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Innovative Private University Partners with MIT

A new private university--Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST)-- has established a five-year partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MUST will use the curriculum of MIT for all the programs offered and its courses and research programs will be jointly conducted by the faculties of both MUST and MIT.

MUST commenced operations in December 2000 and plans to receive its first students in September 2002, folllowing MIT's calendar. It obtained a grant from the government of Malaysia of RM 20 million (USD 5.26 million) per year for five years totaling RM100 million (USD26.3 million) to establish the university. MIT will provide MUST with technical assistance for five years, which will be funded by Motorola, USA.

Being the first university of its kind in Malaysia, MUST aims to train highly skilled researchers and scientists for the country. The university will offer post-graduate programs in biotechnology, energy, telecommunications, intelligent transportation systems, software applications and animation. The objective of MUST is to create R & D leaders and critical thinkers in science and technology who can develop and manage cutting-edge indigenous technologies. It is going to be a research-driven post-graduate university that is modelled along MIT's style of learning and training. Perhaps its greatest challenge will be to make it practical within the local environment to nurture a research culture that is vibrant, innovative, and purposeful.

In the short term, MUST plans to achieve the following : - Develop indigenous R & D capabilities, entrepreneurship ,and knowledgeable workers for the k-economy. - Assist Malaysian industries become more productive and competitive globally through innovation and creativity in science and technology

At its current initial stage and with limited resources of researchers, MUST plans to focus its activities on selected multidisciplinary areas of biotechnology and information technology. This will help to optimize its research strengths and ensure that a critical mass in a specific area of interest is effectively created and maintained. The university will work closely with the world's best universities to build a spirit of cooperation and open inquiry in the Malaysian community of researchers and post-graduate students of science and technology.

MUST was conceived and planned in response to the Prime Minister's call for the creation of a world-class university to cater to the needs of the science and technology sector. Its establishment was announced in 1997 but the project was delayed due to an economic slowdown in 1998.

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