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Friday, 6 September 2013

EduCity project, Iskandar Malaysia

Muhyiddin looking at a model of the MDIS campus during the ceremony in Nusajaya. Looking on is MDIS secretarygeneral Dr R. Theyvendran (second from right) and other dignitaries. 

NUSAJAYA: The EduCity project in Iskandar Malaysia has attracted some RM700mil in investments with the setting up of several international universities, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister, said that 70% of Educity has been developed with three university campuses and two shared facilities.

“Besides EduCity, the Government is also developing Pagoh into a multi-varsity education hub and Bandar Sri Alam in Pasir Gudang as a ‘City of Knowledge’,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) here yesterday.

MDIS, founded in 1956, is Singapore’s oldest non-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. It will invest RM300mil for its campus, which is expected to open in 2015.

Muhyididn said EduCity, which covers an area of 121ha, was now drawing the attention of many international investors.

He stressed that the cross-border investments between Malaysia and Singapore were complementing each country’s economy and it was not a rivalry.

“Singapore boasts some of the best tertiary learning institutions in the world. There is much we can gain by joining forces to woo the best brains to study within our shores instead of competing with each other,” he added.

Malaysia is currently ranked the 11th largest exporter of educational services, providing a place to study for more than 90,000 students from over 100 nations.

Muhyiddin said the country hoped to more than double the figure to 200,000 students by 2020.

The integrated MDIS green campus would have state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate 2,000 students and this will be MDIS’ third campus after its headquarters and main campus in Singapore and its sister campus in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Other campuses within the EduCity include Newcastle University, Malborough College Malaysia and University of Southampton, while the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology is expected to open next month.

Later during a meet-the-people session at Kampung Maju Jaya in Kempas, Muhyiddin said the move to increase the price of RON95 and diesel by 20 sen has been positively received by investors and economists.

“Although it was a painful decision it had to be made to ensure the country’s economy is stable,” he said.

He said that if the Government did not take the necessary steps to increase the price of fuel, it would be worse for the country’s economy.

- Contributed by The Star/Asia News Network.

Malaysia Aims To Attract 200,000 International Students By 2020

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin looking at MDIS campus model after ground breaking ceremony of the campus at Educity Nusajaya Johor

NUSAJAYA, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- The government aims to attract at least 200,000 international students to Malaysia by 2020, further cementing the country's status as one of the world's largest exporters of educational services, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Thursday.

The deputy prime minister and education minister said Malaysia had increased its attractiveness as a tertiary education provider in the global market place.

The country is currently the world's 11th largest exporter of educational services, providing a place to study for over 90,000 students from over 100 nations, he said.

Muhyiddin spoke at the ground-breaking of the Nusajaya campus of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) at Educity, Nusajaya, here.

The RM300-million MDIS campus is the largest overseas investment for the Singapore-based educational institution.

Muhyiddin said the education services sector was one of the targeted nine economic pillars in the Comprehensive Development Plan of the Iskandar Malaysia development corridor, offering excellent investment opportunities for local and foreign investors.

The government, he said, had made a conscious decision to prioritise the private education sector.

"One of the Entry Point Projects identified under Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme is to transform the economic growth corridor in Johor into Asia's choice destination for education by attracting renowned international universities and colleges," he said.

Educity in Nusajaya will make world-class education more accessible to Malaysians and other people in the region, he said, adding that the education enclave was expected to accommodate 16,000 students at full capacity.

The deputy prime minister said 214 acres (86.6 hectares) or 70 per cent of the total 300 acres (121.4 hectares) of Educity had been developed, with three campuses and two shared facilities currently in full operation.

These include the campuses of Newcastle University, Marlborough College Malaysia and University of Southampton, while the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology is scheduled to open its campus next month.

"We will see more institutions operating in Educity in the next three years," said Muhyiddin.

He said he was pleased that the tertiary education sector in Iskandar Malaysia was now drawing the attention of many international investors, including those from Singapore.

Besides MDIS, another Singapore group, Raffles Education Corp, is developing a RM200-million self-contained dedicated campus known as the Raffles University Iskandar, which is due to open in 2015.

Muhyiddin welcomed such cross-border investments from Singapore, saying the republic boasted some of the best tertiary institutions in the world and Educity in Nusajaya could complement the republic's attractiveness as an education hub.

"There is much we can gain by joining forces to woo the best brains to study within our shores, instead of competing against one another, which will only result in lost opportunities and failure to capitalise on our strategic strengths," he said. -- BERNAMA

MDIS makes S$116m footprint in Iskandar

JOHOR — Singapore has increased its presence in the Iskandar area across the border, with private education provider Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) breaking ground on its RM300 million (S$116 million) Malaysia campus yesterday.

At almost five times the size of its Singapore campus, MDIS Iskandar is an example of the keen interest in Malaysia’s first economic growth corridor. Singapore firms — such as Temasek, Ascendas and CapitaLand — have invested about S$2.5 billion in Iskandar since it was set up in 2006, making the country the largest foreign investor, according to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority.

“We welcome such cross-border investments ... Students from various countries have long found it attractive and convenient to pursue their higher-education goals in Singapore. The demand for seats has risen in Singapore, herein lies the strategic advantage of Johor’s EduCity in terms of strategic location, land availability as well as excellent logistical network,” said Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin bin Mohd Yassin, who was the guest of honour at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The 12ha freehold site in EduCity, Nusajaya, will be the second overseas MDIS campus and its largest to date. Its first campus abroad was set up in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, in 2008 for US$20 million (S$25.5 million).

“MDIS Malaysia represents another major step in the firm’s overall strategy to expand our global footprint,” said Dr R Theyvendran, Secretary-General of MDIS.

The Malaysia campus will offer nine diploma courses in business and accounting, information technology and mass communications.

The first phase of MDIS Malaysia is expected to be ready by 2015 to accommodate 2,000 students. Meanwhile, the first batch of about 100 Malaysian students will begin lessons in business management and mass communications at the end of this month at a temporary campus in Johor Bahru City Square, MDIS said. When fully completed in 2023, the campus will be able to enrol 10,000 students.

MDIS said initial enrolment will focus on Malaysian students, with admission of international students at a later phase. The institution is eyeing students from Africa and the Middle East for the Malaysia campus, said Dr Theyvendran.

Malaysia aims to have at least 200,000 international students pursuing higher education in the country by 2020, up from about 90,000 now.

“The education enclave in EduCity will make world-class education more accessible to Malaysians and other people in the region,” Mr Muhyiddin said. He added that EduCity will have institutions at pre-school, primary and secondary levels, making it an “integrated world-class academic hub”.

The 121ha EduCity@Iskandar is a major flagship development in Johor’s Iskandar area, and has attracted more than RM700 million in investments. At full capacity, EduCity is expected to admit 16,000 students.

Eleven educational institutions have committed to developing campuses there, according to EduCity’s website, while the University of Southampton, Newcastle University and Marlborough College Malaysia have already started full operations.

Singapore’s Raffles Education Corp is also developing an RM200 million campus at EduCity.

- Contributed by Lee Yen Nee  Today

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