Delivering a global learning experience to Malaysian studentsPosted date:
Up until the late 1990s, many Malaysian students travelled abroad to complete their university studies. In a bid to reverse this trend, the Malaysian government embarked on an initiative to make Malaysia an educational hub. A key factor in its strategic plan was to invite renowned universities to establish branch campuses in the country.
A good proportion of those students seeking further education abroad chose Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Based on Curtin’s reputation among Malaysian students and the growing number of Curtin graduates in the country, the Sarawak state government invited the university to establish its first global campus in Miri, Sarawak’s second-largest city in the north of the state.
Furthermore, at that time, Sarawak needed to go beyond its traditional industries, which were heavily reliant on natural resources, and moving into hi-tech was the logical next step to take. Having a renowned university like Curtin in Sarawak would help this drive tremendously and, thus, Curtin Malaysia was established and opened in 1999.
Obviously, the state’s objectives have since evolved into its much-acclaimed Industry 4.0 and digital economy initiatives, but Curtin Malaysia has taken it all in stride and has indeed thrived as a frontrunner in many of these initiatives.
Today, as Curtin’s largest global campus and hub in Asia (other campuses in Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius have since been established), Curtin Malaysia has a decidedly international outlook with over 4,000 students from more than 50 countries and highly-qualified teaching staff and researchers recruited from some 15 different countries.
From a limited selection of business and engineering courses, Curtin Malaysia now offers a wide range of industry-aligned undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in business, humanities, engineering and science, which are available in various study modes. Most of the programmes are accredited by professional bodies nationally and internationally and many are highly ranked in the global subject rankings such as the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.
This is in addition to programmes at pre-university level that feed directly into its undergraduate programmes, a popular intensive English programme, short courses in a variety of disciplines, and soon, diploma-level and professional development courses in a number of technical fields.
The undergraduate courses include an exciting range of double major combinations from its Bachelor of Commerce programme. The double majors provide a stronger and more applicable education experience, allowing students to choose courses to suit their needs, and offer more opportunities to gain practical industry experience.
What’s more, students can complete the requirements for two degrees in less time than it would take to complete two degrees sequentially and they can consider completing one major at Curtin Malaysia and the other at the main campus in Perth.
Common first year pre-majors for all undergraduate programmes gives students the option of completing their pre-majors at Curtin Malaysia before embarking on their majors at the main campus or another Curtin global campus, giving them a wider choice of majors and career options.
As all the campuses share the same curriculum, students can also choose to transfer at any time during the course of their studies. Transferring to another campus to complete their degrees give students the opportunity to broaden their global perspectives and experience a different environment and culture.
As part of a global university recognised for innovation in learning and teaching, the curriculum, learning experiences and delivery methods at Curtin Malaysia are highly responsive to the changing needs of industry and careers.
It is also able to attract high-calibre academics who prepare students to live and work in a global environment by ensuring the academic skills and practical experience they accumulate are informed by the latest research and partnerships with industry, government and the community.
To further meet student and industry needs, Curtin Malaysia applies Curtin’s ‘triple-i’ model, which ensures industry links, intercultural and indigenous awareness and interdisciplinary study are embedded into each course curriculum. Experiential and work-integrated learning are also key components of the Curtin experience. In addition, students can benefit from being exposed to research conducted at Curtin Malaysia that is making a real difference to national industry and the community. As a result, students receive a diverse, challenging and rewarding education grounded in the real world and are job-ready when they graduate.
In terms of facilities, Curtin Malaysia offers the best possible facilities and services one would expect from Curtin’s largest global campus, including a modern library and comprehensive online learning resources; state-of-the-art engineering, science, computing and media laboratories; food and retail outlets, health and counselling services, secure student housing, and a range of sports and recreational facilities.
Curtin Malaysia continues to create new innovative learning spaces such as distributed learning rooms, hybrid teaching classrooms and modern lecture theatres aimed at increasing student engagement and providing flexible, technology-rich learning environments. Equipped with the latest technological advances in teaching and learning, they greatly support active student learning at the campus.
Anticipating significant growth in student numbers in a post-COVID economy, Curtin Malaysia has continued its ambitious campus expansion plan, including on-campus student accommodations, an aquaculture teaching and research facility, and a digital centre of excellence. This is in addition to a new engineering research laboratory, cafeteria, Curtin Trading Room, and the state government-funded Miri Biovalley Pilot Plant Facility for biotechnological research that have already been completed.
To sum things up, Curtin Malaysia offers a quality yet affordable Australian education and global learning experience in a unique Borneo setting, and is certainly a study destination to consider.