Sepang: The first ever Chinese university overseas campus is to be opened in Malaysia.
The Xiamen university campus will be built on a 61ha site in Salak Tinggi near here and is due to start operating in September 2015, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"This is the first time that the Chinese government has allowed one of its universities to set up a campus abroad," the Prime Minister told reporters after meeting Xiamen University president Prof Zhu Chongshi and a 20-member delegation at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here yesterday.
Najib witnessed Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin handing to Zhu an invitation to the opening. Also present was the Prime Minister's special envoy to China and Malaysia-China Business Council chairman Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
The campus will have five faculties: electrical bio-engineering and chemical engineering, medicine, ICT, Business and Economics, and Chinese language and literature. English will be the medium of instruction.
Najib said the setting up of the campus meant a lot for relations between Malaysia and China, and it followed discussions between him and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, in Nanning in April last year.
He told Wen that Malaysia welcomed the intention of the university to set up a branch in Malaysia, and "he gave his approval for the project to be implemented".
Najib thanked deputy president of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia Datuk Ter Leong Yap for providing the funds for land for the campus.
Zhu thanked the Malaysian government, Najib and the Higher Education Ministry for their effort to set up the campus.
Bernama quoted him as saying that the cost of setting up the campus was estimated at RM600mil, of which RM400mil would be spent in the first phase of development.
"With a ratio of 15 students to one lecturer, about 700 teaching staff would be required," he said, adding that academicians from Xiamen University were keen to work here.
Xiamen University, which is listed among the top 20 academic institutions in China, was founded by Malaysian rubber magnate Tan Kah Kee in 1921.--Courtesy of The Star Online