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Friday, September 14, 2018

Why School Matters? from the Perspective of a Form Four Student

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Guest post by Janelle Lee (Share your thoughts with 60,000+ Malaysian students)

A few days ago, I watched this viral video “What is School for?” on YouTube. It was made by this  famous YouTuber called Prince Ea (should really go and check him out). But this video in particular (along with another one called “I Sued the School System”) really spark some of my wild thoughts.

In my opinion, after I watched it, I really do agree with it. But to tell the truth, I thought it was just incomplete. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in high school and I know what the struggles are. But school doesn't have to be like a prison or a 12 year compulsory jail sentence, it could be much much more.

It's just really confusing for students on whether studying is worth it or not, which is probably right considering how vulnerable us teens can be. I know that the video didn't say stop trying in school or was encouraging kids to dropout from school, but the message could really easily be misinterpreted as an excuse for students who are not doing well. While reading the comments, I can ensure you that it has really put a big question mark (and not just mine) on the very thing students are focusing their lives about.

So, I wrote this (pretty long) article to answer the little question marks plus the big question “What actually is school for?” (and hopefully to give some encouragement).

THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IS BROKEN, BUT YOU CAN STILL WIN DESPITE IT

“Why learn this when it is not going to help me in the future?”

I can swear that this question will or has popped into every single students' heads one time or other. But first things first, what is the school system? The school system is an establishment of education from kindergarten, all the way up to university. It is built in such a way that it is a versatile way to teach students certain knowledge, the basics of what certain people need for their future careers. For example, Physics, Chemistry and Additional Mathematics for STEM fields, Biology for Medic, Accounts and Economy for Finance etc.

I have certain heard my fair share (and me being one of them) of students complaining about how this topic was so boring  or they were just simply not interested or they were being force to study a certain subject, be aware I am not talking about those compulsory subjects (that's another article for another day), but those elective subjects that you could choose from.

Remember those career weeks or counselors you have in school, it is their job to help assist you, to help you find your talents and capabilities, carefully crafting a suitable school programs for you. My advice (for those who are choosing) : know what you are capable of before moving the next step. Not brave enough to ask the counselor, well just ask a friend. I know there is no harm trying but just don't land yourself in hot water, leaving you drenched in disappointment.

Don't try to be the “Jack of all traits” when you can always be “the Master of one”. Don't be greedy, it's okay to let go, it does not mean that you're not smart, what it means is that you are smart enough to know what's best for you. “You are the product of your choices, not others”, in the end, it's all up to you, you make the choice you think is right for you.

So, to answer that question, it is simply your choice, your choice to study what subject, what kind of field. That's why it is important to look carefully at the choices at hand and choose correctly. Remember: “You have to deal with the consequences of your choices”.

ONLY HUMAN

I get a lot of people say school kills creativity, killing the important speck for humans to thrive on this monstrous world. Schools become more like those factories in Star Wars, producing clones, programming humans to become robots, making artificial intelligence as the utmost standard for humans to achieve.

Being Chinese, I most certainly understand that. Having to memorize a whole book of essays and karangans just so I could score a perfect in a test is not writing. But having broken English on your midterm exam is not exactly 100% is it? But after a decade of that, I wonder if  the As were more important than experiencing the joy of writing?

But I do get it, at a tender age of just 10 years old, many students may not be able to fully grasp the language to translate it into fine vocabulary to get themselves an A. But is it really worth it? After probably a decade of ongoing guidance, is getting an A more important than having the skill to express your thoughts and emotions? Is it that the most human natural thing to do just irrelevant?Excluding the perfect language, bombastic vocabulary and beautiful phrases, “the art of writing is discovering what you believe”.

Be brave and have courage to know your opinions matter, take risks. It's okay to fail, whatever friends or adults may say, it is always a learning process. Education is just trying to refine natural talents and human abilities. Without school, where else to better equipped yourself for the world ahead of you.

DON’T KILL YOURSELF GETTING As

I will straight up say this “ YOU ARE NEVER YOUR GRADES”. Yeah, having good grades may lend you to some privileges, scholarships, etc., but never ever let that number or alphabet on that piece of paper get into your head. Whether you are a straight A student or a straight D student, do not let it affect you or define who you are as a person.

But on the other hand, it does not mean you can slack off or anything. It means that grades are still something but not everything.

“You don't need to be the top student, being middle is fine, only this kind of person has enough free time time to learn other skills” - Jack Ma

If you are a straight A student, question yourself: if I rip off every single achievement I have, who am I? If you can still answer that and be proud of it, congratulations and keep up the good work. But if you cannot, don't be sad, keep searching!

