City university lands overseas campus deal

AN Edinburgh university has won a major international tender to set up a new campus in Malaysia, one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Heriot-Watt University has been chosen by the Malaysian government and private company Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is behind the delivery of the campus, to lead the £20 million investment.

The new campus, which follows the establishment of Heriot-Watt’s Dubai campus in 2005, will house 4000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and it will offer a range of courses in science, engineering, business, mathematics and design, with a view to gaining a UK-recognised degree.

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The announcement was set to be made today at a high-profile event in Putrajaya, attended by Heriot-Watt’s principal Steve Chapman and Education Secretary Michael Russell.

Professor Chapman said: “Opening a campus in Malaysia is an incredibly exciting development for us.

“The move will see Heriot-Watt University provide the opportunity for thousands of students from Malaysia and international markets to take advantage of the same top-level degree courses available in the UK.

“This builds on Heriot-Watt’s highly successful establishment of a campus in Dubai in 2005 and cements both the commitment to providing accessible, high-quality learning opportunities around the world and our drive to secure valuable, mutually beneficial relationships with students, industry and government on an international scale.”

With around a third of the 7000 students studying at Heriot-Watt coming from outside the UK, this latest move demonstrates the university’s ambition to strengthen its international links and will also open up the potential for students in Scotland to study overseas.

Mr Russell said: “The fact that Heriot-Watt has been chosen to set up a new campus in Malaysia shows the real strength of the university abroad as well as at home.

“I am impressed by the ambitious plans for this development and the way in which the principal and his team continue to build on their reputation as an established international provider of higher education.

“This underlines the excellent global reputation of Scottish universities and the quality of provision that Heriot-Watt offers in sectors that are important to Malaysia.

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“I have no doubt this venture will be a success and help to strengthen the ties between our two countries.”

Work on the new Malaysian campus will commence in early 2012 and is due for completion in 2014.