Sunway University is today a leading household name in private higher education in Malaysia and it has made headlines again – this time for its collaboration with Lancaster University.
Lancaster University has recently been named University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The University is also in the top spot for Best Campus University and Best University in the North West.
Lancaster has been the top university in the northwest of England for over a decade. This year it rose three places to finish sixth place in the national league table, securing it a top 10 finish for the second consecutive year and its highest ever ranking. Lancaster University’s sixth-place ranking in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, as well as the winning of the coveted University of the Year award, cements its place as an elite UK university.
Sunway University and Lancaster University’s academic partnership began in 2006 with joint undergraduate degree programmes in the areas of business and management, accounting, psychology, communication, creative arts, computing and information systems, and life sciences.
“We always wanted a top global university to be our partner to help raise our standards and ensure our students get a high quality education by leading international standards and Lancaster was an excellent fit to our requirements. They are a particularly outward looking institution keen to build relationships around the world”, said Professor Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University.
“This collaboration focuses on giving our students dual degrees by studying right here in Malaysia. Other collaborations focus on progression opportunities whereby students leave the country to complete a degree overseas. Our dual degree arrangement ensures students can get two degrees by studying here, and with one of them from a top international institution it is very cost effective for students and their parents”, added Professor Wilkinson.
Talents and academic staff of the two institutions also work on research collaborations, one example is the ‘Southeast Asia-UK Springboard 2017: Cities of the Future’.
Lancaster University, a top 10 research-led UK university, has extensive research interests in ‘cities and surrounding hinterlands’. This includes research in sustainable infrastructure and design, energy, health and well-being, waste, land use, education, pollution, climate change, technology, culture, innovation and development, economics and city living. Sunway University shares Lancaster’s interest in smart and healthy cities, the development of sustainable communities; and the knowledge of challenges faced in combating the threat of climate change and rapid urbanisation in Southeast Asia.
“We have developed very close ties with Lancaster and Sunway staff regularly interact with Lancaster staff through two-way visits and exchanges. It is a tremendous opportunity for our staff to experience what it’s like in a top British university. We also put many of our academics through a Lancaster training programme on how to be first class university teachers. We even have a Lancaster academic permanently on-site leading and coordinating the partnership”, he further explained.
Last year, Professor Graeme Wilkinson and Professor Mark Smith, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University, signed an agreement to shift from teaching partnership to a more long term strategic alliance, focussing on developing research, postgraduate and research degrees, dual award doctorates and strategic research collaborations such as the ‘Southeast Asia-UK Springboard’.
According to Professor Wilkinson, “Sunway students will continue to benefit from gaining both Sunway degrees and Lancaster degrees and the range of degrees on offer is continuing to grow across a broad range of fields. We also expect more students to benefit from a study abroad opportunity with Lancaster.
Students who take the dual degree programmes with us know that they are getting degrees that are career-focused and that follow a curriculum judged to be highly relevant for the world of work in two different countries.
Sunway students benefit from knowing that they are gaining knowledge which has been put together here in Malaysia but with input from a leading overseas institution. When they graduate they become alumni of two institutions, both Sunway and Lancaster, and have access to all of the networks and social links that go with that which should help them in their careers long term.”