Thursday, February 25, 2010

Raffles Education mulls varsity in Iskandar zone

RAFFLES Education Corporation is considering setting up a university in the Iskandar Malaysia region.

It is teaming up with a wholly owned subsidiary of Iskandar Investment - Education@Iskandar - to study the feasibility of establishing an education campus in the Johor economic zone, the company said yesterday.

The development will be known as Raffles University Iskandar and will include the launch of Raffles University as part of its first phase of development, it said.

Upon the successful completion of the feasibility study, procurement of the university, vocational and technical licences and other regulatory approvals, the Singapore-listed education group and Education@Iskandar will form a joint venture to build and operate the university.

Yesterday's announcement came two weeks after Raffles Education's subsidiary secured a 300 million yuan (S$62 million) investment from Malaysia's state investment agency, Khazanah Nasional.

Khazanah - through its subsidiary Rawa Investments - is buying a 10 per cent stake in Oriental University City, which owns a campus in China's Hebei province that provides education services to 16 colleges and some 36,000 students.

Khazanah has a 60 per cent share of Iskandar Investment.

Raffles University will be developed on a 26ha plot of land and will offer a range of undergraduate programmes, including business, technology, arts and design, health science, education and social science specialisations.

It aims to enrol some 5,000 students within its first five years.

Raffles Education chairman and chief executive Chew Hua Seng said: 'We are delighted to partner Education@Iskandar to jointly explore the viability of replicating our Oriental University City's successful business model in Iskandar Malaysia.'

Iskandar Malaysia has attracted about $1.1 billion in manufacturing investments from the Singapore private sector.

Source: Straits Times, 25 Feb 2010

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