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University of Wollongong continues global expansion into Malaysia

University of Wollongong continues global expansion into Malaysia

Monday, 19 November, 2018

UOWD’s new international connection will enhance global mobility opportunities for students

UOW Global Enterprises (UOWGE) has continued its expansion by acquiring the university colleges of Malaysian private education provider KDU from long-standing Malaysian investment company Paramount Corporation Berhad (PCB).

Subject to Malaysian Ministry of Education approval, the deal will see UOW wholly-owned subsidiary, UOW Global Enterprises, immediately acquire a substantive majority equity interest in the university colleges in Kuala Lumpur and Penang—including the new campus under construction in Batu Kawan.

The acquisition expands the University’s existing global presence, establishing University of Wollongong Malaysia within UOW Global Enterprises alongside University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), and UOW College Hong Kong which began with the acquisition of the Community College of Hong Kong’s City University in 2015 and was rebranded in November 2017.

Established in 1993, UOWD is the oldest, private dual accredited University in the UAE and as an independent UAE institution of higher education, UOWD attracts students from around the world.

The transaction was formalised with a contract signing in Kuala Lumpur attended by Paramount Corporation Chairman and Executive Director, Dato’ Teo Chiang Quan, and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Chew Sun Teong alongside UOW Global Enterprises Board Member Mr Noel Cornish AM and Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms Marisa Mastroianni.

KDU’s highly respected colleges currently have around 6,000 students, with capacity to expand to 13,000 students and deliver an annual turnover of RM 260m (AUD $80m) over the long term. This positive outlook is backed by a rapidly growing Malaysian private education market, which is currently estimated to be worth RM12.7bn (AUD $4.24bn) but expected to be valued at more than RM 16bn (AUD $5.34bn) in just five years.

University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said the acquisition builds on the University’s successful 10-year track record of providing world-class tertiary education to students in Malaysia by enabling UOW to become a direct provider in this vibrant market.

“Through this acquisition UOW will contribute more significantly to realising the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s vision of creating a higher education system that ranks among world leaders and enables Malaysia to compete more effectively in the global economy.

“UOW’s direct presence in the market will strengthen Malaysia’s efforts at this exciting time in the nation’s history while also benefiting the wider region.”

Professor Wellings said the acquisition is underpinned by natural synergies between the parties.

“As a pioneer in Malaysian education, KDU shares UOW’s spirit of innovation and focus on producing career-ready graduates to meet real-world needs. UOW also shares Paramount’s commitment to bringing education and communities together.

“We look forward to combining UOW’s internationally recognised teaching programs and personalised approach to students with KDU’s state-of-the-art campuses and vibrant, industry-focused programs,” Professor Wellings said.

Paramount Corporation Group Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Chew Sun Teong said that Paramount is very pleased that UOW, a globally ranked university with an excellent reputation for quality, will bring new opportunities for KDU staff and students.

“We are confident that the legacy we have built will continue and be enhanced.”

UOW Global Enterprises Group Chief Executive Officer, Marisa Mastroianni, said the acquisition would enhance UOW’s global reputation by delivering international student growth and providing pathways to the University. She also reassured KDU staff and students that the transition would be a smooth one.

“We intend to be an employer of choice for staff in Malaysia by offering development and career growth opportunities. We are committed to enabling current KDU students to achieve timely, uninterrupted completion of their studies under existing programs.”

Beyond the transition, Ms Mastroianni said UOW would leverage its global profile to introduce new undergraduate and postgraduate programs based on high quality curricula, teaching and assessment standards, with a clear strategy for University of Wollongong Malaysia to eventually become a leading self-accrediting international university.

“Delivering University of Wollongong programs into the Malaysian market for the last 10 years has demonstrated the strong demand for our University’s programs.

“Our programs and our global network of campuses will offer international mobility opportunities that support strong graduate outcomes.

“We will provide a high-quality educational experience that nurtures graduates, inspiring in them the truly international outlook needed to become future global leaders,” Ms Mastroianni said.

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