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University of Southampton Malaysia

Malaysia Campus Celebrates First Anniversary

Published: 21 March 2014
The opening ceremony of the campus

It’s been one year since the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus celebrated its official opening and we’re reflecting on an amazing year of achievement. The Campus, at the EduCity@Iskandar in Johor represents a major strategic development for the University.

The future looks exciting for the Malaysia Campus, with industries across both Mechanical, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering confirming the great need within Asia of very high quality engineering graduates, with global engineering firms keen to work in partnership to achieve this.

While the first Southampton students arrived to study Mechanical Engineering in September 2012, the official opening ceremony on 21 March 2013 gave the University an opportunity to commemorate its first overseas Campus with support from star Formula One graduate Adrian Newey as guest VIP.

Newey earned a First Class honours degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University in 1980. He is now the Chief Technical Officer of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One team and has won more Formula One Constructors' Championships than any other designer in the sport's history.

"It is my great pleasure to support the University of Southampton for the formal opening of its Malaysia Campus," said Newey. "My degree from Southampton has certainly assisted me in my career and helped me develop, which I believe will also be true for Southampton's future graduates in Malaysia and the UK."

In the 12 months since Newey spoke, he's been followed by a succession of high profile academics from Southampton who have delivered a successful programme of guest lectures in Malaysia including web science pioneer Professor Dame Wendy Hall; photonics and fibre optic innovator Professor Sir David Payne; world-renowned ship scientist Professor Ajit Shenoi, Director of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute; and noted cybersecurity expert Professor Mark Nixon.

Southampton's Malaysia Campus portfolio has also grown in recent months to include the first intake of students in Malaysia to study for the University's world-class degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  As a result, student recruitment has continued to improve with growth expected into next year with the addition of Aeronautics and Astronautics which is currently under consideration by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency to start in 2014. A newly expanded Marketing & Communications Team, both in Malaysia and in the UK are set to ensure the continued success and growth in student numbers. And we look forward to the first students from the Malaysia Campus progressing to the UK for their third year in September 2014.

The strength of the University's current students has been recognised including the award of the first three scholarships by the Lloyd's Register Foundation for the top three students progressing to year two of the degree in Mechanical Engineering and further scholarships are due to be awarded later this year to the top three students progressing to their third year, and also to the top three students progressing to year 2 of the degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  This year will also see the first ‘James Dyson Foundation Engineering Scholarship' Award to one student progressing to the third year who can best demonstrate his or her passion for engineering design.

"We have been particularly impressed by the very high quality of the students studying with us in Malaysia who have to achieve the same A-level grades and equivalent qualifications to those students who join us in the UK," said John McBride, Chief Executive of Southampton's Malaysia Campus.  "The students have taken the same assessments and exams on the same day as the rest of the cohort in Southampton and have performed very well."

The students have enjoyed their education experience so far, and can now also enjoy state of the art sports facilities too. The construction of the 21.5-acre Stadium & Sports Complex with a seating capacity of 14,000 was completed last year and is now officially open catering to all the students and staff of EduCity@Iskandar. The facilities at the Stadium & Sports Complex include a sports stadium with a soccer-cum-rugby field and an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standard 400-metre athletic track, an aquatic complex with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving pools which meet International Swimming Federation standards for water polo and synchronised swimming.

The Malaysia Campus also held its first Industrial Advisory Board last November, which will be held annually, and is now in the process of building on current, or formalising new partnership working with industrial companies in terms of research/education collaborations. Some of these companies wish to offer internships to our students, and they all confirmed the great need within Asia for high quality engineering graduates that they feel confident Southampton will provide.

Southampton's reputation as a research-focused university has also been underlined in Malaysia with the receipt of seven government-sponsored funding awards in recent months. The awards will support projects to be completed by academic colleagues and students in Malaysia and reflect areas of the University's international expertise in mechanical engineering, microsystems and tribology. 

"We're particularly proud of our worldwide reputation for research which has been echoed in the unprecedented number of funding awards we've been granted in relatively short time in Malaysia," said Professor Mark Spearing, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) . "This is truly remarkable given the very short time we've had to establish ourselves in the country but reflective of the quality and calibre of the academic staff we've attracted to join us in Malaysia and share our vision for world-changing research."

As we look forward to the first students from the Malaysia Campus progressing to the UK for their third year in September 2014, we wish them an exciting and enjoyable year.

 

Adrian Newey
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