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Tuesday September 4, 2007

Monash finally sets up branch campus here


PETALING JAYA: Monash University is finally and firmly in Malaysia. 

The Australian university launched its own campus building in Bandar Sunway yesterday, almost 10 years after the Government had invited the Sunway Group and Monash to set up a branch campus here. 

It was especially meaningful for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who officiated at the event. 

He was the person who had made the invitation as Education Minister then. 

Najib said that Monash was an outstanding example of how Malaysia planned to become a regional hub for educational excellence.  

“I am told that close to a thousand international students from 50 countries are currently pursuing their education in Monash. 

“With the Higher Education Ministry targeting 100,000 foreign students in Malaysia by 2010, I am sure we can look to the Monash University, Sunway campus to play a leading role,” he said. 

Najib added that the strong partnership between the Sunway Group and the university through the non-profit Sunway Education Trust was commendable as any surplus profits would be ploughed back to boost development and research at the campus. 

The new campus, on about 5ha of land, cost about RM200mil to build and is located about 500m from Sunway University College. 

It has five faculties and opened its doors to students on July 16, with a capacity for 5,000 students.  

There are plans to expand the campus to double the capacity. 

Sunway Group chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah was honoured with the campus’ new school of medicine being named after him. 

University pro-vice chancellor and president (Malaysia) Prof Merilyn Liddell said the medical school had state-of-the-art facilities and top-notch academics and researchers. 

“Clinical training will take place in various medical facilities across the country with our clinical school being located within the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor,” she said. 

University vice-chancellor Prof Richard Larkins said the opening of the new campus was an important milestone and showed the strength of the university’s commitment to Malaysia and the region. 

Monash University, an Australian Group of Eight research-intensive university, was established in 1958 and has campuses in Melbourne, Victoria and South Africa with more than 50,000 students from 130 countries.  

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