Get­ting the edge, with a lit­tle help

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION -

aPART from pro­duc­ing top re­sults in their ex­ams, HELP A-Level achiev­ers con­tinue to be of­fered scholarships from well-ranked uni­ver­si­ties such as Har­vard, Cam­bridge, Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity, Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Univer­sity of Mel­bourne.

The list of uni­ver­si­ties is ever grow­ing and is tes­ta­ment to the recog­ni­tion given to HELP and the en­dur­ing qual­ity of the achiev­ers pro­duced an­nu­ally.

The profiles of achiev­ers are a source of pride to HELP Univer­sity and its vice-chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Paul Chan recog­nises the ef­forts of the lec­tur­ers for their ex­cep­tional ded­i­ca­tion in en­sur­ing the high stan­dards con­tinue to be main­tained.

“The key to the im­pres­sive list of achieve­ments and the ob­tain­ing of cov­eted scholarships is the ex­cel­lence of the teach­ing team, headed by Jahn Cheah, who has 35 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a maths teacher and as dean, Fac­ulty of Univer­sity Foun­da­tion Stud­ies, he is a great leader,” said Dr Chan.

HELP A-Lev­els pro­gramme has recorded strong and steady growth since it was es­tab­lished and was one of the first pro­grammes to be of­fered by HELP. Over the years, it has built a dis­tinc­tive record of stu­dents scor­ing top marks, win­ning scholarships and gain­ing ad­mis­sion to top uni­ver­si­ties.

HELP has chalked up a to­tal of 70 World Top Awards to date, in­clud­ing a record 13 last year. HELP’s A-Level Sci­ence lec­tur­ers, to­gether with their stu­dents, have been win­ners of the Malaysian To­ray Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (MTSF) for seven years run­ning.

This pres­ti­gious award is given out an­nu­ally to the most in­no­va­tive and orig­i­nal projects sub­mit­ted by Sci­ence teach­ers, judged by leading pro­fes­sors from top uni­ver­si­ties in Malaysia.

Stu­dents have a “dual op­tion” ad­van­tage at HELP, the first cen­tre in the coun­try to con­duct both the Lon­don Edex­cel (LE) and the Cam­bridge In­ter­na­tional ALevels Ex­am­i­na­tion Boards (CIE)

Both are top-ranked ex­am­i­na­tion boards but the LE’s mod­u­lar sys­tem al­lows stu­dents to re­take any mod­ule to im­prove sub­ject grade with­out hav­ing to re­peat an en­tire level.

CIE’s Lin­ear sys­tem re­quires stu­dents to take the ex­ams in two parts – AS level and A2 Level – to make the full A-Level pass. Each level ac­counts for 50% of the to­tal marks.

Stu­dents dis­sat­is­fied with their re­sult must re-sit the en­tire level. AS grades are also counted for univer­sity en­trance.

In recog­ni­tion of its achiev­ers, its ex­cel­lent re­sults and lec­tur­ers, HELP A-Lev­els was de­clared its “Best and Big­gest A-Level Cen­tre in the World” in 2011 (Lon­don Edex­cel World Con­fer­ence, Hong Kong)

The list of achieve­ments continues to grow.

> In May 2012, five HELP achiev­ers were of­fered places at Cam­bridge Univer­sity, 18 for Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, 39 for Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, 24 for Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, 16 for Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics (LSE), while 60 and 58 for Univer­sity of Manch­ester and Univer­sity of Bris­tol re­spec­tively.

> Ng Liang Yen ob­tained a JPA schol­ar­ship to study Law at Cam­bridge.

> Av­inaash Subra­ma­niam was ad­mit­ted to Har­vard Univer­sity on a Fac­ulty schol­ar­ship.

> Tan Wei Jian, 4 A*Achiever and win­ner of two World Top Awards, ac­cepted into Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don as a JPA scholar.

> For the June 2013 Edex­cel re­sults, 135 HELP achiev­ers scored straight As.

> Melissa Chee Wei Li , A* in Chem­istry, Physics, Maths and Fur­ther Maths. Melissa will study Chemical En­gi­neer­ing in Newn­ham Col­lege, Cam­bridge Univer­sity, on a Cam­bridge Com­mon­wealth Trust Schol­ar­ship.

> In 2013, HELP A-Level course­mates Goh Kah Wei, Fong Kah Jo and Lim Tian Xi were of­fered places in Cam­bridge Univer­sity.

> Calvin Yeoh Kai Yuan was of­fered ad­mis­sion to four top uni­ver­si­ties, Stan­ford, Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, LSE and Ox­ford Univer­sity.

Apart from the cul­ti­va­tion of aca­demic ex­cel­lence, HELP in­tro­duced the “Get­ting the Edge” pro­gramme to grow the lead­er­ship and or­gan­i­sa­tional skills among stu­dents.

The A-Level stu­dents work with the most ex­pe­ri­enced lec­tur­ers on award-win­ning sci­ence projects, par­tic­i­pate in cre­ative writ­ing, drama and also chal­leng­ing yet fun math­e­mat­ics work­shops.

GTE stu­dents also have the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in weekly multimedia work­shops and projects to de­velop the tech­ni­cal skills needed to suc­ceed in to­day’s ever chang­ing world.

One of the main rea­sons in in­tro­duc­ing the GTE pro­gramme, ac­cord­ing to Jahn, was to en­cour­age stu­dents to think crit­i­cally, form their own opin­ions and present ar­gu­ments ef­fec­tively and con­vinc­ingly.

This pro­gramme de­vel­ops speech and writ­ing skills through writ­ing and drama work­shops.

The HELP A-Lev­els An­nual Pro­duc­tion, run by the English Lit­er­a­ture Depart­ment, has proved to be a suc­cess, with rave re­views by par­ents and mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Some of the pre­vi­ous pro­duc­tions in­clude Dr Faus­tus, Much Ado About Noth­ing, Man and Su­per­man, The Im­por­tance of Be­ing Earnest, The Irony of Mat­ri­mony, Life: The Mo­bius Strip, Lost In Yonkers (2012) and Ar­ca­dia (2013).

Ac­cord­ing to Jahn, soft skills play an im­por­tant role in de­ter­min­ing the achiev­ers who are ac­cepted by top-tier uni­ver­si­ties, many of which not only look for aca­demic ex­cel­lence, but also ef­fec­tive speak­ers and lead­ers of the fu­ture.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the next A-Lev­els in­take in March and July 2014, call 03-2094 2000, e-mail mar­ket­ or log on to

HELP achiev­ers ad­mit­ted to Cam­bridge Univer­sity: (from left) Goh Kah Wei, Fong Kah Jo and Lim Tian Xi.

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