Friday, August 12

Curtin Sarawak appeals for federal funds


FUTURE STUDENT: Dr Chan (left) and Lee sharing a light moment with a kid taking part in a colouring competition.

MIRI: The federal government should show more concern for Curtin Sarawak as the university is playing a crucial role in the development of Miri in particular and the state in general.

The university’s council chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who said this, lamented that there had been no funds coming from the federal government.

“The university (Curtin Sarawak) is the focal point for future developments of the state, particularly for Miri. Most world renowned universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford, grew together with the cities where they are in,” Dr Chan said at Curtin Open Day yesterday.

He told those present that Curtin Sarawak had big dreams, including that of increasing its student population to 35,000, but this was difficult to materialise without funds.

“Curtin is an international university. It not only has lecturers from 40 countries but the standard of learning is high here,” said Dr Chan, who pointed out that the university was not ranked the 12th best university in Australia for nothing.

Dr Chan said he was confident that Curtin would continue to scale higher in terms of research and academic excellence in the coming years.

“But funding is becoming a problem, especially for an institution whose emphasis is not profit orientated.
“To accelerate its growth potential, extra funding is a must. The state government has already contributed a lot and the federal government can do likewise, especially through Petronas.”

Also present at the gathering were Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Mayor Lawrence Lai, pro vice-chancellor and chief executive of Curtin Sarawak Professor Ian Kerr, deputy pro vice-chancellor Professor Alistair Inglis and chief operating officer James Ng.