The British universities at EduCity, Iskandar Puteri, got together for the inaugural Educators’ Conference with over 100 educators attending
Themed Innovation and Research, the conference was jointly organised by Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia and University of Reading Malaysia.
The conference hoped to inspire all EduCity Institutions and other local universities to build collaborations in teaching, learning and education research.
When asked what inspired the conference, Professor Wing Lam of the University of Reading Malaysia said that for him, there were two main goals; one to raise the profile of EduCity and secondly to build a strong network of educators.
“EduCity is the only dedicated education zone in Malaysia and we want it to be an education hub to attract not only local students but also international students. Secondly, we wish to build a strong network of faculty and academics from different universities within Malaysia,” said Prof Wing Lam.
“As there were over hundred educators attending the conference, there were a lot issues to discuss in terms of educational experience, academic standards, quality assurance,” he added.
Southampton University’s Professor Rebecca Taylor said that each university has their own specialist areas and strengths as institutions.
Concurring with Professors Wing Lam and Taylor, Professor Christopher Baldwin of Newcastle Medicine Malaysia said that excellence in learning and teaching are the key features of all three of the UK universities here.
By sharing good practice across the universities is excellent and that things done in one university could be adopted by the others.
“This is the inaugural Educators’ Conference and hopefully we can start expanding this conference to be a national conference that’s recognised across the country so that we can invite more private and public universities across the country to input into this area for staff to develop over the next five to ten years,” said Baldwin.
“From our perspective, we are heartened by the universities we’ve invited to open their campuses here and this is the biggest collaboration between the universities that we have seen,” said Wan Ahmad Saifuddin Wan Ahmad Radzi, Executive Vice President of Special Projects, Iskandar Investment Berhad and a Director of EduCity Iskandar Malaysia.
“The originating concept of EduCity was as a multi-varsity area so instead of inviting full universities operating here such as what Nottingham University Malaysia has done (in Semenyih), we invited the universities to open their best faculties.
“So this is a unique approach where we have the strongest faculties from the universities to open here and we get them to collaborate under one umbrella which is the EduCity umbrella,” he added.
EduCity is made up of nine institutions, of which seven provide tertiary education, while the other two offer primary to secondary education following British and American syllabi.
A trust school, SMK Medini which follows the Malaysian syllabus is also located within the perimetres of EduCity.
EduCity targets to achieve 16,000 students by 2025.
Earlier, Datin Paduka Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir, Director General at the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia launched the conference.