Cameron joined the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on a tour of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) near Kuala Lumpur – the first full overseas campus of a UK university.
“With some 14,000 Malaysian students in the UK and more than 45,000 studying here for UK qualifications, our education ties are unparalleled,” Cameron said.
“I’m delighted too that so many British universities are setting up campuses in Malaysia. From Newcastle to Nottingham, this represents a real example of the high quality education the UK can offer Malaysia.”
Professor David Greenaway, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said, “The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is a genuine UK-Malaysia partnership. To have the prime ministers from both countries at the campus is a great honour, but also symbolically very powerful.”
A burgeoning education hub, Malaysia has five foreign branch campuses, two of which are British (work on a new Herriot Watt campus is also kicking off this year ). In total, 80 British institutions have links with Malaysian counterparts with UK degrees widely delivered in partnership with local institutions. The Department of Business Innovation and Skills said 58,000 students were currently studying UK qualifications in the country.
80 British institutions have links with Malaysian counterparts
During the Malaysia visit, David Willetts, UK universities and science minister, signed a memorandum of understanding covering collaboration in higher education and the monitoring of education partnerships among other areas. He also agreed to double the number of Malaysian Chevening scholars to 28 and announced 19 new engineering scholarships for the University of Southampton.
Later in Indonesia, Willetts and minister of education and culture Mohammed Nuh agreed to a series of measures supporting Indonesian development. These included efforts to promote mobility through expansion of joint academic programmes such as those run with the University of Nottingham. Indonesia wants a further 260,000 students to enter higher education each year over the next decade.
Indonesia wants a further 260,000 students to enter higher education each year over the next decade
Said Willetts: “I am keen to strengthen the links between Indonesia and the UK and our world class educational institutions. I am proud of the exchanges between our universities and the co-operation on research and development but there is still more that can be done.”
The UK intends to reduce the number of student visas it offers over the next three years by 250,000, but has increased commitment to offshore delivery with the HE Global initiative which provides advice to those thinking about setting up abroad. The total value of all UK education exports in 2008/09 was estimated to be £14.1 billion, with education-related projects attracting a total of £9.6 million foreign direct investment.