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Sunday, June 17, 2007

First Year Experience in UPM

Posted by MeEhaF Le'FaZ

A year had passed and I am here to share my experience while I studying for my first year (first and second semester) in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). When I got to know I secured a place in UPM for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), it was sad news for me. It's my last choice and I get it.

I registered on 1st July 2006 as I don't have any other choice. I was lucky to get a new hostel and I was happy for that. The orientation week was really a living hell. It was full of politics and I was surprised how this kind of talk can be given to a university student. The stupidity of the seniors can be seen the way they organize a thing. I believe that they should choose good, brilliant and intelligent student to be our facilitator during the orientation week but in UPM, it was really a sad environment. The facilitators were smoking in front of the juniors, showing a negative attitude to the newcomers. Their communication skills were really bad. I still remember, in the hall, the facilitator said:
"kau orang semua tak de otak ker bising macam ini.
Bodoh betul la kau orang ini"

It was a bad example and I have no idea why the university chooses this kind of people in assisting the newcomers. The activities organize by them also were really childish. It never shows maturity as a university student.

A week passed and the lectures begin. I was looking forward to go for lecturers as a university student. I still remember, my first day and my first lecture were Biochemistry under Faculty of Biotechnology and Biochemistry. The lecturer came and he spoke in Malay. I was stunned. He said he is a doctorate and expert in enzymology and he can't speak proper English. His notes were fully in Malay. It was very difficult for me as I already learn Biology & Chemistry in English during matriculation and I found it easier to understand. It was my first lecture and I was giving up hope.

There are also lecturers that are very good but mostly??? I don't want to comment more on lecturers. The facilities provided were first class. Wireless network, library with latest sets of books, nice lecture hall with new computer and projector and also the shuttle service were amazing.

Finally, a year had passed and I can conclude that, don't ever give high expectation if you choose to enroll public university. The much more expensive school you are, the much more quality of education you are enjoying. I would appreciate if some of you guys can share your university life here so that we can make comparison and let the world see the differences between public and private higher learning institution in MALAYSIA.
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Comments
27 Comments

27 comments:

  1. It is unfortunate that your first year turned out to be disappointing. Nevertheless, this provides you insight to how M'sian public universities can be improved and I believe our generation in line have to fight and strive for the good of our children.

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  2. I do think this is a very honest post.. i dont know if it's suitable here tho. No offence.

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  3. Hi there...Your last choice is a DVM from UPM and u get that?...I would kill to be in ur position!! U must have got really good results in ur matriculation.Well,let me introduce myself first.I'm a STPM student with a CGPA of 3.64. I came from the same batch of students as urs..applying for public Us in 2006. Being a great animal lover, my first choice was the DVM program. But I failed to get that...instead they gave me my 3rd choice..B.Sc Chemistry in UPM..I was devastated.Being a vet has always been my dream n my target in the last few years. But then, maybe that dream was not meant to be after all.So, I enrolled in UPM for the Chemistry program at the same time as u. I can relate to most of the things that u experience there. (bad orientation experience, Malay-speaking lecturers).Unfortunately, I got an old hostel to live in and I had a hard time adapting to it.
    Life in UPM, to me is about...studying, studying, studying...3 exams in 1 sem??!!..Give me a break...No wonder ppl say the P in UPM should stand for Peperiksaan. Soon, I realized tat this is not the student life tat I want...there should be more to being a Uni student than studying alone...wat more in a field that I'm not quite interested in..I want to experience the true university student life. So, I left...after only one semester. I quit..even though i got a CGPA of 4.0 in tat sem...I enroll in a lesser known college after tat in an unrelated field(business)..Stupid??..Impulsively made decision?..I'm not sure...still trying to figure it out.But wat I'm sure is that, after studying 1 sem in my new college, the things that I have learned and experienced here are more than anything that I hav learned in all those years of schooling, not in terms of studies, but in terms of soft skills and character building. I became a bolder and more active person. A new person.
    Now, my 1st sem there is coming to an end and I will be sitting for my finals soon. I m still trying to figure out whether I made the right decision or not. Anyway, I juz want to share my experience with u..Being a DVM student, can u share more of experiences with me so that I can know what I have miss?..Even though I cannot fulfilled my dream, at least I can still hear from sumone else who is living my dream (even though it is not urs in the first place)..
    Rmb that being a vet is a honourable job n u should be proud of it..u are doing sumthing for the animals..They need good doctors, juz like humans.But, juz a little advice 4 u..If u dun like animals or this job, it may be better if u leave n pursue the courses that u really want..A job is sumthing that u will spent ur whole life doing. Cannot afford any regrets there..ya?
    Sorry for my long post..^^

