Miri – 21 January 2013 – Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and the Samling Group of Companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on collaborative development at the Curtin Sarawak campus here today.
The Samling Group of Companies is a Malaysian conglomerate with diverse business interests, including timber, oil palm plantations, property development, and automotive businesses in a number of countries worldwide. Curtin Sarawak, meanwhile, is the largest international branch campus of Australia’s Curtin University and one of Malaysia’s leading institutions of higher learning.
While the two organisations have had a longstanding collaboration since the establishment of Curtin Sarawak in 1999, including the Samling Group of Companies’ sponsorship of academic awards and providing internships and job placements for Curtin Sarawak students, the MoU will to formalise the collaboration and provide a framework for even greater ties.
Signing on behalf of the Samling Group of Companies was its chief operating officer, James Ho Yam Kuan, while Professor Ian Kerr, pro vice-chancellor and chief executive, signed for Curtin Sarawak. Witnessing the signing was former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam, who is chair of the Curtin Sarawak Council.
Also present from the Samling Group of Companies were Andrew Wee, Assistant General Manager for Group Administration, and management staff of companies under the group, as well as Professor Yudi Samyudia and Nicholas Ching, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer respectively, from Curtin Sarawak.
In his speech during the ceremony, Dr. Chan said he hoped the MoU will be the basis for greater collaboration between the Samling Group of Companies and Curtin Sarawak in a wide range of areas.
The MoU aims to enhance the current collaboration in student development through placement, internship, scholarships and bursaries, guest lectures, industrial visits and other related matters. It will also establish collaboration in staff development and staff exchange programmes, in addition to exploring opportunities for consultancies, research, and projects of mutual interest; and collaboration in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities for the enhancement of knowledge and the betterment of the community.
Ho, meanwhile, said the MoU represented yet another milestone for the Samling Group of Companies in its ongoing quest to establish cooperative relationships and carry out meaningful projects with institutions of higher learning.
“As a global conglomerate, it has always been our strategic objective to build capacity to match or exceed world class standards, and to raise the standards of professionalism and ethics at all levels. It is for this reason that we have decided to leverage global best practices by working with reputable institutions with the relevant expertise and experience such as Curtin Sarawak,” he added.
Professor Kerr remarked that Curtin Sarawak is committed towards industry-connected innovative teaching and research to develop internationally focused graduates committed to excellence, which it achieves through engaging actively at all levels across all key industry sectors.
“Our courses have applied, practical subjects with a strong emphasis on industry links, which means our students have the opportunity to work with companies in their chosen fields while studying with us. Therefore, we continually seek to build strong links with industry partners like the Samling Group of Companies,” he said.
He said this is in line with Curtin Sarawak’s commitment to supporting Curtin University’s vision to be an international leader shaping the future through its graduates and research, and to be positioned among the top 20 universities in Asia by 2020. Curtin is currently ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.