Leading experts in international education have told how building international research capacity is key to achieving Malaysia’s ambitious 2020 economic vision.
Addressing journalists at a media breakfast in Kuala Lumpur, Professor Christine Ennew and Dr Christopher Hill from The University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus (UNMC) explained that the right policy needed to be in place for the country to reap the full benefits of the exponential rise of trans-national education.
The University of Nottingham was one of the first international universities to set up a campus in the country, in 2000, and it has since been joined by a number of trans-national education providers, most recently in the new EduCity, to the south of the country. But the Malaysian government is putting a stop to future international campuses.
Professor Ennew, Pro-Vice Chancellor/CEO and Provost, UNMC, explained: “Now that there’s a moratorium on foreign campuses in Malaysia, the government is more in control. To help achieve its vision, it needs to recognise that education providers are better as collaborators than competitors.”
The statistics speak for themselves. The country’s popularity as a study education for overseas students has witnessed an exponential rise in the short space of a decade, from 15,000 in 2000 − the year UNMC was established − to almost 87,000 in 2010, according to a study by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education.
International education is big business in Malaysia and part of the strategy behind the vision, with the aim of increasing its quota of overseas students from 90,000 in 2011 to 200,000 by 2020. Quoting the country’s education minister, Dr Hill explained how, in financial terms, this would translate into an additional RM600 billion (GBP 120 billion) to the economy.
Dr Hill, Director, Research Training and Academic Development, UNMC, added: “Malaysia is a great case study, as its experience of international education has now come full circle. It was originally something driven by necessity, and now it is fully aligned to the national strategic direction.”
The media breakfast came ahead of the Nottingham Global Network event in Indonesia (1-2 July), which will bring together delegates from 15 prestigious universities from around the world, all of which have teaching links with the University of Nottingham. Hosted by Jakarta’s BINUS University, the conference comes at an important time for international education in Indonesia, sparked by the country’s economic growth and development.The University of Nottingham has recently been honoured in recognition of its international strategy at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards and the inaugural Guardian University Awards.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
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