KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The establishment of China's Xiamen University Malaysian Campus is very meaningful in terms of the bilateral relations between Malaysia and China, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the campus on Thursday, Najib said the plan of Xiamen University (XMU) to open a branch in Malaysia would help Malaysia to improve the quality of tertiary education.
He said that the opening of the Malaysia branch of XMU would not only help bring high quality students from abroad but also would provide more choices for Malaysian students.
The campus will be located in the vicinity of Bandar Kota Warisan in Malaysia's Selangor State, just 15 minutes ride from the country's administrative center of Putrajaya or 45 km southwest of Kuala Lumpur.
The campus will be built on an area of 150 acres with a planned total floor space of 470,000 square meters with a total investment of RM. 1.3 billion (about 400 million U.S. dollars).
Zhu Chongshi, the president of XMU told Xinhua that XMU was founded by Malaysian Chinese Tan Kah Kee in 1921, now 93 years later, XMU has repaid by setting up a campus in Malaysia, this is a historical reciprocation.
He said XMU Malaysia Campus is the first overseas campus set up by a renowned Chinese university and the establishment of the campus has been encouraged by many parties and individuals both in China and Malaysia.
XMU's Malaysia campus will enroll students from China, Malaysia and other southeastern countries and the first enrollment of 500 students is expected as early as in September 2015, he said, adding that the number of students will grow to 5,000 in 2020 and eventually reach its maximum capacity of 10,000.
The teaching staff of XMU Malaysia Campus will comprise distinguished professors of XMU and excellent teachers recruited from around the world, Zhu said.
In terms of the courses to be offered, Zhu said, at least 17 bachelor degree courses, including marine biology and biotechnology, marine environmental science and technology, finance, accounting , Chinese medicine international business, journalism and communications, will be offered by XMU Malaysia Campus.
With exception of programs of Chinese studies and traditional Chinese medicine, all the courses will be delivered in English, Zhu said.
In addition to bachelor degree courses, the XMU Malaysia Campus will also offer master degree programs in New Energy Technology, Chinese Language and Literature, Business Administration as well as doctoral programs in Marine Biotechnology and Computer Science.
The annual tuition for most of the bachelor degree courses is between RM 20,000 and RM 25,000, Zhu said, adding that XMU Malaysia Campus will consider offering scholarships to the students who are academically deserving as well as those who need help.