Move to limit foreign university branch campuses to prevent competition

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Jan 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/28/99
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Move to limit foreign university branch campuses

Friday, January 29, 1999

By Hanizah Hashim

KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs. - The number of foreign universities
allowed to set up campuses in Malaysia will be limited to
prevent negative competition with local institutions of
higher learning.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak
said no decision had been made on the limit as efforts were
still being made to get prestigious foreign universities to
establish campuses here.

He said the setting up of local campuses by universities,
such as the University of Nottingham of the United Kingdom,
was needed to attract students to study locally.

This is the third foreign university to set up a branch
campus here. The others are the Monash University Sunway
Campus and Curtin University Sarawak Campus.

Najib said the number of foreign universities to be allowed
in Malaysia would depend on how well local private colleges
were prepared for the competition.

"There has to be a fine balance between creating a
competitive environment and allowing too many private
universities as it could lead to negative competition.

"What we are doing is making the system more flexible and
giving students more options."

The University of Nottingham's choice of Malaysia for its
"one and only off-shore campus" showed confidence in
Malaysia's objective of becoming a regional centre of
educational excellence.

Najib was speaking after handing over the letter of
invitation to Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithaudeen, chairman of
University of Nottingham in Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the local
partners appointed to set up the Malaysian campus.

The consortium of partners includes Lembaga Tabung Angkatan
Tentera via Boustead Holdings Bhd with 45 per cent equity,
YTL Corporation Bhd with 40 per cent equity with the
remaining 15 per cent equity shared between University of
Nothingham and the Alumni Association.

Also present were British High Commissioner Graham Fry,
University of Nottingham vice-chancellor Sir Colin Campbell,
YTL managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and Boustead
managing director Datuk Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

The University of Nottingham in Malaysia will open next year
with an initial intake of about 300 students in management
and business, electrical and electronic engineering,
computer science and information technology courses.

Its temporary campus will be at the former Majestic Hotel
before moving to the purpose-built campus in Balau,
Semenyih, by 2002.

A member of Universitas 21, an international network of
universities with reputable research and teaching
programmes, University of Nottingham would encourage
student-staff exchanges and collaborative work.

Campbell said under the concept, full credit transfers would
enable students to pursue their studies in 18 campuses
worldwide.


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