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Unisel Offers Places To 200 Indonesian Students

Last update: 16/08/2010
By Mohd Nasir Yusoff

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 (Bernama) -- Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel) has targeted to take 200 Indonesian students this year to strengthen its internationalisation programme and support the government's initiative to enhance ties between the peoples of both countries.

Two Unisel senior officers were in four Indonesian cities -- Jakarta, Bandung, Palembang and Semarang -- for two weeks in July to promote opportunities offered by the university in conjunction with the Malaysian higher education roadshow organised by the Malaysian Embassy.

Unisel marketing, corporate communications and international director Halid Hasbullah Boestamam said apart from offering the 200 places to students, Unisel also explored other forms of cooperation such as in the exchange of teachers, and academic research.

Speaking to Bernama, here, he said Unisel received overwhelming response from parents and students particularly in Bandung and Palembang, with over 800 serious enquiries received.

During the discussions with school managements, he said, many of them offered a wider from of cooperation.

"For instance, during our discussion with Sekolah Menengah Agama Al-Azhar 1, the school management offered a wider from of collaboration, covering six schools in its network, with student population of over 6,000," he said.

During talks with Sekolah Menengah Kharisma Bangsa in Jakarta, Unisel was offered to collaborate with a network of seven schools, opening up potentials reaching thousands of students.

"From the feedback received, we found that parents were very keen to send their children to pursue overseas education," he said, adding that Malaysia was among their preferred destinations.

These schools were also keen to send their teaching staff to attend short courses at Unisel and were willing to accept Unisel students who were doing their practicals, he said.

Set up in 1999, Unisel currently has over 12,000 students in 28 diploma courses, 28 bachelor degree courses and 23 post-graduates programmes as well as preparatory programmes.

The university, which aims to produce graduates tailored to meet the needs of industry, now operates from its city campus in Shah Alam and main campus in Batang Berjuntai.

Halid said many Indonesian schools invited Unisel to give talks on education opportunities and expressed the hope that Unisel would actively participate in their programmes this year and next year.

Education Minister-Counsellor at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, Datuk Dr Junaidi Abu Bakar praised Unisel's initiatives, saying the move was in line with the Higher Education Ministry's objectives of making Malaysia a regional education excellence centre.

"It will not only benefit Unisel in terms of attracting more foreign students, its positive spin-off will also be felt by the country which currently houses 10,000 Indonesian students.

"We expect the number to increase by 2,000 each year," he told Bernama.

Junaidi said the market for Malaysian universities in Indonesia was huge given that there were about a million students leaving secondary school each year.

For many Indonesian parents, he said, getting their children to pursue higher education in Malaysia was the obvious choice due proximity, lower cost compared to sending them to Europe or the United States, cultural similarities and the quality of Malaysian education.

"These are facts acknowledged by many parents who wanted their children to pursue overseas degrees.

"It is now up to the universities in Malaysia to approach these parents and convince them," he said.

Halid said Unisel was now preparing the draft for the memorandums of understanding with the schools concerned, and preparing for the incoming of new intakes from Indonesia.