Our Strategic Approaches

From the outset, UCSF shall refrain from offering ALL the conventional study disciplines available at other universities in the country today. Instead, it will be a boutique university that focuses on a few areas deemed able to raise its reputation to international prominence in a short time. As a “Green University”, UCSF will offer teaching and research programs aimed at achieving sustainability.


To help invent a future that is progressive and sustainable, UCSF needs to be ahead of the pack. It will equip its staff and students to be just that. We believe that future generations must rely on a firm understanding of the interconnected green issues facing us today so as to be guided towards sustainable living. We will offer learning and research programmes that can lead to this green behaviour and creativity. This focused and unique learning experience is our edge.


As a nation, Malaysia has taken serious measures towards conservation of her rainforests. Logging activities and deforestation have been driven to almost a grinding halt. This is a significant step towards sustainable development. But conservation of our rainforest must not mean we stop generating revenues from this important resource. Efforts must be made to demonstrate the truism that rainforests are worth more standing than logged over.

To date, the Sabah Foundation has put aside four huge areas of rain forests, about seven times the size of Singapore in total, for research and conservation. They include the Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon, Silam-Darvel Bay and their surrounding buffer zones. Each of these areas are fully equipped with a research station each; complete with field laboratories and accommodation facilities for researchers. UCSF intends to use these facilities as its living laboratories for study programs and research activities. We will invite staff and students of international universities to carry out research in these areas and jointly offer study programs in biodiversity, conservation biology, ecotourism and park management. The magnet for these students and researchers would be the ability to carry out intensive ecological studies that are field-based and long-term in pristine rainforests and coral reefs.


We resolve that UCSF and Yayasan Sabah are in an enviable position to bring back the boons of biology into today’s digital world. Indeed biology, the science of life, has been losing its magic appeal among today’s generation. Our kids seem devoid of that “living things” in them – making all of them lifeless and soul-less. Here’s our big game plan. UCSF will draw up a few courses in conservation biology that are very much field-based. We think the present generation still has that natural curiosity for nature despite their obsession with the tap-slide-pinch technology of their i-Pads and smart phones. UCSF intends to draw this digital generation back into the fields, the rainforests and coral reefs, and dazzle them with the beauty and knowledge our biodiversity can offer. A workable strategy is to design courses that are attractive to international students. Our courses in conservation biology, tropical ecology, biodiversity and sustainability and the likes will be of world-class. Our challenge is to make these courses intensively field-based, more so than those available at most other universities today.


Another point of difference is that these courses will incorporate both the conventional areas of taxonomy, ecology and population genetics with the present day research tools of genomics, proteomics and natural product chemistry. We are confident such courses will be able to attract high fee-paying international students from world renowned universities abroad. A consortium comprising local and foreign universities shall provide funding for the development and operation of the sophisticated and state-of-the-art facilities at our remote research stations in the four areas of Yayasan Sabah Conservation Areas. . This way our international study programs are deemed able to generate a sustainable revenue stream for our living laboratories.