ISKANDAR MALAYSIA: Eco Botanic Sdn Berhad – a subsidiary of Eco World Development Group Berhad, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM) today. The signing was witnessed by guest of honour YAB Dato’ Dr. Sahruddin Bin Jamal, Menteri Besar Johor.
The UK-based University of Southampton is among the top 100 global universities in the world, based on the QS World University Rankings 2020. They were first invited by EduCity Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (EduCity) in 2010 to set up a branch campus in Malaysia as part of the catalytic projects under Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) with the vision of establishing EduCity as Asia’s 1st multi-varsity center.
Its Malaysia Campus, UoSM, opened in October 2012 offering premier undergraduate degrees in engineering. Over the past 10 years, UoSM received continuous support from EduCity and IIB to help ensure the growth of their student numbers. In 2016, its first group of students graduated with excellent results – they obtained 10 First Class and 8 Upper Second Class MEng degrees.
To cater to the growing student population as well as UoSM’s goal of further developing its portfolio of high-quality education, research and enterprise in Iskandar Malaysia, UoSM will be investing further by setting up a larger campus in Eco Galleria. This is a high-street mall situated in Eco Botanic City, which is fast becoming the premier commercial centre in Iskandar Puteri.
Inspired by the fashionable high streets of Britain, the 13.48-acre Eco Galleria is set to deliver an outstanding shopping, dining and entertainment experience upon its completion by 2020. The mall is designed and conceptualised to be different from conventional shopping malls. Patrons will be spoilt for choice, as they enjoy a wide variety of unique retail and lifestyle offerings at Eco Galleria.
Next to the mall are the Eco Boulevard shop offices, a bustling hive of activity today offering myriad local as well as international food & beverage options, bespoke & artisanal products and services. At the heart of Eco Botanic City are the Eco Nest serviced apartments providing good quality residential accommodations replete with amenities to promote healthy living.
UoSM’s new campus has a built-up area of 150,000 sq ft and is scheduled to begin operations in 2021. It will house offices, amenities, a library, lecture theatres, as well as laboratories.
The new campus will also support the introduction of new programmes in Business, Engineering and Computer Science and will provide students with a range of flexible delivery models, collaborative research opportunities as well as corporate engagement. The enhanced quality of life which Eco Botanic City can offer will further help attract a wider group of prospective students who want to pursue their degree with a global Top 100 university.
In his speech, EcoWorld Malaysia President & CEO Dato’ Chang Khim Wah said that the Group is delighted to play a part in promoting Malaysia as a centre of educational excellence.
“We are very excited to welcome UoSM to Eco Botanic. Since the launch of Eco Botanic in 2013, we have worked tirelessly towards improving not only the infrastructure of the township but its amenities which complements the outstanding education and student experience currently offered by the University.
We are delighted our efforts have borne fruit as evidenced by the large number of local as well as international residents and businesses that now call Eco Botanic home.
UoSM’s decision to expand into Eco Botanic City which is located right next to EduCity further underlines Malaysia’s success in establishing Iskandar Puteri as a world-class destination for learning. Over the years, extensive physical infrastructure and substantial investments have been made by Iskandar Investment Berhad to promote this region as a hub for education, creative industry, tourism & leisure and health & wellness. This has enabled the entire area to flourish and as one of the key developers here we intend to play our part to contribute positively towards the Government’s vision of making Iskandar Puteri one of the most liveable cities by 2025.”
UoSM Pro Vice-Chancellor (ASEAN) and CEO Professor Rebecca Taylor said that the university is eager to move into Eco Galleria as EcoWorld is known for quality and sustainable developments, which will provide UoSM students with a holistic educational and living experience during their course of study. This will help draw in more students in support of their quest to achieve their 10-year target of having approximately 2,000 students in just five years.
Taylor added “Our students will get to study, live and socialise in the same vicinity. Both EcoWorld and UoSM delivers world-class services, which is a great foundation on which to build a strong partnership. EcoWorld has also expended a lot of efforts to ensure a thriving community here and we look forward to future possible collaborations where we can showcase our students’ works at Eco Galleria.”
Also present at the signing ceremony was Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Chief Executive YBhg Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Johor Women Development and Tourism Committee Chairman YB Liow Cai Tung, EcoWorld Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, EcoWorld Malaysia Executive Director Dato’ Voon Tin Yow, EcoWorld Malaysia Director Dato’ Haji Obet Bin Tawil, ÉcoWorld Malaysia Deputy President & Deputy CEO Dato’ S.Rajoo, Eco Botanic Divisional General Manager Datuk Hoe Mee Ling, University of Southampton Pro-Chancellor Colin Smith as well as UoSM Chief Operating Officer Dr Mizarina Abu Bakar.