The Nullarbor’s 3,500km arid expanse isolates Perth as the western-most capital city on Australia’s map. While Australia’s two largest capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are traditionally the focus of Australia’s international commerce and service sectors, that desert expanse positions Perth 3,500 kilometres closer to the continent of Africa, the south Asia and the islands edging the Indian Ocean.
Curtin University of Technology is Perth’s largest university, currently home to 31,000 students – over one third of those being international students. That geographical positioning has forged strong links with countries like Malaysia, and utilising this opportunity, in 1999, Curtin University opened their first offshore campus in Sarawak, Malaysia.
On the 22nd of February, 2006, Curtin University of Technology formally acknowledged the partnership between the countries and institutions in awarding Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology in a special ceremony hosted by Curtin University in Western Australia.
Curtin’s recent decision to contribute the royalty fee it receives from the Sarawak Campus to a fund to provide money for research grants to postgraduate students at the Campus.
He announced that the Government of Malaysia would match the contribution by Curtin in the amount of Malaysian ringgit six (6) million (AUS$ 2,180,901) to a research and scholarship fund to be created at Curtin’s Sarawak Campus. Curtin will also contribute accumulated royalties amounting to approximately Malaysian ringgit one (1) million.