The University of Nottingham invested in Malaysia’s long term higher education ambitions

(From left) British High Commission deputy country director Malaysia (trade) Francine Torbett, UNM provost and chief executive officer Prof Sarah Metcalfe, Boustead Holdings Bhd group chief executive officer Izaddeen Daud and UNM student recruitment and marketing director Jagdish Singh Malhi at the launch of UNM Future Students Centre at Menara Axis in Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA: In support of the nation’s aspiration to be an international higher education hub with an international tertiary education enrolment base of 250,000 students by 2025, the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) is investing further in the country to facilitate interest and convenience for higher education enquiries with the launch of its Future Students Centre here.

The Future Students Centre, located at Menara Axis in Petaling Jaya was launched by British High Commission deputy country director Malaysia (trade) Francine Torbett, University of Nottingham Malaysia provost and chief executive officer (CEO) Prof Sarah Metcalfe and Boustead Holdings Bhd group chief executive officer Izaddeen Daud and witnessed by UNM’s faculty members and industry partners.

"The opening of this centre marks an important development in the University of Nottingham Malaysia's 23-year history in Malaysia," said Prof Metcalfe at the official launch of the new Future Students Centre.

"We believe that we have something special to offer and opening this centre is part of telling our potential future students about that, whilst supporting the Malaysian government's initiative to attract 250,000 international students by 2025."

"The centre marks our determination to reach out, instead of just relying on our existing reputation for excellence. It is part of our strategy to grow and engage, based on a focus on people and partnerships."

"As a university we must change to match the changing needs of our students, their potential employers and, of course, the needs of Malaysia and the wider region. UNM is committed to this and looking forward to the next 23 years."

This centre complements UNM’s existing roots in Malaysia and aligns seamlessly with the Malaysia Education Blueprint for higher education.

The Blueprint outlines four key objectives namely, enrolling 250,000 International Students by 2025 (from 48% to 70%), increasing IPTA QS world rankings, boosting graduate employability, and promoting STEM education.

Over the course of 23 years, UNM, the first ever branch campus of a British university established outside of the UK, has continuously invested in developing a holistic student experience as well as building a strong foundation in teaching and research, to develop new and innovative ways of learning that supports sustainable development locally and globally. Since then, UNM has over 15,000 alumni with 30% of students coming from 70 countries.

With research and knowledge exchange among its defining pillars, UNM has earned local and international recognition in its research capabilities.

The institution’s research outcomes are driving critical development in social science, sustainability, green and renewable technologies, and artificial intelligence (AI) to name a few.

Known collaborative partners that UNM has engaged with include non-governmental organisations like the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) for an exercise to study the dissemination of disinformation on social media, and PIKOM to collaboratively enhance curriculum design and share resources directed at technology ecosystem development.

A snapshot of industry partners engaged by UNM include Sarawak Energy, to contribute scientific understanding of tropical rivers for the hydro energy developer, NVIDIA to harness the potential of AI through high performance computing (HPC), and CNN Academy which resulted in a module that aims to empower the next generation of global journalists towards a more diversified and resilient media landscape.

With no signs of slowing down, UNM is indicating further commitment to Malaysia evident with its five-year plan focused on people and partnerships.

The university’s growth strategy is manifested in six pillars namely, People, Education, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Student Experience, Global Engagement, and Environmental Sustainability.

UNM’s Strategic Plan aims to further enhance its student experience and development of teaching and learning excellence at its Semenyih campus. The strategic efforts are a positive boost to propel Malaysia towards becoming a regional and global player in academic and research excellence.

In tune with the local education needs, specifically the widening gap between science and arts, UNM has actively engaged with students through various STEM carnivals nationwide including the interiors of Sarawak to plant the seeds of interest for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects through thought-provoking STEM carnivals.

“Digital transformation is a major change agent within higher education which includes the way we operate, teach and learn.

“This is also reflected in the uptake of our most popular programmes which are science and engineering, computer science with artificial intelligence, business and psychology.

“The trend is fitting with Malaysia’s agenda to promote and facilitate more science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to prepare young talents for the competitive workforce,” she added.

UNM has even introduced the emerging STEAM concept which integrates STEM and the arts field to prepare students for a dynamic job market that requires a mastery of cross-disciplinary skills.

This centre features an accommodation showroom which allows prospect students to explore the comfortable and modern living spaces that play a role in the overall student experience.

Additionally, visitors will appreciate a bird’s eye preview of the campus through the campus scale model which showcases the state-of-the-art facility and dynamic campus environment.

Finally, this centre also features an event space that can accommodate up to 100 people for a variety of events, from conferences and meetings to workshops. It is designed with meeting rooms and flexible seating arrangements that are ideal for collaboration and equipped with a complete technology set-up.

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