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Professor Dr. Kamila Ghazali is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) at Universiti Malaya since 2018. She has more than 20 years’ experience holding positions in various capacities at the university, national and international levels. She took on the leadership role in the internationalisation of UM from 2008 as the Director of International & Corporate Relations (ICR), Associate Vice-Chancellor (International) in 2015 until today as the DVC. Working with a team to enhance global visibility, contributing towards one of the achievements is the rise of UM in the QS World University Rankings from 151 position in 2015 to 59 position today. Kamila sits on various editorial boards of journals and international advisory committees. She is part of a select senior international leaders called the International Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), which provides further guidance and leadership on future strategy and policy direction. In addition, she is the Chairman of the ASEAN University Network-Disability and Public Policy thematic network (AUN-DPPnet), a program funded by Nippon Foundation, Japan. She is also on the QS-APPLE International Academic Advisory Committee, the Board of Governors and Directors at the International University of Malaya-Wales, and Chairman of the International Sri Bestari School.
As the DVC, she has incorporated changes to the curriculum of the university to provide students with a more broad-based flexible education program called the Student Holistic Empowerment. These are building blocks of the UM DNA – the special set of Graduate Student Attributes (GSA) and values ensuring that UM graduates are highly sought-after high achievers. The programme aims to develop individuals with insights and skills from the core level of the self to creating and harnessing human extensions in the form of technological-innovations all the way to their roles in the community and their responsibilities as members of society.
In the Covid-19 pandemic, she successfully led the university to seamlessly convert all lessons to eLearning, or online learning. This included conducting alternative assessments in place of the traditional examinations as a form of assessment.
She belonged to the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics. Her areas of academic expertise are critical discourse analysis and sociolinguistics with research on political discourse, media discourse, and ethnolinguistics where she delved into the language and culture of indigenous communities. She believes in giving back to society through various research projects with the indigenous communities. In the project on the undocumented Orang Asli Mah Meri language, a book on the description of the language (Bahasa Mah Meri), a monograph of Mah Meri folktales and a trilingual dictionary were published and presented back to the community for posterity. She also used the opportunity to teach English to her informant, who worked as a guide to tourists in the jungles of Endau in one of her other projects with the Orang Asli Jakun community. Her interest in indigenous languages has also brought her to the longhouses in Sarawak, across the South China Sea to Omadal Island off the coast of Sabah and Gerik, Perak to research on the myriad of different indigenous communities that live there.