Move spearheads a new phase of growth for education group
Shah Alam, 10 February 2015: Paramount Corporation Berhad today unveiled its new RM260 million, 10-acre, 1 million square feet KDU University College (KDUUC) flagship campus located within the 21.7 acre Paramount Utropolis development at Glenmarie. The opening of the campus marks a new phase of growth not just for KDUUC, but also for the 32-year old Paramount Education (formerly known as the KDU Education Group).
Paramount Education is the education arm of Paramount Corporation Berhad (Paramount) and is a full-spectrum education services provider, offering the primary and secondary national and international curricula, through to undergraduate and post-graduate programmes.
Speaking at a campus walkabout event for the media, Paramount Group Chief Executive Officer Mr Jeffrey Chew said, “Paramount Education’s desire to provide good-quality education while inspiring the spirit of nation building is strongly aligned with the Paramount Group ethos, which is to be an innovative market leader in businesses that benefit society. This ethos is being brought to life right here at this new KDUUC campus at Utropolis, Glenmarie, which has been purpose-built by Paramount Property to offer innovative teaching and learning experiences.
“KDUUC prides itself on being a real world university designed to meet real-world needs. This campus, with its well-equipped lecture halls and classrooms, contemporary library and a myriad of labs for practical, hands-on learning, coupled with our lecturers and advisory councils made up of industry practitioners, all help KDU graduates to hit the ground running.”
He added that the opening of the KDUUC campus at Utropolis, Glenmarie also marked the reestablishment of KDU College, Damansara Jaya.
“With this separation of KDUUC and KDU College, Damansara Jaya, the latter’s offering of pre-university, foundation and twinning programmes will be made clearer and more visible, in turn helping us attract more partner universities for our programmes. This further widens our education offering, which aims to offer parents and students a variety of education options within their means, and creates a strong flow-through pipeline of students for KDUUC.”
Moving forward, Chew said that Paramount Education would continue to invest in and grow the other brands within its umbrella, with a focus on increasing its footprint.
He said, “Over the past five years, there has been significant increase in private primary, secondary and tertiary enrolments. The growing middle-class market is increasingly looking at private education providers to provide affordable quality education for their families.
“Paramount Education, through our Sri KDU primary and secondary schools offering the national and international curricula, has the depth of experience and breadth of talent to meet these needs, and part of our growth strategy going forward will be to build on this. This is an attractive, high growth industry with relatively high barriers to entry, which puts us in a very good position to grow,” said Chew.
He added that the Sri KDU schools were doing very well, with both the national and international schools enjoying full enrolment. The brand, he said, has an excellent reputation, in turn attracting good quality students who go on to perform admirably in their further education.
Sekolah Menengah (SM) Sri KDU was named the top performing school in Malaysia in the Programme for International Student Assessment 2012 (PISA 2012) in the Malaysia Education Blueprint Annual Report 2013. The school’s scores of 568 (Mathematics), 559 (Science) and 530 (Reading) in the PISA 2012 placed SM Sri KDU amongst the top ranked countries in the world in each of these three categories.
On the tertiary side, Chew said that in the pipeline were plans to mirror Paramount’s successful Paramount Utropolis township in Glenmarie at a new location in mainland Penang.
“In 2014, we signed a deal with the Penang Development Corporation to acquire 30 acres of freehold land in Batu Kawan, Penang. 10 acres have been set aside to develop Penang’s first university metropolis, anchored by a new purpose-built campus for KDU Penang, one of the top colleges in Penang with an excellent reputation and strong industry links. KDU Penang is working towards achieving University College status, and this new campus, which will open its doors in 2018-19, will help cement Paramount Education’s strong footprint in northern Malaysia.”
In conclusion, Chew said, “We have a clear and focused plan to grow Paramount Education over the next 5-7 years, which is anchored on two clear strategies – take our successful brands to new markets, and use our expertise to create new streams of growth. Providing quality education is exciting business in an important industry, and we are well-placed to be a leading player in it.”
KDU University College, Utropolis in Glenmarie: Designed to inspire and provide hands-on learning for real-world experiences
The new KDUUC campus in Utropolis at Glenmarie boasts nine fully equipped lecture halls, each with the capacity to seat a maximum of 250 students; 60 classrooms; a multi-purpose hall; a 50,000-square feet library with learning pods and a coffee bar to encourage engagement and collaboration; as well as a 580-bed student village with direct access to campus facilities.
It houses five schools: the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts; School of Computing and Creative Media; School of Communication and Creative Arts; School of Engineering; and School of Business.
Budding chefs will be thrilled with the 13 specialised culinary kitchens covering 65,000 square feet, equipped with top European kitchen systems. This is the biggest and most complete hospitality and culinary training facility in the country, giving KDU’s culinary programme a huge boost. This will be complemented by a fine dining restaurant, variable restaurant and a coffee laboratory.
Equally impressive are facilities for other programmes, which include Malaysia’s only fully equipped Alienware teaching labs for those training to be Game Developers; a fully-equipped sound recording studio, photography studios and a television studio for Communication & Creative Arts students; and electrical and mechanical engineering laboratories.
Beyond the classroom walls are gardens and outdoor spaces featuring extensive green areas promoting greater creativity, collaborative activities and student interaction, as well as retail facilities to meet the everyday needs of students.
Echoing Paramount’s ethos of respecting people and planet, KDUUC’s design and construction was guided by a firm commitment to going green. The Utropolis campus in Glenmarie has been awarded a provisional certification by Green Building Index (GBI) for its sustainable approaches in a higher-education development.
Paramount Utropolis is a visionary integrated development, and is based on the concept of a university metropolis. Anchored by the 10-acre flagship KDUUC campus, Paramount Utropolis’ residential components include serviced apartments, some with dual key options, as well as lifestyle suites suitable for home and small offices.
The Paramount Utropolis township is further enhanced by the 120,000 square feet Utropolis Marketplace retail centre, which will have a retail mix designed to meet the everyday needs of the Utropolis and surrounding communities. Together, the entire development offers visitors and residents a unique live-and-learn, work-and-play environment in a contemporary self-contained township that will surely stand the test of time.