Aim­ing for greater heights

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

ILIKE a chal­lenge,” said Khairul Ak­mal Sam­sud­din when asked why he de­cided to en­rol in the Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance Engineering pro­gramme at Ni­lai Univer­sity, af­ter hav­ing re­ceived a Diploma in Me­chan­i­cal Engineering from another in­sti­tu­tion.

“I felt that the Air­craft Main­te­nance Engineering pro­gramme of­fers a more de­fined ca­reer path. Also, I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in air­craft.”

He points to a TV show on air dis­as­ters, say­ing it ig­nited his pas­sion for fly­ing ma­chines.

“The pro­gramme showed how just one care­less mis­take can have hor­rific con­se­quences. It un­der­lined the great re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of an air­craft main­te­nance engi­neer.”

Khairul said he de­cided to en­rol in Ni­lai Univer­sity (Ni­lai U) de­spite be­ing of­fered a chance to pur­sue pro­fes­sional train­ing with a do­mes­tic air­line.

“I told my spon­sors that I wanted to get my EASA qual­i­fi­ca­tion. I also wanted to study in a univer­sity cam­pus, in­stead of a train­ing cen­tre.

“I wanted the full univer­sity ex­pe­ri­ence with ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties and the op­por­tu­nity to make friends from all over the world,” said the 22-year-old from Sega­mat, Jo­hor.

Ni­lai U’s Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance Engineering pro­gramme pre­pares stu­dents for the all-im­por­tant Euro­pean Avi­a­tion Safety Agency (EASA) B1-1 ex­am­i­na­tion, which is the gate­way to­wards be­com­ing a fully li­censed air­craft main­te­nance engi­neer.

A per­son with this li­cence will be au­tho­rised to cer­tify air­craft as wor­thy and will be much soughtafter the world over.

“That is the main rea­son I chose Ni­lai U. I want a qual­i­fi­ca­tion which serves as a ticket for me to work in other coun­tries and gain more knowl­edge from work­ing in dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments,” he said.

His me­chan­i­cal engineering diploma gives him an edge in some of the mod­ules.

“I sup­pose I’m find­ing it a lit­tle bit eas­ier than the rest in the Maths and Physics mod­ules. But I’m still work­ing ex­tra hard as this pro­gramme is not easy and the EASA ex­ams have a high pass­ing mark,” he said.

Be­sides the EASA qual­i­fi­ca­tion, Khairul said he’s im­pressed with the fa­cil­i­ties at Ni­lai U.

It is one of few in­sti­tu­tions of­fer­ing this pro­gramme to have its own pur­pose-built hangar with two air­planes, al­low­ing stu­dents to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the work­ings of mod­ern air­craft. The hangar is also equipped with a workshop and classrooms.

Khairul, who is part of the pi­o­neer batch of Felda schol­ars to en­rol in this pro­gramme, hoped more Felda schol­ars would join him.

He said stu­dents should not be deterred by the per­ceived level of dif­fi­culty in pass­ing the pro­gramme’s ex­ams.

“We must learn to work hard now and we can en­joy the fruits of our labour later. I also tell my friends and ju­niors not to be in­tim­i­dated by the fact that the pro­gramme is taught in English. Af­ter lis­ten­ing to lec­tur­ers and talk­ing to class­mates in English for some time, it will not be a hin­drance at all,” he said.

The young lad’s de­ter­mi­na­tion can be seen through his plans to com­plete the Ad­vanced Diploma in Air­craft Engineering pro­gramme as well, an op­tion which he said was worth­while as stu­dents would gain a de­gree from Kingston Univer­sity, UK with just another year’s study.

“The job mar­ket is com­pet­i­tive. Al­though the EASA qual­i­fi­ca­tion re­mains the pri­or­ity, a de­gree will cer­tainly mark you out from the rest as hav­ing some­thing ex­tra.

“I in­tend to live my dream of be­ing an avi­a­tion in­dus­try pro­fes­sional. I have come this far, so why not go all the way?” he added.

Ni­lai U’s Ad­vanced Diploma in Air­craft Engineering pro­gramme is a one-year top-up pro­gramme open to grad­u­ates of the Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance Engineering pro­gramme.

Suc­cess­ful stu­dents who com­plete the Ad­vanced Diploma and rel­e­vant bridg­ing mod­ules are recog­nised by Kingston Univer­sity as hav­ing com­pleted the syl­labus iden­ti­cal to their de­gree pro­gramme. Thus, they will be awarded a de­gree by Kingston Univer­sity.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to­ or type “Ni­lai Univer­sity”on Face­book. Al­ter­na­tively, call 06-850 2308, 07-226 2336 or 03-7960 3089.

Khairul is im­pressed with the fa­cil­i­ties at Ni­lai Univer­sity.

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