Qual­ity Bri­tish education

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - COURSE FOCUS -

THE United King­dom and Malaysia have long- stand­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ships in the area of pol­i­tics, trade and education.

Many lead­ing fig­ures in Malaysian so­ci­ety have grad­u­ated from the UK, start­ing their early education in the lo­cal school sys­tem and fol­low­ing through to univer­sity.

While they will en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ac­knowl­edge the value of such ex­pe­ri­ence in their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, they are also aware that it was an op­por­tu­nity avail­able only to a small num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als.

In the past 20 years, how­ever, Bri­tish education has be­come more ac­ces­si­ble to stu­dents across the world as more and more in­sti­tu­tions of­fer pro­grammes over­seas.

The pres­ence of branch cam­puses, in par­tic­u­lar, of­fers an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to gain a qual­ity higher education at an af­ford­able fee with­out hav­ing to move abroad.

In the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate with the re­cent de­pre­ci­a­tion of the ring­git, the op­por­tu­nity to gain an in­ter­na­tional education lo­cally is prov­ing to be par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive to Malaysian stu­dents.

When branch cam­puses were ini­tially es­tab­lished in Malaysia, they tended to fo­cus on what most peo­ple be­lieved were the sub­jects that would en­sure a good ca­reer and re­pay an in­vest­ment in education – sub­jects such as busi­ness, en­gi­neer­ing, phar­macy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

How­ever, they have di­ver­si­fied over time to of­fer a broader range of study op­por­tu­ni­ties and be­come more com­pre­hen­sive.

Com­pared with five years ago, the num­ber of Malaysian stu­dents pur­su­ing cour­ses at branch cam­puses in the arts, so­cial sci­ences and sci­ence has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly.

Some will at­tribute this de­vel­op­ment to the emer­gence of Gen Y stu­dents, in­di­vid­u­als who are thought to be more drawn to­wards build­ing a ca­reer around their per­sonal in­ter­ests and pas­sions. High on their agen­das are global grand chal­lenges such as food se­cu­rity, sus­tain­abil­ity, cli­mate change, jus­tice and hu­man rights.

Those with a love of na­ture may pur­sue cour­ses in en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence or ecol­ogy while those con­cerned about food se­cu­rity may take up a de­gree in plant biotech­nol­ogy.

English lit­er­a­ture or cul­tural stud­ies may at­tract those with a pas­sion for read­ing while pol­i­tics or in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions en­gage stu­dents who wish to un­der­stand more about the chal­lenges of global jus­tice and se­cu­rity.

There is much to be said for study­ing some­thing that you are truly pas­sion­ate about – whether it is en­gi­neer­ing, busi­ness, psy­chol­ogy or pol­i­tics.

Study­ing in an in­sti­tu­tion that has a broad range of sub­jects re­sults in a much richer stu­dent ex­pe­ri­ence, par­tic­u­larly out­side the class­room where one may find en­gi­neers per­form­ing Shake­speare with lit­er­a­ture stu­dents or ac­coun­tancy stu­dents col­lab­o­rat­ing with en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence stu­dents on con­ser­va­tion projects.

There are am­ple ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able if stu­dents choose to pur­sue the more tra­di­tional cour­ses in busi­ness, en­gi­neer­ing, phar­macy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Those who pur­sue sci­ence, so­cial sci­ences and the arts will also find them­selves in de­mand from em­ploy­ers.

The pri­vate sec­tor, govern­ment and non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions need grad­u­ates in th­ese ar­eas for their spe­cial­ist knowl­edge and broad, trans­fer­able skills.

School- leavers who have com­pleted their SPM or STPM can be re­source­ful as well and look around for schol­ar­ships.

The Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Malaysia Cam­pus of­fers close to RM3mil worth of schol­ar­ships for each aca­demic year.

To help ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den fac­ing par­ents, the univer­sity’s tu­ition fees have been frozen this year and stu­dents are able to en­joy the fees of­fered last year.

– By Prof Chris­tine En­new, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and provost of The Univer­sity of Not­ting­ham Malaysia Cam­pus

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. not­ting­ham. edu. my.

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