IF construction work continues to proceed at the current feverish pace, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus (XUMC) will be ready for its first intake of students by April.
Its Malaysia campus will be the first set up by a renowned Chinese university.
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus president-designate Prof Wang Rui Fang says the institution aims to become a university with a distinct global outlook, featuring first-class teaching and research, and embracing cultural diversity.
“The vision and mission of this campus will be different from the parent university as we’re going abroad. We have a different target with a different culture and a different language,” he says during a progress check at the university’s construction site in Salak Tinggi.
He added that almost all the courses will be conducted in English, except for Chinese Studies and Traditional Chinese Medicine which will be in Chinese.
He adds that XUMC plans on offering master-degree programmes in Energy Technology, Chinese Language and Literature and Business Administration.
There are also plans for doctoral programmes in Marine Biotechnology and Computer Science as well as foundation programmes in Arts and Science.
He says those wanting to do business with the economic powerhouse that is China should consider enrolling in XUMC.
“This campus will serve as a gateway to opportunities in China with its booming economy. There are many opportunities, not only for trade but also jobs,” he adds.
Prof Wang says that the varsity plans on having 30% of its teaching staff from the parent campus with the rest comprising local and foreign talent.
The university also plans to house the entire student body within the campus to encourage them to interact with each other.
It is important for students to learn not just from their lecturers but with their peers and others, he adds.
Prof Wang says that there will be comfortable and affordable campus accommodation within the six student residence buildings.
Facilities will include internet connection and air-conditioning in every room. There will also be a common area on each floor furnished with sofas and a pantry.
Laundry rooms and sufficient parking areas will also be provided for the students.
Sunsuria Bhd executive chairman Datuk Ter Leong Yap says students can easily access the Express Railway Link (ERL) Salak Tinggi station via a walkway or a public bicycle system where users just have to tap a card to unlock and use a bicycle.
They can then leave the bicycle at another “bicycle station” located near the campus.
“There will also be bicycle stations in all parcels of land (in the surrounding township) including the ERL station,” says Ter.
The original Xiamen University was founded in 1921 by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee, a Chinese businessman who achieved success in Malaysia in the early 20th century.
The idea for a Chinese university to set up an overseas campus in Malaysia was first mooted in 2011 by Chinese Education Vice-Minister Hao Ping and the then Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung in Beijing, China.
In July 2014, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the campus. The development and construction of the 61ha campus has been proceeding at a rapid pace since then. The Xiamen University Malaysia Campus will be designed in the “Tan Kah Kee architectural style” like its three other campuses in China.
It will also have the Furong Lake – a signature feature in all three of its China campuses. The Malaysian campus is mainly funded by the China government and donations from Robert Kuok, IOI Group founder Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng and YTL Foundation. The construction of the entire campus located in Salak Tinggi is undertaken by Sino Hydro Corp Malaysia Sdn Bhd.