SEPANG: A pioneer group of 187 students have started their studies at the Xiamen University Malaysia Campus here, China’s first university to be set up abroad.
An opening ceremony for these students was held at the university’s newly opened multi-purpose hall.
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting said that the opening of the Xiamen University Malaysia Campus is a historical event.
“China has not allowed and does not simply let its universities be set up overseas as they strictly maintain the institution’s quality.
“It is a privilege to have this institution set up in the country,” he said in his speech on the first day of classes at the university.
“We hope that these pioneer students at Xiamen University Malaysia Campus will work hard to achieve good results to make the university proud as well as set the bar for the next intake of students,” he said.
Ong said that Sepang was chosen as Xiamen University Malaysia Campus’ location because it is strategic.
“The students’ parents will not worry that they are studying in the middle of nowhere as the campus is located between Putrajaya and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA),” he said.
Ong said he had also briefed Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and other ministers on the university’s opening ceremony a day earlier.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus president Prof Wang Ruifang said he hoped the students would be happy there and also take part in all the co-curricular activities at the campus.
“It would be good if the students could join the activities to test their capabilities and skills, as well as challenge themselves with new things,” he said.
The Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang said that Xiamen University Malaysia Campus would offer scholarships to its top 10 students.
The original Xiamen University was founded in 1921 by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee.
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus was mooted during a meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in 2011.
Najib and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang then continued to discuss the matter over several bilateral meetings.