displaying a PowerPoint presentation about the Department of Management Science's research

Professor Izzeldin, Associate Dean (International) at LUMS and a conference co-chair, was pleased with the success of the event. He said: “Throughout the conference, there were invigorating debates, new research ideas emerged, and inspiration for future collaborations permeated the atmosphere. It proved to be a resounding success, fulfilling its goal of fostering academic collaboration and paving the way for promising opportunities for the participants from both institutions.

“This has been the beginning of a transformational journey. Ideas have been sown, connections woven, and a collective passion ignited to carve a sustainable future.”

The research conference was part of a week of celebrations between Lancaster and Sunway, which saw 890 students graduate across 26 degree programmes – attended and participated in by the LUMS travelling party – as well as award presentations and other events. Now in its 17th year, the partnership between Lancaster and Sunway is the largest UK-Malaysia Transnational Education partnership.

Professor Simon Guy, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global of Lancaster University, was at Sunway for the events. He said: “A joint conference bringing together academics from our business and management schools held during graduation week demonstrates how our partnership is developing to create globally significant research collaboration.”

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