Unique­ness of Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia in South­east Asia


The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Education - Mark McVeigh) The writer is Head of Se­nior School at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia.

I AM FOR­TU­NATE to be able to re­turn to Marl­bor­ough UK a few times per year, and the very real sense of con­nec­tion be­tween the two schools is pal­pa­ble. My own Marl­bor­ough roots go back a long way. I was ap­pointed there as head of depart­ment, then was asked to be house­mas­ter, and fi­nally in­ter­na­tional li­ai­son co-or­di­na­tor, be­fore join­ing MCM as deputy head. I have been head of the Se­nior School for over a year and can tes­tify first-hand to the gen­uine ex­pan­sion of our sis­ter Col­lege in the UK. For us, ‘fran­chise’ is a word that de­notes a much weaker as­so­ci­a­tion.

At both schools there is an ev­i­dent com­mit­ment to meet­ing the de­vel­op­men­tal needs of in­di­vid­ual pupils. Iden­ti­fy­ing those needs re­quires the es­tab­lish­ment of a pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship be­tween pupil and teacher. This is en­cour­aged by a com­pre­hen­sive pas­toral care struc­ture, di­rected by house­mas­ters and house-mis­tresses, and im­ple­mented through the tu­to­rial sys­tem. All of this is based on mu­tual re­spect be­tween pupil and teacher, and work­ing to­gether for a com­mon goal.

At Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia, we be­lieve that the needs of in­di­vid­ual pupils are best served in the con­text of board­ing. Board­ers have more op­por­tu­ni­ties to build con­fi­dence and de­velop re­la­tion­ships. They quickly un­der­stand their strengths and weak­nesses, and in­tegrity and courtesy are promoted. They ac­quire re­silience and in­de­pen­dence. They are mo­ti­vated to serve oth­ers and ap­pre­ci­ate the value of strong friend­ships.

Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia is rightly ex­pected to pro­vide stim­u­lat­ing teach­ing and an ex­cel­lent aca­demic pro­gramme. In ad­di­tion to this, great im­por­tance is placed on a sig­nif­i­cant co-cur­ric­u­lar di­men­sion, which is unique in the re­gion. The cocur­ricu­lum is a crit­i­cal part of a mean­ing­ful holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion, and we ex­pect all pupils to en­gage with a broad range of ac­tiv­i­ties out­side the class­room, such as sport, mu­sic, drama, art and de­sign, ex­pe­di­tions and com­mu­nity ser­vice. These ac­tiv­i­ties pro­vide the very best prac­ti­cal op­por­tu­ni­ties for devel­op­ment of cru­cial tal­ents, such as lead­er­ship, team­work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia is es­tab­lish­ing a rep­u­ta­tion for co-cur­ric­u­lar distinc­tion. It has hosted a se­ries of high-pro­file sports tour­na­ments, such as the MCM Straits Tro­phy events, in­volv­ing teams from Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore. Pupils have ex­celled in pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional sports com­pe­ti­tions and in in­di­vid­ual sports, some be­ing se­lected for na­tional squads.

Pupils at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia learn the im­por­tance of ser­vice and have raised the pro­file of im­por­tant char­ity work in assem­blies. The pre­fects have launched a ‘Pre­fects’ Fo­rum’: an in-house op­por­tu­nity for pupils to raise con­cerns and sug­gest im­prove­ments. Pupils have been given op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore the world out­side the cam­pus, rang­ing from board­ers’ ex­cur­sions on week­ends, trips to the East Coast of the US, to more chal­leng­ing In­ter­na­tional Award ex­pe­di­tions. Also, to make the con­nec­tion with Marl­bor­ough Col­lege UK more mean­ing­ful, two groups of pupils visit the sis­ter school ev­ery year.

At Marl­bor­ough Col­lege Malaysia, we share the de­scrip­tion quoted on the Marl­bor­ough Col­lege UK web­site of a pupil be­com­ing a “well-rounded in­di­vid­ual who has a sense of per­spec­tive for the com­mu­nity and the wider world.” The ex­cep­tional board­ing and co-cur­ric­u­lar di­men­sions of the Col­lege make this a re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tion. (

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