By Revda Selver
GOMBAK, 29 May 2023: In an effort to address the concerns of the international student community at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Hussein Ahmed, a third-year Yemeni student, emerged as the sole candidate for the International Office in the IIUM Student Union (IIUMSU) Election 2023 and thus, appointed to represent international students.
During the third dialogue session of the IIUMSU Election 2023 on Friday (19 May) involved Hussein who expressed his worries about the decreasing number of international students applying to the IIUM.
“The percentage of international students has dropped from 30% to 11% over the past five years,” he highlighted.
For him, the rise in tuition fees at the IIUM has contributed to the decline in international student enrollment, a trend that Hussein aims to reverse after his appointment.
He conveyed his plans to engage with the university’s higher management so as to emphasize the importance of promoting the IIUM in the Middle East and leveraging social media influencers to enhance the university’s reputation.
Hussein’s campaign manifesto reflected the pressing issues faced by international students. The first item on his agenda will be to foster integration between local and international students; acknowledging the need for collaboration with local clubs and societies.
“I will be focused on fostering collaborations between Al-Salam club and local clubs,” he said once he is appointed.
He recognized the significant opportunity for collaboration that the Global Ummatic Festival week provides. Hussein believed that engaging international and local clubs will be key in bridging the gap among IIUM students.
When asked about visa issues, Hussein acknowledged the progress made by his predecessors and their efforts in improving the efficiency of the visa unit. He pledged to continue enhancing the facilities of the visa unit for international students.
He also mentioned his plans to address the concerns of international students and to ensure their voices are heard. “Student feedback is crucial in guiding us and in focusing our efforts on the right place,” he expressed.
The lack of participation in IIUM Student Union elections and the subsequent nomination of only one candidate for the international office in 2023, in his opinion reflects the lack of trust in the union’s effectiveness.
Hussein vowed to revitalize the students’ trust by being more responsive to their needs and concerns. “I am determined to ensure that the Student Union is a platform that truly represents the voices of all international students,” he pledged.
The dialogue was attended by some 20 students and was held in LT 1 Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences (KENMS). ***