KUALA LUMPUR: The RM500mil AIMST University (previously known as Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology) campus will be opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tomorrow.
The state-of-the-art, self-contained campus on a 92ha site in Semeling, Sungai Petani, can accommodate 7,000 students.
There are 2,000 students currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree courses in medicine and health sciences, dentistry, engineering and computer technology, applied sciences and business and management.
The institution also conducts matriculation and foundation studies.
There are five hostel blocks, an administrative block, lecture halls, sports stadium, Olympic-size swimming pool, gymnasium and a multipurpose hall at the university, which is situated at the foothill of Gunung Jerai.
The university, a brainchild of MIC president Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, was mooted in 1996 when a fund-raising campaign was launched before the land was applied for from the Kedah state government in 1997.
Following approval in October 2001, AIMST University, the first private university in the northern region, started operations in a temporary campus in Amanjaya, Sungai Petani, before relocating to the new campus last year.
Samy Vellu in an interview said the Government had been helpful in providing RM250mil in grants while RM160mil more was raised through a bank loan for the construction of the university.
He also raised RM53mil while the remainder was collected by MIC branches.
“It was a great desire of mine to see the existence of this university and ... I feel satisfied now,” Samy Vellu said.
He said the university would help the Indian community to use education as a vehicle to uplift their status and remain competitive with other races.