Wednesday, August 17

Edu-tourism push for Sabah: CM

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Govt to boost popularity of local education institutions

KOTA KINABALU: Edu-tourism is expected to emerge as a new sector that has the potential for sustaining economic growth in Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

MODERN FACILITIES: Masterskill College students admire a model of the phase two development.

MODERN FACILITIES: Masterskill College students admire a model of the phase two development.

In view of this, the state government will aggressively promote Sabah’s edu-tourism which is driven by the anticipation of the growing popularity of local education institutions among foreign students, Musa said.

In a speech delivered by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun at the ground-breaking ceremony of Masterskill College phase two development in Likas here yesterday, the Chief Minister said Sabah offers a wide variety of courses through various reputable higher education institutions.

In order to make the state a more appealing education destination, he said the government will assist any educational institute in the state with promotional matters as well as ensuring the welfare of their foreign students is taken care of throughout their stay.

“We are ready to help any institute planning to take in students from foreign countries. This would help realise the state government’s vision to make Sabah an education hub in the region.

“This would not only benefit the people of Sabah but also the people in this region in terms of education opportunities,” he said.

Musa said the state government would also continue to encourage the establishment of higher learning institutes in Sabah, as it will not only create more education opportunities for both  local  and  foreign  students but also jobs for Sabahans.

He noted that among the main objectives under Sabah Development Corridor — the state’s long-term development blueprint  aimed at increasing the people’s earning power — is maximisation of economic growth through knowledge-based economic development.

He said huge investment opportunities are being created under the SDC to encourage active participation from the private sector in developing all vital sectors, which include the education.

“The state government always emphasise on education and health which are among the most important aspects in developing the state. We are not only prepared to work with education institutes and the private sector but also encourage them to invest in the state’s development, be it in education or other sectors, such as service sector,” said Musa.

Meanwhile, Masidi told a press conference later that attention would be given to ensuring foreign students, as well as their visiting parents, are comfortable while they are in Sabah .

He said his ministry welcomes any education institute wishing to participate in tourism promotional missions overseas.

“The presence of more foreign students would have a multiplying effect on the state’s economy. It will benefit not just the education sector but other economic sectors as well.

“When they study here, their parents or friends may come to visit them and this would indirectly increase tourist arrivals in the state,” he said.