Following the trend of other top British and American Universities, the University of Southampton has just signed an agreement in Malaysia (with the apparently private development firm Nusajaya)to set up a branch institution.
The branch will cater for a maximum of 60 Malaysian engineering students in ‘Edu-City.’ This educational hub is part of the second biggest city in Malaysia, Johor Bahru, in the Eurasian part of the country.
The recent move of Universities such as N.Y.U and Stanford to establish branch campuses abroad has been seen as an intellectual gold rush, as countries such as Dubai pay handsomely for the privilege of having a top institution at home.
The benefits for Southampton University include attracting students wishing to stay at home providing more revenue and tapping into previously unavailable skills. Links with Malaysia will be also greatly improved, allowing British students to study more easily in Malaysia if they wish to do so. More broadly there is the prestige benefit of having an international “footprint,’ and a better projected image throughout the world.
This step is surely a very great move, improving our institutions name abroad, benefiting both us and Malaysian students in a country which is part of the Asian ‘Tiger’ economies.