photo: Alvin Leong

photo: Alvin Leong

The Sarawak government is confident that private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) are capable of improving the quality of education in the state as well as producing skilled human capital in various fields.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the education sector, especially in technology, was one of Sarawak’s priorities in achieving developed status.

“Our priority for education is high and I’m satisfied with the private universities in improving the quality of education in Sarawak,” he told reporters after a convocation ceremony at the Swinburne University of Technology here today.

The contributions of the Swinburne University of Technology could become an example of how to produce knowledgeable and skilled human capital in Sarawak, he said, adding that Sarawak hoped to expand the university’s campus in Kuching with plans to build an additional campus in Kota Samarahan.

Taib, who is also the university’s Pro-Chancellor, said the university now had 3,000 students, 18 per cent of whom are international students from 40 countries, and the enrolment was expected to increase to 5,000 in the coming years.

Besides the Swinburne University of Technology in Kuching, Sarawak also houses another private university, Curtin University’s Sarawak campus, in Miri and two public universities — University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Samarahan — in Kota Samarahan.

Meanwhile, 208 graduates from the Swinburne University of Technology received their degrees and diplomas at the convocation at the old state assembly complex.