Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus is the result of a successful combination of goals: Malaysia’s goal of becoming an educational centre of excellence, Sarawak’s goal of increasing its technical workforce and Swinburne University of Technology Australia’s goal of globalising its operations to provide its students with additional international opportunities while providing quality Australian degrees at affordable costs for students from across Asia.
The Sarawak campus was established in Kuching, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, in 2000. Originally known as Swinburne Sarawak Institute of Technology, it was awarded university status as a foreign branch campus university by the Malaysian Government in 2004 and became Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. The university therefore has dual nationality, being both a branch of the Australian university as well as a Malaysian university. Degrees awarded are Australian and testamurs are indistinguishable from those awarded in Australia.
The university is jointly owned by Swinburne University of Technology Australia and the Sarawak Government through Yayasan Sarawak (Sarawak Foundation) and Sarawak Higher Education Foundation.
Swinburne Sarawak was founded as part of the Government of Sarawak’s strategy to deliver skilled human capital to the engineering and technical fields for the industrialisation needs of the state. The Australian partner in this venture, Swinburne University of Technology, is well-known in Australia for its business and technical education and for close links with industry. The university wants to make the same high standard of education available to young people abroad.
Undergraduate degrees offered at Swinburne Sarawak include courses in the areas of Engineering, Science, Business, Computing and Design including double degrees. The university also offers postgraduate research programs at PhD and Masters levels in these disciplines. Courses offered include one-year foundation programs. The Faculty of Language and Foundation offers a wide range of preparatory and English language enhancement programs.
The 16.5-acre city campus is only about 15 minutes from the central waterfront area of Kuching. Student numbers have grown from the original intake of about 130 students in August 2000 to about 4000 currently and this is expected to reach 5000 students in several years. International students currently come from more than 60 countries.
The Sarawak campus was expanded in 2008. Completion of the RM110 million project sees eight new custom designed buildings added to the campus, increasing the total number of buildings to 12. These greatly improve teaching, research, student accommodation and other facilities as well as permit further expansion of courses and students, particularly in engineering and science.