Miri – 21 September 2011 – Over 5,500 visitors thronged the campus of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) during its fifth Curtin Open Day on 10 September 2011.
According to the organising chairman and corporate communications manager of the university, Nicholas Leong, the number was a two-fold increase over last year and the largest ever for the annual event.
He said the much larger crowd was due to a greater awareness of the Curtin Open Day amongst potential students keen to learn more about studying at Curtin Sarawak, as well as the general public who took the opportunity to visit the campus and enjoy the day’s festivities.
Themed ‘Make Tomorrow Better’, Curtin Open Day 2011 featured an Innovation Expo showcasing the activities and achievements of the university’s three schools, including some of their newest, cutting edge and most interesting research, and how they are helping ‘make tomorrow better’ through community outreach projects.
Another popular attraction was the Future Students Booth where potential students were able to learn more about Curtin Sarawak’s wide range of academic programmes, teaching and learning facilities, and campus life, as well as scholarships and study loans available.
Visiting secondary school students also got to attend a How To Be A Champion study skills workshop and academic talks on academic skills, social networking as a business tool, and electrical and computer engineering by academicians of the School of Foundation & Continuing Studies, School of Business and School of Engineering & Science.
Lending an air of festivity to the event were over 60 stalls selling local and international food, as well as games and retail stalls, operated by Curtin Sarawak’s student clubs and local businesses.
As part of the event’s community outreach initiatives, there was a blood donation drive to support the Miri Blood Bank, as well as free health checks by medical staff of Columbia Asia Hospital, Miri. There was also a Charity & Community Corner where over 10 non-governmental organisations promoted their charitable and community causes.
The Main Stage was the focal point of the event, with the campus’ scenic man-made lake in the background. Activities there included stage performances, a cultural dance competition, ‘Miri Got Talent’ contest and hourly lucky draws, which drew huge crowds throughout the day.
Over at the Kiddies Corner in the Recreation & Event Centre, some 300 children delighted in the clowns and cartoon character mascots, bouncy castles, sand art and video games, as well as a colouring competition, spelling bee and stage performances.
Also at the same venue was an Environmental Awareness Corner showcasing Miri’s Local Agenda 21 and other environmental initiatives in collaboration with the Miri City Council.
Rounding off the attractions was a Bike Show, which was held for the first time and featured displays of big bikes, scooters, electric motorbikes and bicycles.
Former Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam, who is chairman of the Curtin Sarawak Campus Council, launched the event.
Also present were Sarawak Assistant Minister of Communications and Assistant Minister of Sports Datuk Dr. Lee Kim Shin; the Mayor of Miri, Lawrence Lai; Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Curtin Sarawak, Professor Ian Kerr, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Inglis, and Chief Operating Officer James Ng.
In his welcoming speech, Professor Kerr said Curtin Open Day is an auspicious event for Curtin Sarawak being that special occasion each year when the university throws open its doors to the public – very much in the Malaysian spirit of ‘open house’.
He added that potential students stood to have an exceptional experience at Curtin Sarawak, including a vibrant campus lifestyle with an eclectic mix of academic support services and exciting social events, as well as a unique international and cross-cultural learning environment with students and staff from all over the world.
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. Chan meanwhile commented that Mirians should consider themselves very fortunate to have Curtin Sarawak as not many cities can claim to have an international university offering an affordable, quality higher education and a global experience right at their doorstep.
He also commended Curtin Sarawak for making Curtin Open Day 2011 a green event in support of the university’s environmental sustainability programme and Miri’s goal of becoming the first ‘green city’ in Malaysia. In keeping with the green theme, no plastic bags and styrofoam containers were used and visitors were presented eco-friendly shopping bags and recyclable plastic food containers on arrival.