If you are the weak student, thank your past and focus on your future. Do not let the guilt of your past be the boulder of your future. Let those scars be stars to help motivate you to seek and thrive. Yes, the climb will be tough but I promise you the view will be beautiful. And maybe go and try out something new, you just never know right?

All in all, seek balance in your life. Being successful in school, does not mean you will be successful in life; Not being successful in school, does not mean you will not be successful in life.

FRANKLY SPEAKING, WE ALL DON'T KNOW WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BE.

Being a teenager is hard. With a pot full of insecurities,a splash of hormones plus a cup of the undying fear for the future, and you will end up getting a stressed, confused and worthless recipe of what I called “I DON’T KNOW!!!”.

But guess what - school is actually letting you grow, teaching the art of growing in a society, letting you have a taste on what you one day could be. A school is like a small mock up community that you will be able to try and explore things, do well and also fail , all of that plus guidance from teachers that will educate you to a right way of living in a society. Yes, these experiences may differ from certain people but living in a big place called world, is a whole bigger scale.

“We are the products of our environment” , understand that the environment you are in is for a reason. Giving you the pathway to lead you to a better life, past experiences and relationships, a better attitude to face the world, the right perspective for the bigger picture.

You will never know, amidst your scavenger hunt, you might even stumble upon a pot of gold.

SCHOOLS WILL ONLY CHANGE, WHEN THEY ARE EDUCATED CORRECTLY


In my head, there are two perspectives of education. The first one being : “You must study hard, get straight A+ then go to a very good college, then can get a very good job and make a lot of money, then only can get a good wife, big house, big car and so on.” The second one being: “Why study so hard? After that also cannot get money, better go and work better.” I am not trying to insult anyone or any part because I also do fall into one of these categories myself.

Because of society’s high standards, schools are imposed to have an achievement focused system. Students are stressed by teachers; Teachers are stressed by officials; Officials are stressed by the Government; the Government is stressed by ongoing international standards. And the chain reaction goings on.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela
If education focuses on overall well being and growth rather than the statistics of achievement, will it be healthier for the nation to process further? Not just learning academia stuff, but also stressing on physical, emotional and even spiritual health.

But in real life, the school system is solely based on only one temperament: Extroverts. The psychology of classes labels introverts as “shy” and “quiet”.But to all introverts, don't fret because there is still power in introverts that can move and shake the nation.

If being different is what makes us special, learning differently is all the more common. The society's defectiveness towards this has not help a bit. Peer pressure may be one of the most deadly (and also most successful) factors among humans. So well, it's time for everyone to step up, its time for change.

Schools will change, when people change. So stop whining and be the change.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Everybody knows that the education system is horribly flawed. But what is the ultimate objective of education? Are we just going round and round in circles not even knowing the purpose of spending a decade(or two) cracking our heads (and butts!) to score well?

Education is so much more than achievement, a job, a bright future, a better career. All of that are just embellishments.

It's all about LEARNING. Falling in love with it, growing, constantly improving yourself, advancing to greater heights, being intrigued to things around and still having the curiosity to ask “Why?”.

Interestingly, when I started to ask some friends and adults if they loved learning in school, most answered that the worry of getting the answer right and doing what the teacher expected took out the joy of learning. And frankly speaking, I do have the same feeling too. But, somehow, somewhere, I always knew that behind all those covers, there was this hidden passion to learn.

I may not know certain things about this world. But I am most certain that I love learning.

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT SCHOOL, IT’S ABOUT LEARNING

Understand this, from all of the CEOs of big corporate companies to all the well-known movers and shakers that transformed the world, they NEVER EVER STOP LEARNING. Even though they were college dropouts or didn't even go to school , they never stopped learning.They learned through reading books, attending courses, listening to talks... School is just a medium for education to be taught, but there are still many many ways to learn outside of school.

“Education is what remains when one has forgotten all about school” - Albert Einstein
I believe that education is the main building block of what school can and will be. Yes, I understand that the system has its flaws but still, nothing's perfect, right?

To all those people who are waiting to graduate to stop “school”, well bad news for you cause you can never drop out from this never-ending school called LIFE. But again - it all depends on you. You can have a good education, just see education in different eyes.

BE GRATEFUL

I can 100% assure you that there are people in this world that are dying to go to school. People who wait several hours to catch a bus or walk several kilometers just to get to school. Moreover, how could you not forget that during the olden times, girls were not even given the chance to go to school.
We people in this generation are given opportunities to learn and to get the best education. The privilege of going to school provides us a shorter pathway to success. Maybe you would argue with me that the best of the best didn't even go to school, well this is my answer to that: They all took a much much harder and longer road to find true success. Because of all of their hardships and great determination, they chose because they truly wanted to learn.

