Sunday, September 26

First intake of University College of Technology Sarawak next month


THE DREAM HAS TAKEN SHAPE: Wong (second right) with the builders of the university.

SIBU: The first phase of University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) will be completed in time for the first intake of students next month.

The contractor is racing against time to complete the phase which includes its impressive glass administration block.

Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, one of the key leaders from the state government behind this higher education project, visited the campus last weekend and was pleased with its progress.

“This is our pride – a university college that is set to become a world-class institution is rising so rapidly in Sibu. This will be the first university in Malaysia that is awarded with the Green Building Index platinum award based on its green innovation.”

The minister said he was confident anyone stepping into the campus would be impressed when its Phase 1 is completed in another few weeks. The University College of Technology Sarawak is currently sitting on a 90-acre plot next to Laila Taib College.

Announcing the project last year, Wong was sure the college would put Sibu on a high pedestal as it would be the only university in Malaysia to have a technology research park that would come at a later phase of development.

“Research on innovative technology will be carried out here with the entrepreneurs’ involvement.”

UCTS vice-chancellor and CEO Datuk Dr Prof Hakim Juri had earlier said the institution would support research and development activities in academic areas to put Sibu on the world map.

“This higher education programme will support Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) in human capital development.”

Although UCTS was called a university college, he said there was no difference in what they did from what a university would do.

“Like a university, we confer degree programmes, including Master programmes up to the PHD level; we are allowed to do research and do what any other university can do.”

He said the only reason why UCTS was called a university college was because of its size, as it would only take in up to 5,000 students in later stages.

“If we grow bigger and larger, we shall drop the word ‘college’ from our institution to become a university.”

Hakim Juri said there were many renowned university colleges worldwide, like the University of London and others.

“There are some which do not even have a ‘university’ title, like world-famous Imperial College that enjoys a high rating among institutions of higher education in the world.”