Posted by WJ Chong
University of Malaya (UM) has set higher bar for entering into the most prestigious public university in Malaysia beginning 2013/2014 academic session. Starting this year, SPM & STPM result holders applying for admissions to UM are required to meet stricter standards to gain entrance. UM has revised by raising the specific entry requirements (syarat khas program) for all degree courses and foundation in science programme (Asasi Sains Universiti Malaya).
One of the significant updates to the minimum requirements of all bachelor's degree courses is every applicants needs to attend and pass compulsory interview at the university. While interview element was only applied for certain courses such as law, architecture and education-related programmes in the previous years, every UM courses now requires passing the university interview.
"The interview assessment that will be carried out is an early initiative taken by UM to assess the communication skills and readiness level of the students, on top of serving as early exposure to them in terms of building self-confidence, professional appearance, communication and soft skills," Prof. Dr. Mohd Hamdi explained. "The main purpose of the interview is to ensure that students accepted into Universiti Malaya are those excellent in academics, can communicate well, and have high self-confidence and interest in the applied programme."
He added that the data collected during the interview process will be essential to UM in planning the new teaching and learning modules during the continuous revision and improvement of all academic programmes. The data will also aid UM in getting to know the level of students and planning strategies to prepare them as graduates who meet industry needs.
The interviews will be carried out by UM academic staffs and involves representatives from the faculty or academy offering the academic programme. The interview structure and medium of language used are decided based on the relevant requirements of the specific courses offered in order to identify the best candidates for each academic programme at University of Malaya.
Matriculation due to stiff competition for limited number of places. As a result, news reports of those with perfect CGPA score of 4.00 in STPM or Matriculation not being offered a place in these popular courses were not uncommon, especially during the university enrollment result announcement week.
The decision to set CGPA 4.0 as the minimum entry requirement to high-demand courses (MBBS, BDS and Pharmacy) was based on the research on the recent trend of candidate enrolment data for the past four academic sessions - 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 - where students admitted are from those STPM-result holders with PNGK 4.0. The rationale behind this decision is to avoid candidates who barely meet the minimum PNGK, as in previous years, putting all their hope on getting a place for these highly competitive courses. By setting PNGK 4.0 as the minimum requirement upfront, these students are encouraged to apply other courses instead of wasting their choices when filling up the online university application form.
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