EduCity draws in S$271 million

NUSAJAYA - The EduCity project in Iskandar Malaysia has attracted some RM700mil (S$271 million) in investments with the setting up of several international universities, says Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister, said that 70 per cent of Educity has been developed with three university campuses and two shared facilities.

"Besides EduCity, the Government is also developing Pagoh into a multi-varsity education hub and Bandar Sri Alam in Pasir Gudang as a 'City of Knowledge'," he said at the ground-breaking ceremony of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) here yesterday.

MDIS, founded in 1956, is Singapore's oldest non-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. It will invest RM300mil for its campus, which is expected to open in 2015.

Muhyididn said EduCity, which covers an area of 121ha, was now drawing the attention of many international investors.

He stressed that the cross-border investments between Malaysia and Singapore were complementing each country's economy and it was not a rivalry.

"Singapore boasts some of the best tertiary learning institutions in the world. There is much we can gain by joining forces to woo the best brains to study within our shores instead of competing with each other," he added.

Malaysia is currently ranked the 11th largest exporter of educational services, providing a place to study for more than 90,000 students from over 100 nations.

Muhyiddin said the country hoped to more than double the figure to 200,000 students by 2020.

The integrated MDIS green campus would have state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate 2,000 students and this will be MDIS' third campus after its headquarters and main campus in Singapore and its sister campus in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Other campuses within the EduCity include Newcastle University, Malborough College Malaysia and University of Southampton, while the Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology is expected to open next month.

Later during a meet-the-people session at Kampung Maju Jaya in Kempas, Muhyiddin said the move to increase the price of RON95 and diesel by 20 sen has been positively received by investors and economists.

"Although it was a painful decision it had to be made to ensure the country's economy is stable," he said.

He said that if the Government did not take the necessary steps to increase the price of fuel, it would be worse for the country's economy.