I am blessed enough to have amazing teachers and mentors that truly inspire learning, who were gracious and patient to answer my unending questions and to teach me the world upside down. Not forgetting, having friends that are understanding enough to still tolerate my 3-year-old ‘kepochi’ ways.

Be grateful that we have teachers, schools, the system to rely on in getting the education we need. Amidst all the stress, expectations, worries, fear, doubts, insecurities (seriously, I go on and on with this),work hard and use this precious time to explore. Always respect and be humble to learn. Be positive that you can do it! and have an open mind about education.

Last but not least, all the best to all students on going on your great adventure called school. Don't forget that no matter what the results are - never stop enjoying the journey, enjoying the climb. But most importantly,

Enjoy Learning

Maybe many of you might said that “of course, this is what a “good” student will say” or “Oo, teacher’s pet” or maybe you might think that I'm defending some kind of title or just want to stir up some havoc, but this is only my opinion.

I acknowledge that I am young and still learning. I also do understand that we are all from different environments, different cultures, so it is normal to have different views on things. And like always, there are always two or more sides of an argument.

But anyhow, thank you for reading this far and do leave a comment below, I really want to know your thoughts. ;)

Having a passion for all things worth learning, Janelle Lee from Seremban is crazy enthusiastic about EVERYTHING. You could always find her sitting in front of her class, being distracted on her newest craze or just binging on Youtube videos.


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Saturday, August 11, 2018

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Car Loans for Graduates / Students in Malaysia and Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

As a student, you must have dreamed of owning a car and driving it to your school/college every day. But it is not easy to own an automobile when you are a student or you have recently passed out from a university. Expenses and maintenance costs of a four-wheeler vehicle are sky-high and you need to have an employment to maintain the automobile. Either you can wait for your parents to get it for you or you can take a loan and fund it from your own pockets.

If second option is sounding preferable to you, you should start researching on car loans in Malaysia. This will include, which providers/banks offer car loans, eligibility criteria for it, interest rates and tenure involved, etc. After all necessary research is done, you will get an idea about the most suitable hire purchase plan for you.

So, if you are a graduate and looking for funding for your first car, here are some plans by top banks that can help you out:

Bank Islam Vehicle Financing-i GradHitz

You can opt for the bank’s Vehicle Financing-i GradHitz programme which is based on the concept of Murabahah. Here, you can get 100% financing and flexible tenures up to 9 years. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you can get financing for your first car.

Eligibility criteria

  • Age criteria:
    • Minimum age: 20 years
    • Maximum age: 30 years
  • You must be a graduate and qualified with at least a diploma from an accredited university
  • You must be employed at any of the following:
    • Semi government and government sector
    • Selected public listed firms
    • GLCs (government linked companies)
    • Other noticeable private limited companies listed by the bank
    • If your are a fixed income earner
Bank Islam offers financing rates from 2.90% p.a. to 3.60% p.a., depending on the type of your vehicle. The profit rate is calculated on a monthly basis with ‘Sum of Digit’ method.

Bank Muamalat Vehicle Financing-i GradPack

This is another option to get financing for your first car. The scheme is based on Bai' Bithaman Ajil which is a contract based on ‘deferred payment sale’ where you make the payment for your purchase (vehicle) on a fixed later date. You can obtain this facility as per the bank’s usual profit rates. You can acquire a minimum financing amount of RM20,000 for tenures ranging from a minimum of 4 years up to 9 years.

Eligibility criteria

  • Age criteria: 20 years to 30 years old
  • Income criteria: Minimum RM1,500 per month
  • Minimum qualification required: Diploma from institutions recognised by Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, or Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA)
  • Application must be made within 3 years from your graduation date

Maybank My First Car Plan

The bank offers a car financing plan with repayments staring from RM268 per month. The financing scheme is available for graduates with employment, undergraduates, and also for government professionals, nurses, teachers, etc.

Eligibility criteria

For a graduate with an employment:
  • You need to be a degree holder
  • You must be employed for at least a month with minimum income of RM2,500 per month
  • Age criteria: 21 years to 30 years old
  • If you are employed for less than 6 months, you need to provide a guarantor (either a parent or a sibling) who fulfils the eligibility criteria and has a good CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) record
For undergraduates:
  • You must be pursuing a degree course at a recognised institution
  • Age criteria: Between 18 years to 30 years
  • You need to present a guarantor (a parent or a sibling) who fulfils the eligibility criteria and has a good CCRIS record

Documents required

If you are opting for a hire purchase plan as a graduate and a young earner, you need to provide the following documents:
  • A copy for your NRIC or MyKad
  • A copy of driving license
  • A copy of your authentic degree/diploma certificate
  • Employment confirmation letter from your employer or salary slips for the period suggested by the bank
  • Any other document as requested by the bank

Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

  • You can get car financing for national car models as well as for foreign car models. Loans are also available for used cars.
  • You need to keep your car insured under any standard car insurance policy. You can choose any policy that offers any of the following covers: a Third-party cover, a Third-Party, Fire and Theft cover, and a Comprehensive Cover.
  • Purchasing and maintaining a car is expensive. Hence, choose a car model that you can afford to pay for. You can also consider a used or second-hand car that could be much cheaper than a new model.
  • You should get a detailed estimation of payable premium according to your preferred model, your income, etc. You can use an online car loan calculator for this.
  • Compare multiple car financing schemes before opting for one. This will help you getting the best possible deal for your purchase. Read terms and conditions as well as analyse associated fees and charges carefully before deciding on any facility.
Compare multiple car financing schemes before opting for one. This will help you getting the best possible deal for your purchase. Read terms and conditions as well as analyse associated fees and charges carefully before deciding on any facility.

Guest Post by Syed Faraz


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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Top 5 Reasons to Study in Malaysia

Top 5 Reasons to Study in Malaysia

Guest post by Sophia Jones (Share your tips with 60,000+ Malaysian students)

Malaysia is fast becoming a flourishing hub for domestic and international students. The booming economy, political stability, dazzling landscapes and a matchless brand of multiculturalism, the repute of Malaysian domestic universities is ever increasing. But what actually makes the country more distinctive is its affiliation with leading universities around the globe. There are many international universities that have their branch campuses in Malaysia. Malaysia is one of Asia's top education destinations and not only local Malaysians take the benefit of low-cost international education but also the international students as well who come here from around the globe for education purposes. Along with the quality of education, here are top 5 reasons that why you should study in Malaysia:
top reasons study malaysia students

1. Receive US and UK degree

Malaysian state has hugely invested in higher education and one of them is its increasing affiliations with global universities. There are over 600 private higher education institutions and Universities in Malaysia. There are many foreign universities, especially UK and Australian that have their branch campuses in Malaysia. For example, UK’s University of Nottingham and Australia’s Monash University have branch campuses in Malaysia and both are one of the top universities in the world. So as a student, it gives you the much stronger reason to study in Malaysia.

2. Save cost

In Malaysia, you will get a quality education but with affordability as well. The undergraduate course at the Malaysian campus would cost approximately £6,000 while the same course at the University of Nottingham would cost around £12,000.You can see a huge difference in the cost of the same courses. Also, keep in mind that the course has the similar module, similar marking scheme and the similar evaluation criteria, that provide the exact degree with the equal status, but at a considerably lesser cost. Moreover, in comparison to that of the UK, the cost of living in Malaysia is significantly lesser too, so your maintenance costs will also not put any burden on you as well.

3. Multiculturalism

If you like to mingle and meet people with diverse culture and backgrounds, Malaysia is the top destination for you. If you decide to study in Malaysia, you will have the time of your life by meeting people of different cultures. The population in Malaysia consists of Malay, Chinese and Indian and Malay is their official language. The language of English is widely spoken and well recognized in Malaysia. This wide recognition of English provides a great basis for worldwide students to make them feel at home apart from having a sense of belonging and fitting in with people. The Malaysian global community allows for cultural and social recognition and is an indication of the fact that Malaysia is home to thousands of international students. Remember that studying at university campus should not solely be an academic experience. You must have the chance to explore the diverse facets and cultures that blends the Malaysian character and that itself is a learning curve as well.

4. Opportunities for skilled people

Malaysia is in need of expert workers with a growing economy and certain industries on the rise. The Malaysian industry contributes to a major part of the GDP with oil, gas, and manufacturing of palm oil. Their export markets are on leaps and bounds as well. Moreover, there is a specific need for top graduates in many different fields such as accounting, computer science, and telecom. Since there is a huge demand for skilled graduates and professionals forced by Malaysia’s booming economy, the doors of success regarding your career are always open. So when you decide to study in Malaysia, you bound to meet and explore opportunities that will set your life for good.

5. Beautiful landscapes

Every now and then, a break is definitely well deserved when you are a full-time student. So when you decide to study in Malaysia, top class education is not the only thing you will receive as the beautiful landscape awaits you. You can always get some time to set off and discover the stunning and varied landscape Malaysia offers. From the jungle in Taman Negara National Park to the rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, everything you see is simply superb. To receiving peace and calm by routing up to the Cameron Highlands or walk through George Town, Penang before relishing the culinary delights there, every location is worth watching. Wherever you wish to explore, Malaysia has somewhere that will accommodate to your likings. So if you plan to study in Malaysia, you find and discover beautiful landscapes that will certainly amaze you and that will surely become the experience of a lifetime.

