12 APRIL 2016

UMK Earns European Union Research Grant Aimed at Enhancing Media Literacy Among Public


Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) stands to play a bigger role in helping to improve the impact of media literacy on Malaysia’s social change through its participation in the MedLit Project (Media Literacy and Social Change) under the Erasmus+ grant funded by the European Union (EU).

UMK Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mortaza Mohamed, said that the research programme, with a total funding of 1.9 million Euros (RM 9 millions), is one of the researches conducted by Erasmus+ along with several universities in Asia and Europe that aims to support education, training, youth and sports. In his address, he stated that the research funding will be evenly divided across nine participating universities from six countries namely Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Netherlands and Austria. The research project will be helmed by Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer, an expert in mass communication from University of Vienna, Austria.


Speaking at the MedLit Project Letter of Understanding (LoU) signing ceremony held on 12th April 2016 at UMK City Campus, he expressed his delight at UMK being one of the two local public universities selected to participate in the two-year project that delves into the importance of media literacy in affecting social change in European and Asian societies. The LoU signing was done by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mortaza Mohamed and Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer and witnessed by UMK Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ibrahim Che Omar and Legal Advisor, Mr. Nor Azli Ahamed.

At UMK level, the research programme will be headed by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ibrahim Che Omar and comprises of six professors tasked with overseeing the project under the supervision of UMK Global Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation Centre (GERIC). UMK’s involvement in the project not only highlights EU’s acknowledgement of the capability and expertise of its researchers but also draws inflow of Euro currency into domestic fund.

Further, the MedLit Project addresses the importance of media as medium for information and knowledge dissemination and how it significantly influences current social media and gadgetry trend especially among the younger generation. It thus becomes an important tool in driving the ability to invent, disseminate and benefit information and knowledge, often considered as the single most crucial factor in enhancing economic growth and improving quality of life. This project attempts to study the influence of media on culture and literacy amongst the community in Malaysia. The Vice Chancellor hoped that the organization of various seminar, courses and bilateral discussion related to the research effort in Kelantan will go a long way in assisting the state’s economic growth.

In his speech, Prof. Thomas A. Bauer spoke of the importance of the level of media usage in determining a nation’s competitiveness in the borderless world and the key role played by the government of developing countries in shaping their media development. He clarified that media literacy not only refers to the capability to read media reports but also takes into account its interpretation from various multicultural perspectives. Prof. Thomas also hoped for the pooling of experience and expertise between European and Asian countries through the research programme.


Following the signing ceremony, a two-way dialog session involving Prof. Thomas A. Bauer and media practitioners in Kelantan. Among the attendees were Chief Reporter of Sinar Harian Kelantan, Mohd. Zailani Ab. Rahman, Bureau Chief of Utusan Malaysia Kelantan, Mohd Azran Fitri Rahim and Chief Staff of The Star Kelantan, Syed Azhar.