Prime Minister visits Malaysia Campus
Prime Minister David Cameron visited the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) as part of an official two-day trip reinforcing long-standing links between Malaysia and the UK. He was joined by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in a visit that served to emphasise the strength of ties between the two countries.
Both Prime Ministers attended a meeting of the Global Movement of Moderates held on campus, followed by a Q&A session on global politics including around 100 UNMC students.
In his speech, David Cameron expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Najib, who was instrumental in developing the UNMC campus in his previous capacity as Education Minister of Malaysia. He said: "Thank you for inviting me to join you today and thank you for speaking about our shared interests, our shared values, our shared history.
"It is great we are able to do this at the Nottingham University Campus in Malaysia, the first full campus of a British University overseas. A really pioneering partnership that sees the full breadth of the academic study and research here in Malaysia.
"It represents the best of British, the best of Malaysia, and I am very pleased to be here today. I know, Prime Minister, that developing this campus has long been an urge of yours when you were Education Minister, so we are grateful to you, Prime Minister Najib, for your vision and support over many years in helping to bring this about.
"I am proud to be here at the first British overseas campus, and it is strange to mention The University of Nottingham in this heat."
Prime Minister Najib said: "I am really delighted that Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to visit Malaysia, and particularly to Nottingham Campus. It is of course my Alma Mater."
The Prime Minister toured UNMC's 125-acre parkland campus and heard about the pioneering role it plays as a powerful symbol of successful educational collaboration between the two nations.
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: "The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is a genuine UK-Malaysia partnership. To have the Prime Ministers from both countries at the campus is a great honour, but also symbolically very powerful.
"It is now 12 years since UNMC was established, during which time it has helped pioneer the globalisation of higher education. We are perfectly placed to meet the future challenges set out in the MoU signed during this visit."
The University of Nottingham made history in the year 2000, building on a strong and longstanding relationship with Malaysia to open the first full overseas campus of a UK university.
More than 4,000 students
Today, UNMC is one of the biggest success stories in global higher education, with more than 4,000 students from 75 countries on a purpose-built site near Kuala Lumpur. UNMC students study in English, for University of Nottingham degrees that are taught and assessed in the same way as those at Nottingham UK.
During the Global Movement of Moderates meeting, Prime Minister Najib and David Cameron spoke about moderate Islam and how fundamentalism bears no reflection on the true values of Islam and that it should not be tolerated. The Q&A session at the end included UNMC students, where David Cameron and Najib answered questions on, among others, the political situation in Burma, Iran, Palestine and Israel.
The visit also saw the signing of a UK-Malaysia Joint Statement on Higher Education and Skills at UNMC by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Malaysia's Minister for Higher Education Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
The University's campuses in Asia – it also has a campus at Ningbo in China – and its ambitious internationalisation strategy prompted The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 to describe Nottingham as "the embodiment of the modern international university".