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  4. littleblackpuppy,

    FYI i was product of UPM. Anyway, why u give up so soon in UPM. Since u score 4.0 flat for 1st semester, u should maintained in 2nd semester. Then by 2nd yrs, u can try to apply to change course to u beloved course DVM. By showing ur 4.o flat result, sure u can change the course easily. u only wasted 1st yr in UPM.

    I have few friend which successfully done it in the past. Even if u r thick faceone, u should go & appeal to DVM dean to consider u for DVM admission. As long as u try hard, sure you can fullfill ur dream..

    But be frank, since u gip up ur place in public uni for lesser known college, it was totally wasted. Bear in mind, in working society, de employer will look at the paper u have meaning the degree cert & from where...then follow by ur personality.

    like my self, i being dumped into UPM i feel devastated for 1st semester. I did quite bad only scoring 2.6x. But after 1 semester, i realized that the one i need is just a degree cert so i work hard for it. Although i not bookworm, i still manage to grad with 2nd upper class.

    When i started my job, i start to equipped & learn as much as i can of de knowledge available. I can said that i fare well comparing with my coursemate in uni.

    Anyway, all de best for u.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm curious... can you please share more about your studies and experience in UPM? You see, I'm aiming to be a veterinarian, despite the fact that my parents seem to think other wise. Anyway, at first I intended to study oversea, since it's quite affortable. I'd even made my decision on which U to apply for. But then, my mother told me just momments ago that they won't be supporting me, financially, if I were to study veterinary... Well, that pretty much burst my bubble of studying in Australia and I've to turn to local U instead. UPM is the only university offering veterinary courses, so I've heard, and along the way there are also rumors about collision among the different races often occurs there... that's why I'd chosen oversea U's over local public in the 1st place. And your blog has also let me know more about UPM and why my first choice was no doubt better. Yet, I can do nothing if I don't have my parents' support and will have to settle for locsl U.
    I'm still unsure of what to do after SPM next year. I really need someone to guide me. My parents prefer me to study in the local matriculation program and they intend to pull a few strings to ensure that happens. I really don't like their ways of doing things, it's not honest! I'm thinking of going for form 6 studies but then I'm totally clueless about the pros and cons of it...
    Well, I think I'm way off topic here... sorry about that. I'm just happy to find someone that is studying veterinary and perhaps can guide me a little about the requirement and things as such about it. Your blog really helped a lot. Thanks! ^^

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  6. I have had a similar experience to you regarding the "stupidity of seniors" you have encountered in your first year at uni. My university, which is in South Africa, also has an orientation week, which is run by senior students. I also found their attitude to be negative towards the younger students and their behaviour to be similarly immature. These issues are highlighted in one of my posts which is found on my student blog. I find this issue to be an important one in today’s society as people are told to respect those above them, even when those above them are immature and negative. Hopefully my post will entertain you regarding this issue and I am sure you will agree with my point of view. My blog is called Balancing Beams and deals with student issues and life as a first year student. I found your post to be quite relevant to how older students behave in my experience of being a first year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It’s a bad thing you had to experience such on you first arrival at university, first years should be treated with love and care and most importantly they should be rightfully guided. I really enjoyed reading your post because you show honesty and truly express your feelings. Who knows maybe the UPM will see the post and try doing something about the situation because if the orientation week was as bad as you say it was then you are not the only one complaining. Reading from your post this situation is pretty much bad, I mean if you can not understand your lectures then what are you going to gain in lectures? I totally agree with what you are saying about private and expensive universities being better than public ones, but I think it also depends on our financial status. I mean everyone wants to go to an expensive university because the quality of most things is better, but if you get a person who is coming from a very poor background and gets a chance to study at UPM for an example, (sorry had to use your university as an example) that person would not even notice about how they were treated as long as they study, have accommodation and food to eat to them that is the best thing. Feel free to reply this comment by readingrocks.

