Curtin Malaysia, Curtin University renew partnership for another 20 years

Ose (red neck tie) and Terry exchanging the documents as other university representatives look on. Also seen are (from left) Lee, Fong and Dr Chan.

MIRI, Dec 20: Members of the senior leadership of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) were in Perth recently to sign a new joint venture agreement (JVA) for a further 20 years of partnership with Curtin University in the lead-up to its 20th anniversary next year.

According to a press release today, the JVA acknowledges 20 years of strong partnership between the campus, established in 1999 as a joint venture with the Sarawak government and its Western Australia-based parent, which is now recognised as a global university with campuses in Western Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius and strategic partnerships with over 90 institutions across the world.

Curtin University is also recognised as one of the worlds top universities in the global rankings, ranking in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 and 262 in the world on QS World University Ranking 2017-18.

The new JVA also signals another 20 years of partnership in the continued development of the campus and enhancing Curtin Malaysia’s intellectual footprint and learning experiences for students, in building productive research collaboration, and in providing developmental opportunities for staff and students, under the mantle of Curtin’s One University approach.

Inevitably, Curtin Malaysia will play a greater role in helping Curtin achieve its global objectives.

Signing on behalf of Curtin Malaysia and the Sarawak government was Board of Curtin (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd chairman Datu Ose Murang.

Also representing Curtin Malaysia were Pro-Chancellor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam; Curtin Malaysia Council member and chairman of Curtin Malaysia’s Joint Venture Board Dato Sri Fong Joo Chung; Curtin Malaysia Management Board chairman Datuk Lee Kim Shin; Curtin Malaysia Board member Vincent Lu; and Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski.

Signing on behalf of Curtin University was Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, who was accompanied by chief financial officer David Menarry, general-consul (Commercial) Josephine Di Fava, deputy director of Transnational Education and Partnerships Nigel De Silva, and Transnational Education and Partnerships manager Guy Harris.

Ose (left) and Terry signing the JVA.

Terry remarked that the new JVA marked a significant milestone for Curtin University and affirmed its commitment to providing high-quality education in Malaysia, in the strengthening of Australia-Malaysia ties, and the continued success of its campus in Malaysia.

“Curtin’s 50 Years of Innovation celebration in 2017 is now being followed by an equally exciting 20 Years in Malaysia celebration next year. We are proud to celebrate this significant milestone as Curtin Malaysia has contributed hugely to Curtin’s success over the last 20 of those 50 years. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the past and looking forward, as John Curtin said, to the greater days to be,” he added.

Ose commented that he was most delighted to be given the honour of signing a further 20-year JVA with Curtin University on behalf of Curtin Malaysia and the Sarawak government.

“This new JVA records our successful partnership over the last 20 years and renews our commitment and dedication to leadership in providing world-class university education in Malaysia,” he said.

He thanked Terry and her team for their confidence in the partnership and acknowledged her sterling leadership in taking Curtin into the top ranks of universities worldwide in a very short span of time.

Ose also expressed hoped that Sarawakian students would take full advantage of the opportunity to get a quality Australian education at Curtin Malaysia and gained a qualification that is recognised internationally.

On a similar note, Dr Chan pointed out that the support of local communities had always been, and would continue to be, crucial to Curtin Malaysias success.

“In return, Curtin Malaysia has ensured that the education that it provides is not only world-class but also affordable to local students. This includes offering scholarships to Sarawakian students for foundation and undergraduate study,” he said.

The Curtin Malaysia campus.

Curtin Malaysia, he shared, had contributed significantly to the economy of Miri, contributing some RM2.2 billion in terms of both direct and value-added impacts between 2005 and 2016, according to a regional economic impact study conducted by the university.

“Students in Sarawak have the opportunity to get a world-class education right at their doorstep. As we charge Malaysian fees for our courses, which are identical to those in Australia, it is very affordable. With students from over 50 countries and teaching staff from more than 15 countries, they will also get a very international learning experience,” Chan added.

Lee, meanwhile, emphasised that the new JVA was an important milestone for Curtin Malaysia as it clearly demonstrated Curtin Malaysia’s capability to fulfill Curtin’s quality and standards and the excellent partnership both parties have enjoyed over the past 20 years.

He commended Curtin Malaysia for always ensuring quality and good standards and had been successful in producing graduates who were of the same caliber as those in Western Australia.

“In an Australian government assessment of Curtin University a few years ago, two of its 11 commendations cited Curtin Malaysia as setting the benchmark for Australian branch campuses. These factors have helped to raise the stature and reputation of Curtin as a leading global university.

“We, in Curtin Malaysia, are confident that we will attain greater heights in our pursuit for quality tertiary education. With 20 years of experience, we have the confidence, capability and tenacity to move forward in tandem with the main campus, not only in teaching but also in research,” he added.

Mienczakowski said the signing of the new JVA is a stamp of approval from both sides recognising 20 years of outstanding achievement in establishing Curtin Malaysia and in building a high achieving international campus in Miri. It also signals another 20 years of even stronger partnership with Curtin University.

“It is a sign of our maturity as Curtin’s largest international campus and our role as its global hub in Asia. It further shows Curtin’s great confidence in our current operations and achievements and recognises our potential to continue climbing up the international rankings and further contribute to Sarawak, Malaysia, and international higher education and research.

“As part of a university in the top one per cent in the world, Curtin Malaysia is clearly the leading world-ranked institution in Borneo by a significant margin across the vast majority of global metrics. Also, as Curtin’s oldest and largest international campus now entering its twentieth year, it represents Curtin’s firm commitment to education and development in Malaysia, and particularly in Sarawak,” he assured.

According to Mienczakowski, Curtin Malaysia is undergoing a new phase of strategic development over the next five years that focuses on expanding its role as Curtin’s global hub in Asia. It has over the last few years created more innovative learning spaces and incorporating technologies that facilitate bi-directional delivery of courses between the Perth and Miri campuses and support active student learning.

It has also launched an industry-standard radio studio for the teaching of its course in journalism, embarked on the development of a Digital Centre for Excellence and live Stock Market Trading Room to further enhance its teaching facilities, and a new Engineering Research Laboratory equipped with the latest technologies in an expansion of its existing substantial engineering facilities.

This is in addition to investments in biotechnological research infrastructure by the Sarawak state government and Curtin at the soon-to-be-opened Pilot Plant Facility at the campus. The new research facility will create fresh opportunities for collaborative research and industry engagement to bring positive change to local communities.

Echoing Mienczakowskis comments, Fong said the new JVA would enable Curtin Malaysia to provide significantly more new degree courses and build greater synergies in teaching as well as engage in greater research collaboration with the main campus.

“The new JVA will allow us to provide learning of a standard beyond excellence,“ he said.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia), YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia) or LinkedIn page (Curtin Malaysia). — DayakDaily