Established in 1905 as the first institute of tertiary education in Malaysia, the University of Malaya has grown rapidly, constantly maintaining its position as the top university in the country. In 2018, the university made waves as it became the only Malaysian university in the world’s top 100 universities, sitting proudly at number #87 in the QS world rankings.
The international student population has seen rapid growth within the University of Malaya in recent years. This is due to one of its policies of ensuring that 5% of the student population comprises International students. At the moment, there are about 3000 international students from over 80 different countries. The university constantly gives its support to international student activities within the university such as the interaction nights, academic workshops and one of its mega events, UMICAFF.
Now imagine this scenario: 25 people from Yemen, Seychelles, Nigeria, India, China, Bangladesh, Singapore, Afghanistan and Egypt dancing under the rain to an Ethiopian song. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, then you’ve probably never heard of UMICAFF.
The University of Malaya International Cultural and Food Festival (UMICAFF) is one of the university’s events, organized and executed by the international students of the university. In 2018, this event was held on the 27th and 28th of November, 2 days of a festival filled with fun, food, fashion and lots of festivities. The University of Malaya comprises over 3000 international students from more than 80 countries. This is a fact that the university community is reminded of every year during UMICAFF.
The 2018 edition of UMICAFF was the biggest one, attracting attention from both local and international bodies. Ambassadors from the embassies of different countries in Malaysia were present to witness the event, and TV stations in Malaysia were just as keen to air the festival. See the videos here
The festival consisted of fashion shows which saw 9 countries showcasing their traditional attires, dance competitions between 12 countries in 8 groups, food and culture showcase by over 20 countries, cultural performances by the international students and so much more. It was an event that had people talking about it many weeks after it was over.
UMICAFF 2018 was a huge success in that it achieved all that it set out to. The objectives of the 2018 edition of the festival, according to the Director Ms Sarah Ghalibah, a student from Indonesia, was to foster unity between the many cultures that made up the university, to bridge the gap between local students and international students, to educate the university community about the various aspects of foreign cultures and most importantly, to truly portray the meaning of Unity in Diversity.
UMICAFF is an initiative of the University of Malaya International Student’s Association. Every year, the committee with support from the Internationa; Student Centre (ISC) devotes immense efforts to making UMICAFF a success. The 2017/2018 committee of UMISA, headed by Mr. Aseel Abotaleb, a Yemeni Student, remodelled UMICAFF, adding newer features which had not been seen in previous years. The entire event was planned and executed by the committee which is made up solely of International Students.
Were you a part of the 2018 UMICAFF event? Then leave your thoughts about it in the comment section below.