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  8. black puppy,
    study is not a honey moon period. U could try enrol into UK university (5*) for a Master or MBA program (not twinning) after u finish ur degree. U will find there is not even a free time to breath. Study, assignments, courseworks,dicussions,seminars, exams. Go for binge? why not, it's depends how we allocate the time efficiently. Am local uni undergrad too previously, so i knew your situation.

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  9. i am in upm, still.
    and sorry to say that im not going to agree with some of your comments.
    for me, its all in your hand. you yourself are going to determine what is the best.
    the higher price you pay, the much2 more quality you'll get in education? it's a NO-No.
    i am here to say that i am very proud with all of my lecturers (i'm from Educational Faculty btw) they never hesitate to give us support and guidance.
    and i am not going to change myself to any other Uni as me myself think that Upm is the best choice.
    for info-- Educational Faculty of Upm only takes students who choose them as their 1st choice. and we even got interview too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. addition: hey we got lotsa fun here!
    its not about the load works.. every student does experience that, though any uni they are in.
    its all on how u manage urself.

    if u work, work hard
    if u play, play hard. too.

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  11. agreed with the last comment.. i am UPM product too.. from fac of food sc & biotechnology (now known as fac of food sc & tech).. studying in UPM gave me lotsa great experiences.. it's not only about exams.. when 1 of the commentor said that u all need to sit for an exam of 3 times / sem, i dont think that shud bother u.. as a Uni student, u shud able to manage ur time to be active in society or whatsoeva groups that u loved to.. me had a really great exp. in being active in college (KPZ) and also fac (FSMB).. and true, this has helped me a lot in building my character and confidence as an international company's microbiologist now..
    bout lect not fully in english and stupidity of ur seniors during the orientation week, i do not have anything to comment.. it is subjective..
    as for me, i really enjoy and miss my life of 3 years in UPM.. and again, as for me, those whom get the opportunity to be in UPM (or any othe public Uni) but chose to leave without being GB (Gagal & Berhenti), just becoz of not satisfied and feel nothing more to be chased over here in UPM (coz to u everything seems to be so boring & 'entah apa apa') u must be under the category of 'orang-orang yg rugi'..
    =) this is my sincere comment okeh?

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  12. i'm looking upm lecturer note, but without nowhere, i land to this page, actually i'm upm graduate too, in petrochem, i agree with u, about some stupid senior (fasilitator) in orientation week-- (they become fasilitator, because they are stupid and lazy to study (just be active in college and throw their education nowehere, then they will selected to be a fasi..), anyway, i like to study in UPM, manage activities, sports carnival, and so on.. its really cool here, but choose ur friend efficiently (girlfriend also).. dont be used and use people.. be urself and build a good character here

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  13. Hello,seniors. =)
    I just take SPM result that released on yesterday...
    I will continue my study on Matriks or Form6...
    And something I hope that all seniors can give me advise..

    I have interested in study VET. It is my dream.
    One day it will come true ?
    Do I have chance to study at UPM on VET course ?
    I really interested on it...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear All,

    It is good to see that most of you are proud of your University.

    I just have a comment for littleblackpuppy,"if you find greater experiences and values elesewhere that you cannot find in UPM, then it's ok if you leave. After all, one size doesn't fit all. "
    We cannot undo what has been done. Studying and obtaining a degree is only the first step.

    Career development, social and personal growth comes after that. I'm not trivialising the capability and exposure of the local university students, but I have interviewed a lot of local uni students to find out that the percentage of private institution students that perform good in job interviews are higher than local university students. This is just my experience and does not mean any of you are not as good.

    So this means that, all of you young intelligent ppl out there should start proving this statistic to be wrong.

    Look at this positively and like what "hijauoren" said, he/she is having lots of fun with the activities that will enhance his/her interpersonal skills

    I agree that the University ranking does matter, but it is not only about the cert. It's also on how you "brand" yourself along the way. :)

    In a nutshell, having a degree or masters cert does not guarantee employment or happiness. It's all about you making it happen.


