KUCHING – Swinburne University of Technology Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pascale Quester recently made her inaugural visit to the Melbourne-based university’s Sarawak campus on 29 August 2022.
Accompanying Professor Quester on her visit were Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Karen Hapgood, Swinburne Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Dr Douglas Proctor, Victoria’s Commissioner to Southeast Asia Ms Rebecca Hall, and other honoured guests.
Welcoming the delegation to the campus were Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Ir Professor Lau Hieng Ho and the university’s Executive Group.
Part of the visit was a town hall session, during which Professor Quester shared her inspiring remarks with the staff of Swinburne Sarawak. The delegation was also taken on a tour around campus, including the highly anticipated upgraded facilities such as the Student Village. They were also shown around The Hive Design Studio, Student Central, the library, and other areas of the university. Furthermore, the visit was a great opportunity for fruitful discussions between the Executive Group members of both Swinburne campuses.
During Professor Quester’s time in Kuching, she made a courtesy call on Sarawak Premier and Pro Chancellor of Swinburne Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg at Wisma Bapa Malaysia. On 30 August, the delegation also attended Swinburne Sarawak’s graduation ceremony at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and Swinburne Sarawak’s Alumni and Partners Appreciation Dinner held at The Sarawak Club.
“How exciting it is to be physically here at Swinburne Sarawak after seeing photos, hearing about the operations, and witnessing the 20th anniversary celebration online. It is fabulous to see Kuching; it is an absolute marvel of a place,” said Professor Quester.
“It has also been great meeting the tight community here, seeing the facilities that are being designed and built for the students, and meeting with the staff. It’s been fabulous because it actually feels like being back together with family that you haven’t been able to visit for two years.
“It’s also always a happy time when we have graduation because this is the affirmation of what the business of university is all about. It was a superbly well-organised ceremony – everybody was on stage, parents were beaming, and it was a real buzz. That’s the spirit of what a university can do. I couldn’t be happier and I can’t wait to come back,” she said.
Likewise, Professor Hapgood expressed that she was thrilled to visit Swinburne Sarawak.
“I am having a great time in my new role at Swinburne looking after research in general and helping to drive this forward, and Sarawak is an important part of that. I’m looking forward to talking more with Professor Ida Fatimawati binti Adi Badiozaman (Executive Dean of Research, Swinburne Sarawak) and Professor Wallace Wong (Swinburne Innovation Malaysia Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer) about HDR, PhD students, as well as plans and ways that we can collaborate together from Melbourne to Kuching and out to industry. It’s a terrific energy,” she said.
She said she had met with HDR and PhD students during the visit and had great talks about the research community and positive student life experienced by PhD students.
“At the graduation ceremony, it was great to see some of them graduating and to hear what their actual projects are from the titles and topics. I’m looking forward to hearing more.”
Dr Proctor said it was a wonderful opportunity to visit Kuching for the first time and also to visit the campus here.
“My particular discussions were about the student opportunities that we have – opportunities for students to take an exchange, either in Sarawak or in Melbourne from Sarawak. I am looking forward to conversations about the student profile and the international students that Sarawak is seeking to attract,” he said.
Swinburne is an Australian university based in Melbourne, Australia. The Sarawak campus in Kuching is the only international, full-fledged branch campus of the university. Swinburne is ranked among the Top 1% of universities globally in both the QS World University Rankings 2023 and the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
For more information on Swinburne Sarawak, visit its website (www.swinburne.edu.my), Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).