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Changes at University of Reading Malaysia

colour photograph portrait of Vincenzo Raimo

Today I am with colleagues at the University’s Malaysia campus where we are speaking to every member of staff outlining the new structure for our operation. You can read our announcement about the changes here.

As I reported during my recent global engagement strategy update, while many students have benefitted from the opportunity to study for a University of Reading degree at our Malaysia campus, the growth of the campus has been slower than originally anticipated.

We have been working very hard in recent months on a revised plan for the Malaysia campus. We have, at various points, explored every possible option. Earlier this year we were able to provide certainty about our long-term commitment to Malaysia but, in doing so, we made clear that we would have to make changes to the physical campus we occupy, to our programme portfolio and to our staffing structure.

Today’s announcement provides more details about those changes. From 1 August we will reduce the space we occupy on EduCity, relinquishing facilities we no longer need. We will continue to provide high-quality, research-informed, pathways to British undergraduate degree programmes delivered fully in Malaysia while also now more explicitly providing a pathway to the UK campuses. We are making changes to the programme portfolio to focus on foundation and undergraduate degrees in areas of demand, providing additional certifications or industry opportunities that further enhance the employment prospects of our students. I am especially pleased that we will adding an undergraduate Law programme to the portfolio – the first and currently only overseas campus in Malaysia to have received approval to offer a degree in Law.  

I am though very sorry that as part of the new plan there will be a reduction in the total number of staff, both academic and professional, at the campus. We have sought to make as much of this reduction as possible by keeping posts vacant and through other means; however, unfortunately we will have to offer a mutual separation scheme (the Malaysian equivalent to a redundancy package) to a number of our colleagues today.

Particularly given the recent redundancies across other parts of the University, I know that like me you will sympathise with our colleagues who are in this position in Malaysia. I am very sorry that we are having to do this. For all those who are affected we are providing a package of support including health care for them and their families. We have also appointed an agency to support colleagues with further training and advice and help in finding alternative employment where that is necessary.

I would like to thank everyone who has worked at or with the University of Reading Malaysia. While today’s news is difficult, what everyone has built here together is a truly remarkable achievement. The pioneering spirit of our colleagues in Malaysia gives me confidence that together we can develop and grow our campus here as part of our global University.

I will of course keep you posted on developments in the coming weeks.

VINCENZO RAIMO

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement

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