    I can sense that you are all very hardworking and brilliant students that have come a long way to be where you are today. (applause!)

    I think some of you may have already graduate by this time :) Keep up the good job !!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Almost all uni are alike. Everyone face problems in their first year
    but by the time things will start to get settle.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Salam and hello there,
    I am searching for authentic texts and i accidentally end up reading your entry. Just to be clear, i am proud to be one of the UPM x-undergraduate.

    My batch and i left UPM in 2006. Frankly speaking, 4 years of studying in UPM was the next best thing has happened to me. I'm confused when i found out that some of you were having a hell life time there. Perhaps what you have in mind are not like what you've experienced. What you see is what you get i guess.

    Of course the sky is not always blue..there were times when i felt that UPM is somehow full with 'smelly people' who mixes politics ideology with its administration. that part is unavoidable in any places.

    i enjoyed the time where i was appointed as Facilitator for 3 years i think..and i'm not the one who shouting 'B*%^H' word to my juniors.

    at present i'm working and recently i am planning to pursue MS in UPM. as i am already much familiar with the place.

    my lecturer once said,"when you look everything around you turn out not to be like you wanted, just do the best out of what you have"...and that what had made my years in UPM.

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  17. Hye all, I just want to know. Which language does UPM use as a medium of teaching? English or BM?

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  18. i can see that your uni life is miserable. i come from mmu. my uni life is like 50times better than urs.

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  19. MeEhaF Le'FaZ-- no one held a gun to your head and forced you to take the DVM course which was your last choice. There are many people who are more qualified than you who would have given anything to pursue this noble profession. Unfortunately, since we do not have interviews to vet students into the program, you got in.

    To prevent students like MeEhaF Le'FaZ from getting into the system and spoiling the integrity of the veterinary profession, future applicants will have to undergo an interview to screen genuine candidates passionate about animals. This screening process is practised abroad when one applies entry in the veterinary medicine program and the vetting of candidates into the vet program is very thorough.

    For the benefit of future visitors of this post, all technical subjects taught in the DVM course at UPM are in ENGLISH. I am an alumni of the faculty, and even in my time all subjects at the faculty were taught in English except for the compulsary University based courses, e.g. Kenegaraan, TITAS, and elective language courses.

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  20. Is it really taught in English? Are all science based subjects taight in the medium of English?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Salam & Hello.

    I can't help but to agree with DrVetMed.

    I'm a medical student studying overseas, it is already my 3rd year and I realized that I've went too far from what I've always wanted to be - a veterinarian.

    Yes, life is hard. Bad manners everywhere. But I suppose you wrote all these because it is your last resort, isn't it?

    To be honest, I'm green with envy with this post.

    I got straight A's for my SPM and posess good communication skill, was active in co-curriculum and was hoping for a bright future as a vet, but unfortunately during that time, there was no scholarship programme offering for veterinary.

    So I applied for general medicine, since that is the closest thing to what I wanted.

    But later I began to lose interest. Perhaps the environment doesn't suit me.

    I'm sure by now, you're already a vet, and perhaps you won't even read this due to busy schedule. But I really hope to pursue veterinary since I've quit medicine, due to accumulated reasons.

    Nevertheless, you are also right for saying we shouldn't have high expectation as it will only make the disappointment worse =)

    Good luck in your future endeavours ^^

    - henzelquansen

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  22. Hope you seek someone to help you understand EQ and subsequently improve it, not just IQ. You have great IQ, may be not EQ. IQ + EQ = Versatile, adaptable person. If you have strong EQ, sure you can cope with variable people behavior, surrounding you. I don't think language is a big problem, to me language is just a technical, very technical, why so phobic. We are Malaysian. The most important is KNOWLEDGE, then you will get proper/perfect experience, present and future. In fact, most nobel laureates learnt science and mathematics in the mother-tongue both in primary and secondary schools.