Sophia Jones is a senior academic writer at Assignment Help. She is a regular blogger, article writer and loves to write about the development in education field around the world.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

UM Law Students Express Concern on Child Marriages in Malaysia

by Christina Erin Ong, Vice Secretary of the UM Law Society (Share your thoughtful opinions)

The students of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya are gravely concerned on the government’s reluctance to impose a blanket prohibition on child marriages, which is a troubling issue that has prevailed to this day. We wish to emphasise the notion that child marriages should be banned in Malaysia, and under no circumstance, should it be allowed.
Stop child marriage
This issue on child marriage resurfaced on the 18th of June 2018, where a social media post of a marriage between a 41-year old man in Gua Musang, Kelantan, with an 11-year old girl from Thailand sparked national outrage on various media platforms. Prior to this, there have already been several cases where child marriages were allowed. Remembering the time in December 2010, where a 14-year old girl married her 23-year old teacher with leave from the Syariah Court, and not forgetting when the Kulim Syariah Court allowed the marriage between the 12-year old wife to her 19-year old husband. Hence it is clear that this issue is not alien to the country.

In a poll that we ran to gather feedback and opinions of the students of our faculty, 97.7% of the respondents clamoured for a standardized minimum age for one to marry across religions and customs. The current legal age for parties to marry in Malaysia is 18 for non-Muslim parties unless a license is granted by the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar to allow the female to marry after she has completed her 16th year based on section 10 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164). Meanwhile for Muslim parties, the minimum age of the solemnization of marriage is only when the man has reached the age of majority (18) (S. 2 Age of Majority Act 1971, Act 21) and for the woman is 16, under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 (Act 303). In this case, a woman under 16, may get married to her husband if a Syariah Judge has granted his permission to do so under certain circumstances.

Meanwhile, all our respondents believe that our new Pakatan Harapan Government should take further action to harmonize the definition of ‘child’ to eliminate inconsistencies and contradictions. This was also stated in Commitment 4, No. 2 of their manifesto, which was to raise the minimum marriageable age to 18 years old. Girls Not Brides, a global partnership with an aim to eradicate child marriage across 95 countries, has highlighted that there is limited data about child marriage in Malaysia, as the most recent statistic of child marriages revealed by the Deputy Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development was in 2010, where it revealed that nearly 15,000 girls under the age of 15 were married in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, there have been no recent updates on these statistics in the recent years. We also agree with the suggestion forwarded by Dr Wan Azizah who says that the issue of child marriage should be viewed in a holistic manner to determine whether or not these cases involve elements of paedophilia, child exploitation and child pornography. Therefore, we would like to urge our new government to take swift legislative reform to not only fulfil their election promises, but to harmonise the definition of a child in various legislations to avoid unnecessary discrepancies in the law.

In addition to that, 82.8% of our respondents believe that the minimum age for marriage should be final, without taking consideration of any other factors. Currently the subject of debate, it is argued that any exception to the minimum age to marry should be done away with. Although some may argue that child marriage may put an end to social ills or benefit impoverished families, we believe that it does more harm than good. Entering into a lifelong commitment at such a tender age, these child brides would barely comprehend the commitment and responsibility that comes with legal wedlock. These child brides would have to sacrifice their childhood in order to fulfil their legal and social obligations as wives, which require a degree of maturity.

We acknowledge the existence of a religious narrative on why child marriage is allowed. We are however of the opinion that such narratives must be practiced based on the current state of social morality, as laws are derivative of the societal norms of a locality. We must also take into account higher objectives for the society’s common good in the era of modernisation, such as the right to education every child is entitled to and also the importance of preventing sexual exploitation of children. Thus, we believe that child marriage should not, under any circumstance be allowed. It should not be an excuse to curb premarital sex, resolve unwanted pregnancies, or to allow a perpetrator of rape to marry his victim as to escape punishment for rape.

We, the Law Society of the University of Malaya, on behalf of the students of our faculty, strongly advocate that child marriages should be banned in Malaysia as it contravenes several articles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Malaysia is a signatory. We say so as it deprives a child of their right to education (Art. 28, Convention on the Rights of the Child), their right against separation from their parents (Art. 9, Convention on the Rights of the Child), and the right to be protected against all forms of exploitation which affects the welfare of a child (Art. 36, Convention on the Rights of the Child). We stand with NGOs, children’s rights groups and activists who have voiced out that we will not tolerate child marriage under any circumstance. We also stand with a statement by Tan Sri Razali Ismail of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), saying in a statement to oppose the imposition of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for marriages involving minors as it would once again condone the sustenance of child marriages instead of eradicating it. To impose such an SOP would not further the social and moral fabric of the society, and is instead a regrettable decision of the new ruling government to appease the conservative voting pool. We once again expound the need to impose the minimum age of marriage at 18 years of age. In the eyes of the law, we believe that a child still should not marry until she is competent to consent, as it is a decision which will greatly influence the future of the child, for better or most likely, worse. These excuses to moralize child marriage should be completely disregarded as every child deserves to live the childhood they deserve.

