University fest to be held in city for the first time

MIRI: Curtin University Malaysia is staging its International Festival (iFest) at the Miri City Fan recreational park on April 27 from 4pm to 9pm.

iFest 2018 organising chairman Tapfuma Mujaji said the fest attracts more than a thousand visitors each year.

“We hope that by holding it in the city, more will take advantage of the accessibility and added attractions,” he said in a press release.

The event serves as a platform for the university’s international students to showcase their diversity through performances and promote their respective cultures, costumes, cuisine and more.

The event is organised by Curtin Malaysia’s International Students Association (ISA) in collaboration with the Curtin Malaysia Student Council and with support from Miri City Council, Sarawak Tourism Board and local businesses.

It is the first time the annual event is being held off campus since the inaugural festival in 2004.

Curtin Malaysia’s pro vice-chancellor, president and chief executive Prof Jim Mienczakowski said the iFest will showcase Curtin Malaysia as an internationally-focused university.

He said Curtin University was ranked the 26th most international university in the world, and the second-most international university in Australia, in 2016 by Times Higher Education.

“We are also an institution that is closely connected to the local community here in Miri, as evidenced by our many community outreach activities, industry partnerships, and applied research addressing local issues and challenges,” said Prof Mienczakowski.

Tapfuma said this year’s event will feature an eclectic programme of stage performances to showcase the wide variety of cultures and talents of the students.

“There will also be booths promoting individual countries, a fashion show showcasing national costumes, and a gastronomic and visual feast of culinary delights from several countries.”

Students from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Indonesia, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Middle Eastern countries will be taking part.