Several public tertiary institutions are to open branches in Pagoh to turn the northern region of Johor into a hub for higher education, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Monday.
He said the project under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) was in the planning stage and would be announced soon.
"It is hoped that the development of the higher education hub will be a boost for the Educity development in Iskandar, Nusajaya, whereby it will focus more on the construction of campuses of foreign public institutions of higher learning," he said.
He spoke to reporters after witnessing the signing of an agreement between Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Education@Iskandar Sdn Bhd (EISB) for the construction of a branch campus of MDIS in Educity, Iskandar.
Mohamed Khaled said the opening of branch campuses of foreign public institutions of higher learning in Educity, Iskandar, would help achieve Malaysia's desire to be a regional education hub.
He said implementation of the first phase of Educity had begun and it was expected to go into operation in 2013 with four universities, including MDIS, having an enrolment of about 4,000 local and international students.
"Under Phase Two, four more foreign universities are expected to set up their branch campuses and these will double the student enrolment," he said.
MDIS, Singapore's oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning, will be the nation's first education institute to establish a campus in Educity, Iskandar.
The MDIS Malaysia campus would enroll 2,000 students when the first phase of development is completed in 2013.
The campus, which will be fully completed by 2023, will offer courses in business management, mass communications, information technology and digital media, and also travel and tourism.