JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Singapore-Malaysia Meeting of Minds International Education Forum was held at the Seashell Sales Gallery in Forest City, Malaysia on May 6, 2017. During the event, attendees discussed the status of international education in Singapore and Malaysia and explored the possibilities for a new educational ecosystem with a focus on developing a comprehensive and diversified curriculum that meets the needs of today's instructors and students.
The advanced planning in terms of educational needs for the Forest City community receives much acclaim from attendees
Attendees included Forest City chief strategy officer Yu Runze, Shattuck-St. Mary's School president Nick Stoneman, principal Don MacMillan and head of the school's Forest City-based facility Graham Gamble, sector head of Private Education and Special Education at Johore Department of Education Norbiha Binti Buang, senior vice president of Economics & Business at Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Low Mei Leong, Krista Education Sdn Bhd chairman Y.Bhg. Tan Seri Dato' Seri Dr. Yahaya Ibrahim, as well as representatives from the University of Reading Malaysia, the University of Southampton Malaysia, Raffles American School and Sunway International School, among other government officials and representatives from educational organizations.
Malaysia's Iskandar University Town is home to the satellite campuses of several of the world's top 500 universities, including Newcastle University, the University of Reading and the University of Southampton. At variance with Singapore, located on the other side of the Straits of Johor and where land prices are steep, Johor Bahru has plenty of land available for the building of campuses as well as substantially lower costs for land acquisition and facilities support.
"UNESCO ranks Malaysia as the 11th most preferred study abroad destination in the world," noted Norbiha Binti Buang.
Forest City is located a short 20-30 minute drive from Iskandar University Town. When commenting on Forest City being representative of a "City of the Future", University of Southampton Malaysia CEO Professor John McBride said, "The site was once a beautiful forest and now has truly become a Forest City. That is indeed very cool."
The representative from Raffles American School was optimistic about the prospects of the ideally-situated Forest City and said, "We very much look forward to opening a school in Forest City. Its close proximity to Singapore makes it a compelling location for a facility providing an American education. In terms of timing, it's a pity that other fine schools have beaten us here."
Forest City speeds up the launch of a series of projects spanning a wide range of industries
"Forest City is accelerating the launch of a series of projects spanning a wide range of industries, including a golf course which is scheduled to start construction this month, a duty-free shop to open in July, Shattuck-St. Mary's School, which plans to commence recruitment in August and open a school in the city next August as well as Taiwan-based MJ Group, a leading healthcare management firm, with plans to build a health management facility that will open within this year," said Forest City chief strategy officer Yu Runze, "Goods bought from the duty-free shop are free of import and other taxes, and the consumption tax can be recouped when leaving Malaysia."
Forest City is rolling out several other projects, all of which intend to make use of another Chinese government initiative, one which makes spare manufacturing capacity in China available to overseas projects. The projects span 8 industries, including tourism, conventions and exhibitions, healthcare, education and training. Forest City has teamed up with roughly 100 Chinese firms including telecommunications equipment and services giant Huawei, construction equipment manufacturer Zoomlion, leading steel producer Shagang Group and high-end porcelain tile maker Monalisa, in response to the One Belt, One Road initiative, the Chinese government's program to enhance economic ties with the countries that lie along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. In addition, Forest City has partnered with world-class international teams at several renowned firms, including American landscape architect Hideo Sasaki, global consulting firm Accenture, international engineering consultants Arup and sustainable technologies advisory firm Greenerg, in adopting and executing on several preferential policies to create a fully integrated, smart ecological city.
In addition to Shattuck-St. Mary's School, Forest City is already in the process negotiating the establishment of several more satellite campuses with leading international schools from several countries, including top schools in the UK, as well as tying up with the Iskandar local government in bringing in international scientific research centers as well as vocational and technical training schools, accelerating the deployment of education facilities in the city.
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SOURCE Country Garden Holdings