PETALING JAYA: Three Japanese higher-learning institutions have revealed plans to establish branches in Malaysia, said the Education Ministry.
Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik said they include Tsukuba University, one of the oldest and most comprehensive research universities in Japan, Nippon Designers School and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
“It is estimated that Tsukuba University would start its operations in 2020, while Nippon Designers School could start operating as early as next year,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Maszlee, who is currently on a three-day visit to Japan starting Monday with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said the ministry has started seeking potential locations for the establishment of the new universities and will aid in easing the process of establishment, registration and intake of students.
“I discussed the plans to establish the Japanese universities on Malaysian soil with the Japanese Education, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Masahiko Shibayama today (yesterday).
“The plans are in line with Dr Mahathir’s Look East Policy which he started in the early 1980s,” Dr Maszlee said.
He noted that Dr Mahathir, who was conferred an honorary doctorate from Tsukuba University, said establishing Japanese universities is important for Malaysians as it enables them to not only learn Japan’s values and work ethics, but also expose them to its education system and culture.
Besides that, Dr Maszlee also announced that the ministry has plans to provide a nutritious breakfast scheme for the B40 group and hopes to inculcate a culture of cleanliness and discipline among children from pre-school till higher education.
“This is the result of my three-hour-long visit to Itabashi Daiichi Elementary School, a public school located in Tokyo, which allowed me to see first-hand Japan’s education methods which produces youngsters with good character,” said Dr Maszlee who visited Takeshi Sakamoto, the mayor of Itabashi City Hall on Monday.
“Sakamoto expressed enthusiasm to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries, especially in tourism and education. He is also keen on having sister city status.
“He hopes to have more exchange programmes where Japanese students would stay with foster families in Malaysia to experience the uniqueness of Malaysian culture,” said Dr Maszlee.