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Curtin Sarawak welcomes new International students

Miri – 27 July, 2010 – With the start of its second semester just days away, Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) welcomed its new international students with a 2-day ‘International Prep Session’ on 22 and 23 July 2010.


The biannual orientation event held prior to the start of each semester organised by the university’s International Office is designed to help the international students settle into the lifestyle on the campus and in Miri. They will now go to join a ‘StartUp Week’ orientation for all new students beginning 26 July 2010 for degree students and 2 August 2010 for foundation students.


According to Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Kerr, the Prep Session and StartUp Week are designed to help students make the best possible start at Curtin Sarawak when the teaching weeks begin.


“They are a great way to help students familiarise themselves with the campus, meet other students, talk to teaching staff, locate classrooms, learn about the library, discover Curtin's social and community networks and much, much more,” he said.


He added that feedback from students who attended the Prep Session and StartUp Week in Semester One showed that they found it immensely useful.


In his welcoming address to the international students, Professor Kerr reassured them that the qualifications they earn at Curtin Sarawak are fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and that student transfers to Curtin University’s main Bentley Campus in Perth, if they choose to complete their degrees there, will be seamless.


Professor Kerr added that Curtin Sarawak recently achieved a Tier Five or ‘excellent’ rating in the MQA’s SETARA rating system for higher education institutions, which placed it among the top 18 universities in the country, and was also one of eight institutions granted self-accreditation status by the MQA this year.


He said all these achievements were testimony to Curtin Sarawak’s dedication to quality and excellence.


International officer William Lim Kien Soon said that, apart from assisting the students in obtaining the necessary documents for their studies in Sarawak, the International Office runs various activities during the International Prep Session that helps them get acquainted with each other. It also takes them on a city tour to show them the local sights.


Lim said 20 of the 60 international students enrolled for the next semester are already in Miri while the remainder are expected to arrive over the next few days. A separate International Prep Session will be held for them later.


Irina Maharani, an international student from Jakarta enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Project Management course, said she was most pleased to be in Miri.


“When my parents told me about Curtin Sarawak after visiting an education expo back in Indonesia, I was very eager to know more about the university. I was happy to find out that it offers quality teaching and learning, and imposes very high academic standards. Furthermore, Miri offers a very conducive study environment that will allow me to focus on my studies,” she said.


Prior to coming to Curtin Sarawak, Irina completed a degree in Economics of Management at Bina Nusantara (BINUS) University in Jakarta.


Rachel Salinah Jackson, a British national who grew up in Zambia, had an added goal in mind when she enrolled.


“I chose Curtin Sarawak because it offers a journalism major, which is vital to my achieving my goal of one day working for National Geographic. I also decided on coming to Sarawak because my mother is a Malaysian born in Sibu and I wanted to learn more about her origins and also pick up a bit of her native language,” commented Rachel.


For Bangladeshi student Farah Haque, the decision to join Curtin Sarawak was based on information obtained from the Internet.


“I initially found out about Curtin Sarawak from Wikipedia and got clarification about its courses and accreditations from the university website. I was very impressed with what I saw regarding the campus environment,” she said, adding that she is glad she made the decision as Curtin Sarawak is relatively close to home and is one of the most reputable institutions in the region. 


South Korean Lee Jun Sub, meanwhile, aims to improve his English during his time at Curtin Sarawak. He also believes he has made the right choice in Curtin Sarawak.


“I found out about Curtin Sarawak from my father who works in Brunei. So far, everything has been great and I am looking forward to a great learning experience here, but I’m still getting used to the humid weather,” said Lee.


Andrew Rowsell, a mature exchange student from Curtin’s main campus in Perth, said he decided to further his studies and pursue a new discipline as he wanted a career change.


“I was interested to go into geology as it allows for more outdoor activities compared to my previous career. I considered a few universities in Australia and decided to enrol at Curtin University as it had an international campus here in Malaysia. This not only gave me the opportunity to learn new skills, but by transferring to Curtin Sarawak, experience a different environment and change of pace as well,” he said.


Curtin Sarawak also got the thumbs up from Brian Alwin French from Sierra Leone, who remarked, “This university is more than I expected. The surroundings and atmosphere here, as well as the qualifications that this university offers, are beyond my expectations. I do not regret coming here at all.”


Curtin Sarawak has so far enrolled 60 international students from countries such as Bangladesh, Brunei, Bahrain, Oman, China, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Iran, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Tanzania, South Korea, Zimbabwe and Zambia into various courses at the university. The numbers are expected to increase as enrolment is still ongoing.


For more information on Curtin Sarawak, contact the university’s Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443939 or e-mail


Irina Maharani from Jakarta, Indonesia.


 Rachel Salinah Jackson from Zambia.

Farah Haque from Bangladesh.


Lee Jun Sub from South Korea.

Brian Alwin French from Sierra Leone.

Andrew Rowsell from New Zealand.


The new International students with Curtin Sarawak staff and Student Council members.


An ice-breaking activity during the Prep Session.