Mon, 15 Jul 2024


United States varsities still the choice: Envoy
Published on: Saturday, June 15, 2024
By: Lorena Binisol
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United States varsities still the choice: Envoy
State Minister of Science, Technology and Inoovation Datuk Dr Haji Mohd Arifin (second left) launching the 6th American Green Corner at the State Library.
Kota Kinabalu: Despite the weak ringgit, Malaysian students still choose American universities due to their educational values, said US Ambassador to Malaysia Edward D Kagan.

Nearly 3,000 student visas were issued for the 2022/2023 academic year and currently there are 4,973 Malaysians studying there.

“We are exploring how we can further contribute in terms of knowledge and expertise to better protect the environment,” said US Ambassador to Malaysia Edgard D. Kagan.

When asked about the chances of Malaysian students studying in the United States, given the weak ringgit making it more expensive for foreign students, Kagan replied that despite the currency exchange, many students from countries such as China, India, Korea, and other parts of the world still choose U.S. universities for their educational value.

“We recognize it has an impact. However, we are very confident that students who choose our universities would testify to the great value they achieve. 

“Our goal is to continue working with Malaysians and students to provide broader opportunities.

“We also see that those who have studied in the United States, upon returning to their countries of origin, are performing extraordinarily well. 

“As for Malaysia, I believe these students bring valuable expertise and a global perspective back to their country,” said Kagan,  adding the topic was often discussed within the federal government of Malaysia.

He also mentioned about the previous English Teaching Assistant programme, which was extended to Malaysia, was closed down due to the pandemic in 2020. He said since there is now a demand for it to be reopened, the embassy is working on addressing it.

He is also optimistic that the collaboration between America through the Embassy and Malaysia, particularly Sabah, would yield numerous benefits, strengthening connectivity between the two countries. 

The newly-launched American Green Corner, the sixth in Malaysia, is one such initiative designed to promote various products, services, facilities and culture of the US. Located at the Tanjung Aru Library, it offers various learning gadgets such as podcast facilities, drones, robotics, and materials on environmental and climate change subjects.

“The opening of this branch reflects our recognition that the people of Sabah are concerned about the environment and climate change. 

“We are exploring how we can further contribute in terms of knowledge and expertise to better protect the environment,” said Kagan.

Other entities that they had worked together with was the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), which Kagan said the Commandant of Coast Guard had recently visited the state in May on its expansion programme.

 “We recognise your concern about security especially for Sabah and Sarawak when it comes to South China Sea and how Malaysia maintains its sovereignty.

“There is some expansion programme with MMEA, it is a good example of how the two countries could work together on things that matter to Malaysians,” said Kagan.

Meanwhile, the director of Sabah State Library, Hajah Fatimah Abdillah, lauded the joint effort in promoting environmental sustainability, education, and cultural exchange. 

She said it is a shared commitment to foster a deeper understanding of environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

The space would benefit the local communities, especially the younger generation, by creating greater awareness through engaging programmes within the subject matter. 

It provides a modern and innovative space that encourages educational and cultural exchange with a focus on environmental issues and climate change.

“It also serves as a hub for educational programmes, workshops, and community activities highlighting the importance of environmental conservation. 

This initiative aims to inspire individuals of all ages to protect our planet and adopt sustainable living practices,” she said.

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Edward D Kagan


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