Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was joined by British Prime Minister, David Cameron on a visit to The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC). This formed part of an official two-day trip by the British Prime Minister to Malaysia underlining long-standing links between Malaysia and the UK.
The visit to UNMC by both Prime Ministers served to emphasise the strong links between the UK and Malaysia.
The Prime Ministers attended a meeting of the Global Movement of Moderates held on campus, followed by a Q&A session on global politics including around 100 UNMC students.
In his speech David Cameron said that University of Nottingham is the best of Malaysia and the best of the UK referring to the University as an excellent bilateral partnership. He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Najib who was instrumental in developing the UNMC campus in his previous capacity as the Education Minister of Malaysia.
“I am proud to be here, the first British overseas campus and it is strange to mention University of Nottingham in this heat,” David Cameron adds.
David Cameron toured the 125-acre parkland campus and heard about the pioneering role played by UNMC – a powerful symbol of successful educational collaboration between the two nations.
The University of Nottingham made history in 2000, building on a strong and longstanding relationship with Malaysia, when it opened the first full overseas campus of a UK university.
UNMC is one of the biggest success stories in global higher education, with more than 4,000 students from 75 countries on a purpose-built campus near Kuala Lumpur. UNMC students study for University of Nottingham degrees that are taught in English and assessed in the same way as at the campuses in the UK and China.
The visit also saw the signing of a Malaysia- UK Joint Statement on Higher Education and Skills at UNMC by Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia and David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science. Both parties decided to continue to support emerging partnership in the context of the MOU, and to consider additional areas of collaboration in Higher Education, Research and Innovation; Announcement of new Scholarship Scheme; Policy and Reform Challenges; Leadership; Further Education and Skills Development and Monitoring Partners in Education.
The signing was followed by a round table meeting between key heads of universities in the UK and Malaysia. The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus was represented by Professor Ian Pashby and Professor Graham Kendall, Vice Provost (Research and Knowledge Transfer).
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is a genuine UK-Malaysia partnership. To have the Prime Ministers from both countries at the campus is a great honour, but also symbolically very powerful.
It is now 12 years since UNMC was established, during which time it has helped pioneer the globalisation of higher education. We are perfectly placed to meet the future challenges set out in the MoU signed during this visit.”
David Cameron’s visit to UNMC was part of the first official visit to Malaysia by a British Prime Minister in almost 20 years. It follows a visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the UK in July 2011.
The University of Nottingham UK enjoys strong ties with Malaysia, and has one of the largest communities of Malaysian students of any UK university. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is himself a Nottingham alumnus, graduating in Industrial Economics in 1974.
Professor Ian Pashby, Provost/ Chief Executive Officer at UNMC, said: “Today is a milestone, as we host two Prime Ministers on our campus who will be addressing a significant global agenda. Bilateral relations between the UK and Malaysia are of great significance to the continued growth of UNMC, as it is a UK university in a Malaysian environment. In addition, this is the perfect location for the signing of an MOU relating to higher education.”
UNMC’s 125-acre parkland campus near Kuala Lumpur takes its design cues from University Park, Nottingham – with a signature lakeside building that echoes the UK’s Trent Building.
The University’s ambitious internationalisation strategy (it also has a campus in Ningbo, China) prompted The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 to describe Nottingham as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university.’
UNMC now provides Foundation, Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in: Applied Psychology, Biosciences, Business & Management, Computer Science & Information Technology, Economics, Education, Engineering, International Communications, Law, Modern Languages, Pharmacy, Politics, History and International Relations and Psychology.
Plans for the next decade focus on building and strengthening its world-class research portfolio. Current projects include Crops for the Future Research Centre, Ecology and conservation (including monitoring and elephant relocation), aerospace studies, autism in Malaysia, Food and Bioproduct Processing, Green Technologies and Drug Discovery & Delivery.