Edited by Iqbal Harith Liang, President of the UM Law Society.


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Thursday, June 07, 2018

Malaysian Universities World Rankings: UM 87, UKM 184, UPM 202, USM 207, UTM 228

New ranking! Meet Malaysia's top universities for 2019. University of Malaya takes the top spot, followed by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - UKM and Universiti Putra Malaysia!
Malaysia Universities World Rankings 2019

UM RANKED 87, BREAKS INTO TOP 100 IN QS WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS 2019

The newly released Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2019 reported a Malaysian university being positioned among the world top 100 universities for the first time. University of Malaya (UM), ranked 87, made this landmark achievement in the history of higher education of Malaysia by moving up 27 places from last year. The rapid rise in its ranking by 80 places since 2014 placed UM within the top 9% of 1,011 institutions ranked by QS in its latest release. Globally, UM is within the top 1% of approximately 26,000 universities.
Universiti Malaya World University Rankings 2019
New Straits Times: University of Malaya achieves its highest rank, according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University rankings for 2018 released today. It now ranks 87th in the world from 114th last year.

The fifteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings, released today by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, sees all Malaysian ranked universities rise, except one which remains stable.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (184th) joins the world’s Top 200, an achievement only narrowly missed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (202th).

Two other varsities that made it to the top 200 are Universiti Sains Malaysia which rises to 207th position from 264th and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, which jumps to 228th from 253rd in the world.

Ben Sowter, Research Director at QS said: “Malaysia shines in this edition of the rankings. Its higher education system has a solid reputation among both international academics and employers. To support this positive ascending trajectory, the local universities should continue to focus on increasing the impact of the research they produce.”


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Friday, March 16, 2018

Biasiswa PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP)

Scholarship Application Closing Date: 5PM 22 March 2018

Since 1975, PETRONAS has awarded sponsorship to more than 36,000 deserving students who dared to push their boundaries academically, while possessing a performance mindset and leadership capabilities. This is PETRONAS’ way of nurturing the right talent that will ultimately contribute back to the company, industry and the nation.
Application for the PESP is once again open to outstanding Malaysians to pursue undergraduate studies in oil and gas related fields. Eligible candidates will be shortlisted and interviewed prior to final selection.

The sponsorship is open for students aspiring to pursue their undergraduate studies at higher learning institutions as follows:-
  • Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS
    • Complete 1-year Foundation Programme at UTP prior to pursuing the Bachelor’s Degree Programme
  • Overseas Universities
    • Complete up to 24 months of Pre-University Programme in Malaysia prior to pursuing the Bachelor’s Degree Programme overseas.

Biasiswa PETRONAS Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

  1. Malaysian citizens aged between 17 - 19 years old in 2018
  2. Strong leadership skills and active participation (demonstrable) in extra- curricular activities
  3. Academic qualification required for the sponsored programme:
  • UTP
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
      • Minimum 4A+, 5A- in SPM 2017, with minimum A- for the following subjects:
        1. Chemistry
        2. Physics
        3. Mathematics
  • Overseas Universities
    • Applied Chemistry
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Electrical & Electronic Engineering
    • Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Instrumentation)
    • Geology/Geophysics
    • Material Engineering/Material Science
    • Mechanical Engineering
      • Minimum 4A+, 5A- in SPM 2017, with minimum A- for the following subjects:
        1. Chemistry
        2. Physics
        3. Mathematics
    • Accounting
    • Actuarial Science
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Statistics
      • Minimum 4A+, 5A- in SPM 2017, with minimum A- for Mathematics

PETRONAS YoungStars Day (PYD)

The shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend PYD at identified date and venue. During the PYD, the candidates will be assessed to measure the students’ potential via series of assessments which consist of the following:-
  • First phase (Online)
    • Cambridge Personal Style Questionnaire (CPSQ)
      • To assess candidates’ personality /potentials
    • Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA)
      • To assess cognitive abilities focusing on Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
  • Second phase (Interview)
    • Student Potential Assessment (SPA)
      • To measure leadership and interpersonal skills

Biasiswa PETRONAS Scholarship Process & Schedule

  • 15 March 2018 Online Application System opens
  • 22 March 2018 Online Application System closes
  • April 2018 Announcement & Invitation for PETRONAS YoungStars Day (PYD)
  • April 2018 PETRONAS YoungStars Day (PYD)
  • May 2018 Announcement of Sponsorship Award via SMS Blast and email notification
  • June 2018 Reply on acceptance/rejection of Sponsorship Award

How to Apply Biasiswa PETRONAS Scholarship?

