University of Nottingham: University of Nottingham Malaysia – share sale agreement

The University of Nottingham today confirmed its intention to buy out its joint venture partners in the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) to secure the long-term future of the University in the region and the 650 jobs and 5,200 students on its Malaysian campus.

Following a successful partnership of more than 20 years, in a deal with an estimated value of £23.5 million, the University will buy out its Malaysian partner Boustead Holdings Berhad (BHB), through a wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary, to run UNM as the majority shareholder.

The purchase presents UNM with exciting opportunities to continue to deliver high quality British education globally, expand international research partnerships and extend operations in Malaysia and the ASEAN region. The transition to majority ownership by the University of Nottingham will commence in the autumn.

University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said:

“Having recently celebrated 20 years of delivering world-leading research and education in Malaysia, we are looking forward to building the next 20 years of student success, research achievements and commitment to our global presence and impact.

“With demand for higher education in the ASEAN region expected to increase significantly in the coming years, majority ownership of the UNM campus creates the potential for us to provide high quality UK tertiary education to a region which is home to one in 11 of the world’s 15- to 24-year-olds and demonstrates significant appetite to expand its higher education provision.

“Together with the University’s other global campus in Ningbo, China, where we educate some 8,000 students each year, this will underscore the University’s position as the UK’s truly global university. Nottingham represents the excellence, entrepreneurialism and global engagement that characterises the very best of British universities. This bold investment in our Malaysia campus will help secure our continued success and contribute to that of the UK as it forges its place on the global stage in a post-pandemic world.

“Our commitment to UNM and to Malaysia remains as strong as ever. This purchase will allow us to build on excellent foundations in teaching and research to develop new, innovative teaching programmes and research that supports sustainable development locally, regionally and globally. Degree courses and staff jobs at UNM will be secured for the long-term, and we are developing new strategies to chart our future in Malaysia with the same passion for education in the country that we have had since the start of the century.”

Boustead Holdings Berhad Group Managing Director Dato’ Sri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said “By placing UNM under the full stewardship of the University of Nottingham, we trust that UNM will continue to accomplish great things in the future. The University of Nottingham is an esteemed global institution and we extend our best wishes for all the upcoming endeavours of UNM.”

The creation of UNM in September 2000 is considered the first ever branch campus of a British university to be established outside of the UK, starting with a small cohort of 89 students in Kuala Lumpur. In 2005, the University relocated to 48-hectare campus in Semenyih, and grew to its present size of more than 650 staff and 5,200 students drawn from across the ASEAN region and beyond.