    Zakry

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  23. Thank you for the piece of mind as regards to the orientation week in UPM! To be frankly, I am looking forward for this offer that I had a few days ago. I was actually being offered to do a degree in English. Well, frankly speaking, it was my last choice of field.I did my foundation program in law. So, I was actually expecting to receive an offer on that field. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side. By the way, I was thinking to do a double degree since the course of bac. of arts in English takes only 3.5 years. What do you guys think? I still can't get over my dream to take law. How's double degree in Malaysia by the way? is it common in public university?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi,
    I can relate to what you trying to convey from this writing. I did my degree in microbiology in University of Malaya and enrolled on same year as you are. I was not sure if this is what I wanted, as I was more keen with veterinary, how ever I ended up doing something else. But I learnt to love it. About the orientation week, let me just say,,it's the same everywhere. Even some univ overseas (as informed by friends who studying there). But I must say that the lecturers in UM are great, except one or two. And I used 10 credit hours luar jabatan course to study a topic in geology dept, chemistry dept, and science and tech dept too. I even attended Italian language class as my luar fakulti course. The class, lecturers are great, i hv utmost respect for their knowledge. However, those years I spent there was a living hell!! The management was really, really bad, and most of them (whoever bound to ther management n office) are terrible!! (except one or two). I do not know what made them so arrogant? As if they were those who contribute to the ranking directly? And the way they talk with us student? They treat us as if we beg them money or foods. It was realy really terrible. Aftr few years I am now studying in UPM, doing my master. To me, UPM is tottally diff experience and am really so happy to be here. But if yr experience says otherwise, believe me, UM is even worse.
    Siti.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi there... im sorry to interrupt the comment here but I like to share my story as a vet student. Im a vet student in umk. Universiti malaysia kelantan. Nobody ever heard or know about us. We are the smallest community here. Even our hostel and faculty were far from other campus and we do not mix with other faculty. Can u feel the feeling of living alone with only vet students and we do not know whats going on outside our faculty. We are totally isolated in this new place. I agree life as student was so tough and bad sometimes. But, if u come here, we are lacking of everything... yet I still feel glad as we are still one family here... we go through all hard and fun times together. U will never imagined how we feel as people always compare us with upm vet students... its heart breaking and dissapointed feeling though... but, I welcome anyone who want to join our small family in umk if they have the courage and can stand the mental and emotion challenge here... tq

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  26. i m rather amused by some of the comments: gave up only after the 1st sem, bad experiences with the seniors, too many exams, only sturdy and no fun, bad lecturers, not your choice of study and so on. I was a student among the initial batches of DVM, then upm was known as uni pertanian msia. i have nothing bad to say about the course, but fond memories of college life so full of good experiences. well, so much yet too little to say about it now. being a vet is not only about dealing with animals, many graduated and work in the food industry, farming and technical consultancy. many are ceo and top exec in pharmac, feedmill and food-processing companies. of course most bumis choose to be in the govt service, enjoying easy working life with good salary and other benefits at par with the medical sector. those in the govt service are involve in admin roles, laboratory posts, research, teaching and clinician. yeah, more grads are venturing into private practice- some are doing well others are ok, but generally all are making a decent living not that different from the gp in medical practice.

    yes, that BVSc program in umk is playing a catchup game with DVM of upm. not that impressive judging by the fact that the clinical years are very much theoretical, lacking clinical-experienced teaching staff and facilities that the small animal clinics has yet to operate despite the 1st batch of student is graduating or already had!

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  27. let me add a bit more. being a student, one must have the initiative to seek knowledge n do self-learning, esp for classes taught by lousy lecturers. proof to them (bad lecturers) that you have better knowledge n 'shame'/challenge them, if you are well-prepared.

    during my time, there were a number of contract professors fr the 1st world vet schools- very impressive indeed. unlike nowadays, most -if not all, local lecturers (in upm n umk alike) are my former classmates or initial batches and i know too well of their 'class' or capacity. But then, who cares, msian/local vet grads are only ok, far from impressive (compared to grads fr the 1st world vet schools). Well, certainly local grads are better than those grads from indon and indo-pak! the many such vets that i knew are so ill-prepared that they cant and have never done many of the common surgical procedures as expected of a vet.

    ReplyDelete

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