Submit online application here.


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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

6 Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right High School

6 Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right High School

Guest post by Dickson Li (Share your tips with 58,000+ Malaysian students)

Selecting an appropriate high school is one of the best and most critical decisions anyone can make in his or her life. Such decisions not only affect your college or university preferences, but also our career and further studies prospects.

This is why students need to consider these below explained variables before finalizing their high school.
6 Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right High School

Cost

Unarguably, one of the most decisive and sensitive factors when it comes to selecting a high school, is the foremost consideration that lower and middle class (even upper class in some cases) families think about before sending their children to the school. Ask yourself if you can truly afford the tuition fees of your shortlisted high school. Remember, there are many institutions that offer some forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, to students who aren't able to afford regular tuition fees of college or university degree programs.

Selectivity

Apparently, some schools in your list will top others in some way or other. It is wise to research the acceptance ratio of your preferred school before you start applying. It is obvious that top colleges in any city or state are quite specific and strict in their selection criteria, not everyone finds it easier to apply at such places. The brand name of institutions does matter undoubtedly, but what eventually matters most is the quality of learning and experience you gain throughout your academic tenure.


Extras for international students

If you're an international student crossing your regional boundaries to pursue high school education in a foreign country, then understandably you need to inquire the details and programs available for international students. Most commonly and importantly, ask if the school has ample programs, facilities, and extracurricular activities to help the international students settle in the new culture and environment. In short, your school must be genuinely inclined to cater your best interests whenever, wherever possible.

Number of graduates enrolled in top colleges and universities

Now this might seem suited more for sophomores, but it is better to inquire whether the high school you're choosing justifies its claims in terms of quality education and provides a number of lucrative career options or not. In case you aren't sure whether a graduate school enlists in your future plans or not, examine the acceptance rate of graduates. The point is to affirm that you'll be having sufficient choices after graduation.

Socialization

Apparently, your college or university will be your "home" for the next 4 years. This is the phase in life where you form the most powerful social connections. For example, all the students might either be living in the campus's hostel or off-campus. Regardless, students are involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities both on and off the campus. This is what students need to ask themselves before selecting a high school or college. What are the facilities the institution is offering? Does those interest you? How sociable is the school?

Retention and 4-year graduation rate

Before finalizing your high school, you will be tempted to know the percentage of students who start and complete the 4-year degree program without any delays, the students who continue in the same institution for further studies, etc.

Provided the transfer rate of credits and students to other programs or institutions is unusually high, then it's most likely that the needs of the students aren't being catered as meant or promised. Furthermore, also ask the percentage of students who are able to earn their degrees within the standard 4-year time, due to the fact that some institutions prolong the program by a semester or two. The thing is, are you prepared to spend more time and money to acquire your degree?

Dickson Li a professional career counsellor and has worked under some of the best institutions worldwide. Apart from his routine job in educating students towards paths of academic and professional excellence, Li is also an online assignment writing help specialist with many college and university level disciplines under his brand of expertise.


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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How to Study Abroad for FREE in Europe? A Dream or Reality

How to Study for Free in EU? A Dream or Reality

Guest post by Diana Clark (Share your tips with 58,000+ Malaysian students)

Going to university is expensive, there's no doubt about it. However, if you do your homework and conduct a thorough research of all available options, you will be surprised by the range of universities in the European Union where you can study for free or a fraction of the cost. Indeed, there are many European countries with attractive options, you just need to know where to look.
In this article, you'll find a selection of European Union countries that offer free or low-cost education to international students.

1. Finland

This country, just like the rest of the Nordic region, is at the top of many student wish lists because of democratic tuition policies and a strong commitment to increase free access to higher education for everyone. The universities in Finland are all cost-free for students coming from European Union/European Economic Area.

Even though non-European Union/European Economic Area students still have to pay tuition, those who want to pursue a degree taught in Swedish of Finnish are not charged with anything (don't forget about living costs - they are about 800 EUR/month).

The list of well-known tuition-free Finnish universities includes:
  • University of Jyvaskyla
  • University of Helsinki
  • Aalto University

2. Norway

Another Nordic country that offers unbelievable options to foreign students. Superb facilities, developed infrastructure, and wise professors to help you even when you request is as simple as "help me write my essay." For example, there are about 40 public education universities providing tuition-free education for everyone. And it doesn't matter if you are from European Union or not! However, you still have to pay various fees, including student union fee (60-70 EUR) that cover campus services.

