Wonders of Batu Kawan, the ideal university town


The rooftop area is designed for students to lounge, study and have discussions.

FOR most students, living in a vibrant university town with resort-style student accommodation just a short walk from campus is a dream come true.

University of Wollongong (UOW)’s Malaysian campus is a fine example of that. Located in Batu Kawan, Penang, the student residences consist of a cluster of condominium towers located within a 600m radius of the campus.

UOW Malaysia student service manager, Joey Phua says the university worked with registered property agents to locate fully furnished condominium units that were suitable for students.

"These units can hold three to five students, with all the fixtures and furnishings they need for a comfortable lifestyle," Phuah explains, adding that the towers were constructed by one of the nations most reputable developers.

Impressive facilities

Phuah also highlights that students have access to all the condominium facilities, including infinity-edge swimming pools, aqua gyms and jacuzzis – all designed with modern lifestyles in mind.

One of the outstanding facilities is the residential swimming pool that spans 150m. At three times the length of an Olympic-sized pool, it is considered South-East Asia’s largest residential swimming pool.

Additionally, the gyms at the residences sport an impressive range of equipment, including a combat room, filled with kickboxing dummies where students can let off some steam.

All the condominiums also boast meticulously manicured gardens replete with herb gardens, urban farming corners and tree-shaded trails for relaxing walks. Other amenities include yoga decks, karaoke rooms, lounges and reading rooms.

To enhance the sporting satisfaction of students, UOW Malaysia has reserved the basketball court at the nearby gated community clubhouse for sessions every Monday.

A comfortable study area provided for students within the accommodation.A comfortable study area provided for students within the accommodation.

Urban living

Phuah explains that such a high level of modern urban living is possible because Batu Kawan is the latest township in Penang, designed with the latest principles of urban planning.

"Up until 2010, Batu Kawan town's population was just about 5,500, and the area was mainly oil palm plantations and mangrove swamps,” he points out.

That all changed when the second Penang bridge opened in 2014, prompting developers to begin planning.

"The road system in Batu Kawan is dominated by wide boulevards and avenues designed to handle large traffic volumes smoothly.

"And you will find the residential and retailing elements integrated so that students only need to take short walks to get to almost anything they need," says Phua.

Students can also pop by Design Village Outlet Mall, which is a mere 300m walk away from the main campus.

This low-rise shopping complex is home to 150 outlets ranging from a variety of international and local fashion brands, beauty and sports retailers to home appliances, restaurants and lifestyle cafes. Ikea Batu Kawan also sits less than one km away.

Design Village Outlet Mall is located within a 300m walk from the UOW Batu Kawan campus.Design Village Outlet Mall is located within a 300m walk from the UOW Batu Kawan campus.

For students looking to get away for the weekend, the jetty to Pulau Aman lies just 6.5km from the campus.

This islet, an idyllic fishing village, is where students can enjoy a smorgasbord of fresh seafood, or spend the night at homestays to enjoy some night fishing.

Home away from home

Batu Kawan's reputation as a self-contained, secure, and modern university town has gained recognition among international students.

UOW Malaysia's head of operations (Batu Kawan), Assoc Prof Dr Yeap Gik Hong said about a quarter of the campus' student population are foreign students, mainly from China.

"It is an ideal township for students. It is safe and full of amenities to cater to every need," he added.

To experience Batu Kawan and check out the courses available at UOW Malaysia, call the campus at 04-563 6000.

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