Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Japan Research Mobility Programs: Evaluating the Disturbance from Malaysians’ Perspective
Research mobility contributes to quality education by fostering intellectual knowledge sharing and mutual cultural understanding. In Malaysia, large number of researchers and students have actively joined Japan mobility programs every year. During the mobility, both Japanese and Malaysian researchers would discuss research plans and outputs. However, COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the existing research mobility model. Due to safety concern, international travel was prohibited and outbound mobility was postponed or shifted to online platform. In this study, a survey was conducted to investigate the disturbance on research mobility caused by COVID-19. Questionnaires were distributed among Malaysian researchers and students to evaluate the impact in terms of intellectual knowledge transfer, networking and communication as well as research productivity. The findings showed that the pandemic has significant disturbance on networking and communication (p = 0.000). Intuitively, we have deduced the disturbance is caused by the hindrance to strong bond building with Japanese researchers after the COVID-19 outbreak. Hence, future studies should explore the strategies to overcome the obstacles of networking and communication in post COVID-19 era.
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