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Transnational place attachment through campus physical design for a university in Malaysia


Fatemi, Ezaz (2018) Transnational place attachment through campus physical design for a university in Malaysia. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Malaysia inspires to become a premier international education hub with expected intake of more international students’ enrollment into the country. In line with this scenario, the infrastructural development of universities must also follow international standard and environmentally safe to attract international students. Malaysia essentially needs to understand the adjustment problems faced by international students and provides the right kind of support by enhancing sense of place attachment amongst international students in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) campus. The physical planning of UPM Serdang main campus is outspread due to its large area and seems to contribute to the lack of social interactions and attachment to the University; a factor which is considered as a hindrance to its effort to be a premier global education hub. This study aims to investigate the actual locations and level of place attachment amongst international students, current planning and design characteristics of places that provide sense of place attachment in UPM campus, key stakeholders’ views on the importance of place attachment in UPM and finally, to formulate appropriate design strategies and recommendations that can assist UPM to be a global education hub. A mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, acknowledged as explanatory sequential mixed methods are employed. The first method involves questionnaires survey conducted amongst UPM international students to understand students’ perceptions on level of campus attachment, identifying and ranking of specific places of attachment. Meanwhile, the later qualitative phases include morphological study, physical observation to identify the physical characteristics of the places of attachment in eight specific locations in UPM. Finally, interviews with main stakeholders’ also are conducted to gauge their opinion on the importance of place attachment through the planning and design methods of UPM facilities. The result demonstrates that the international students are lacking sense of place attachment towards the University. The international students in UPM seem to have difficulties in adjusting to cultural differences and educational experience that is needed in the process of place attachment. Despite the efforts being made to upgrade the physical appearance or visibility of UPM, there are still several glaring weaknesses in facilitating and supporting place attachments amongst the international students that further hinder the internationalization of UPM as a global education hub. The lack of urban spine physical development for social and cultural connectivity from the main administrative area to other campus core areas is considered as the main contributor to the problem which is also exacerbated by decentralization of decision making and discontinuation of planning policies at the top management levels apart from the maintenance aspects. This study is expected to assist in formulating an appropriate set of planning and design strategies for a global educational campus hub in Malaysia by taking into consideration of the existing planning conditions and the views of stakeholders that can be employed worldwide.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject: Transnational education - Case studies. - Malaysia
Subject: College facilities - Planning
Subject: Campus planning
Call Number: FRSB 2018 8
Chairman Supervisor: Mohammad Yazah Mat Raschid, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Design and Architecture
Depositing User: Mas Norain Hashim
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 02:12
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 02:12
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/76310
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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