Reading university in Johor eyes Singapore students

University of Reading Malaysia provost Tony Downes. It aims to have international students form 30 per cent of intake.
University of Reading Malaysia provost Tony Downes. It aims to have international students form 30 per cent of intake.PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF READING

The EduCity education hub in Iskandar has its sights set on the international student market, with Singapore a key part of the target audience.

For the University of Reading, which officially opened its EduCity campus on Thursday, part of its pitch is that students get the same quality British education at half the cost of attending the campus in Britain. It aims to have international students form about 30 per cent of the overall intake.

"While Singapore has a number of world-class universities... there are things we do which might be attractive to a Singaporean student which are perhaps not available to the same level, " University of Reading Malaysia's provost, Professor Tony Downes, told reporters on Thursday.

For example, the school is among the top five globally in the study field of built environment. A student from Singapore may therefore be attracted to its degree in quantity surveying.

In addition, all students at the school have the option of studying up to a year at the British campus - a great opportunity to enhance one's resume, he added. "Given the exchange rate, the cost of an education in Malaysia may also be attractive."

The university's RM80 million (S$26.6 million) campus can accommodate up to 3,000 students. It currently has about 200 students enrolled as its first batch of students.

The school's foundation and undergraduate courses in business, finance, psychology, real estate and quantity surveying started in September. Henley Business School's MBA programme is starting later this month with several Singaporean students enrolled.

University of Reading is the sixth institution to operate in EduCity. The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is expected to open its branch campus there in September - it is operating from City Square Johor Bahru with about 350 students for now.

Raffles American School, which has been operating from elsewhere in Nusajaya, will also open its first phase in EduCity in the middle of this year.

Raffles University Iskandar is also starting construction of its campus by the third quarter of this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2016, with the headline 'Reading university in Johor eyes S'pore students'. Print Edition | Subscribe