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Monday July 2, 2007

UM out to woo foreign students


KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Malaya (UM) has started recruiting international undergraduate students in an effort to boost its image on a global scale. 

About 300 international students from various countries registered at the university here yesterday. 

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said the university had upgraded the facilities in one of its hostels, the 11th College, to cater to international students. 

He said recruiting international students was to improve its rank in world university rankings, such as the Times Higher Education Supplement’s (THES) World University Rankings. 

New friends: (From left) Nugrahini Widya, 17, from Jakarta, together with Yu An Xin, 18, Tian Xiao Rui, 20, and Gong Lin Jie, 19, from China unpacking after registering at Universiti Malaya in Kuala lumpur.
UM dropped in the THES World University Top 200 Rankings from 89 in 2004 to 169 in 2005 and to 192 last year. 

“Two-thirds of the students in the 11th College this year will be foreign students and they come from China, Iran, Iraq and Yemen. 

UM has also hired more foreign lecturers, he told reporters after visiting the university and meeting some of the foreign students at 11th College. 

Mustapa said UM has 4,370 undergraduate places on offer and it has 29,212 students in total. More than 40,000 students registered at public universities throughout the country yesterday. 

The 11th College master Abdul Jalil Othman said among the upgraded facilities were air-conditioners in some rooms, wireless broadband connection, sports equipment, karaoke and music room and reading corner. 

Abdullah Mohammed, 21, from Yemen, who will be majoring in Theory Communications and Engineering, said he was impressed with Malaysia when he was here on a visit with his family last year. 

“I chose to study here because I like the culture and the people of different races. The quality of education is also better,” he said.  

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