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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 23 — Malaysia and Britain today signed three memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pave the way for a greater collaboration in education and development of talent.
The MoU, which were signed in conjunction with the launch of Education is GREAT campaign here, were between Heriot-Watt University and Shell Malaysia; BAE Systems and Chevening Malaysia; CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Chevening Asean.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Victoria Treadell said the MoU were aimed to support Malaysia’s aspiration to become a regional education hub and celebrate the existing educational links between United Kingdom (UK) and Malaysia.
“We wish to drive up our engagement to a new level and help support Malaysia’s ambition to become the education hub for Asean. Next year, together with Malaysia, we will take this campaign to Asean countries.
“It is a testament that the UK sees Malaysia an important partner in education,” she said in a press conference after the three-year campaign launch at the Heriot-Watt University campus here.
The campaign was launched by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching in the presence of Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Azman Ismail, CIMB Group Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and Country Director of British Council Malaysia Sarah Deverall.
There are over 16,000 Malaysians currently studying in the UK and an additional 58,000 individuals studying for UK qualification in Malaysia, adding a total of 125 British institutions offer UK degree via partnership with Malaysia.
Asked why Britain was selected to sign the MoU with Malaysian giant companies, Treadell said: “Among the reasons were English language is widely spoken in Malaysia and Malaysia’s education system is similar to the British education system.
“Besides, Malaysia is located strategically in the centre of South East Asia and a gateway to all Asian countries. Furthermore, Britain and Malaysia share a great relationship,” she said.
On the MoU between CIMB Group and Chevening Asean, Nazir said five selected students, two from Malaysia, and one each from Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia, would be awarded the Chevening-CIMB Asean Scholarship for the 2016/2017 academic year.
These students will pursue a one-year Master’s degree programme in priority areas of business, communications, financial regulation, Islamic finance, sustainable development, cyber security, trade and investment at prestigious university partners of Chevening in the UK.
“Under this MoU, we have committed to sponsoring up to five students per year for the next three years, but if there is good demand, this can be increased. We can contribute to nurturing leaders of tomorrow for Malaysia and Asean.
“I learned about the British education system as early as 13. My advise to students - learn what is best about Britain as students who have studied there have become great leaders in Malaysia and Asean,” he said after witnessing the MoU signing between CIMB Group, Group Chief People Officer Hamidah Naziadin and Treadell.
The MoU between Heriot-Watt University and Shell Malaysia, will offer scholarship with a maximum of 15 students for a period of three years, to attract high-performing students to work with Shell.
The BAE Systems will sponsor eight scholarships in areas of science, engineering and cyber security for the 2016/2017 academic year under the BAE Systems-Chevening Malaysia agreement. — Bernama