Don't forget about living costs as well: they are a bit higher than in Finland and could reach up to 1,000 EUR/month.

Tuition-free educational establishments in Norway include:
  • UIT The Arctic University of Norway
  • University of Bergen
  • Oslo and Akershus University College

3. Germany

The German educational system allows pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degree for free regardless of whether you come from Europe or any other corner of the world. These universities, however, charge various administrative fees up to 200 EUR a year to cover costs of maintaining campuses, which is reasonable.

Your options include:
  • University of Stuttgart
  • Hamburg University of Technology
  • Darmstadt University of Technology

EU Countries with Low-Cost Tuition

As of this winter, these are the only countries that have true zero-tuition policies in Europe, but that's totally okay since there are many other European countries that offer super low-cost educational opportunities. Let's see them.

Austria

This country provides international students with unbelievable educational opportunities with superb facilities, accommodating people, talented academic advisors who can help to resolve any issue, and advanced infrastructure. Naturally, the quality of education taught in Austria is very high, but the cost may really surprise you.

For example, international students who come outside of European Union will have to pay about 400-500 EUR per semester. In some cases, exchange students and students from underdeveloped countries are allowed to study for free.

However, pay attention to admission requirements. For example, you have to provide the evidence of an academic qualification similar to the one issued by the local educational system - Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schulen. Also, the evidence of fluency in German language is also mandatory.

List of Austrian Universities with low-cost tuition:
  • University of Klagenfurt
  • Johannes Kepler University Of Linz
  • University of Vienna

Denmark

Education in Denmark is not tuition free for international students because it is only available to Danish and EU citizens. However, there are many exceptions for people from underdeveloped countries and certain visa types. The list of admission requirements for international students includes evidence of proficiency in English of Danish (if applicable), evidence of previous education, and certain tests prepared by the university you're applying to.

Some well-known Danish universities include:
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Technical University of Denmark - DTU
  • Roskilde University

France

Even though France is often overlooked as a good place to obtain great education, this iconic destination offers quality tuition for a very affordable price. In fact, it provides one of the most affordable education after Nordic countries. For example, the average tuition fees in 2017 were estimated at 200 to 300 EUR a year, which is reasonable given that you will be studying at some of Europe's best and oldest universities.

It should be noted that PhDs in some degrees including Medicine and Engineering cost a little bit higher than others, up to 600 EUR / year.

Of course, this cost does not include expenditures like housing, transportation, food, and entertainment. However, overall living costs in France are not different from that of other European countries; for example, 750-800 EUR is a sufficient monthly amount.

Well-known French universities:
  • University of Caen Normandy
  • University of Savoy
  • Nantes University
Diana Clark once gave up her educator career for something she always dreamed about - writing. Diana is a freelance writer at Awriter. She discovers the world of digital nomads and believes that some day people will become location independent.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Different Kind of Treasure: It's Okay to Feel Lost

A Different Kind of Treasure

Guest post by Danisyah Dalily (Share your thoughts with 60,000+ Malaysian students)
Malaysia Student Fresh Graduates
I am a fresh graduate student. I still can't believe it myself. Even though I am 21 and people expect me to have a lay out plan of my whole life, I don't. After I graduated high school, to be honest I was scared. Of what the future will bring, of where I will go then that I was leaving my comfort zone. At the age of 21 I finished my diploma in communication and media studies. However, I am still scared even though not as much as before but the feeling is still there. The changes, the uncertainty in life do that to people. One of my friends once started to freak out after the realization hits her. She asked me, "What if things get so hard and I can't do it? What if my plan didn't work out which force me to give up and stop halfway through? What if I didn't even get to do what I dream of all this while?"

Somehow, I keep thinking about those questions for weeks. When I think it back, actually the "what if" questions have always following and bothering each and every one of us throughout our life journey. Our choices define who we are and as we grow, we get the answers to the questions that no one else can answer because they are meant for us, to find out by ourselves. When you did, you will finally feel content and understand more about the meaning of life.

Sometimes, what you plan doesn't always work out. Your map doesn't always lead you to the treasure. Your dreams won't always come true. However, you have to keep dreaming because I believe dream gives you wings. It can fly you higher.

Do not worry too much and overthink of what is in front. No one knows. Live your life fully everyday as if you will never see tomorrow. Live the kind of life you want. Be the kind of person that you will be proud of looking. A person with spirit.

At times, the map that is in your hand doesn't lead you to the physical treasure that you imagine will be gold, shiny and beautiful. You might get to the end of the map which was said to be under a huge tree up a hill and find nothing, only darkness. However, try to turn around and see how beautiful the scenery is in front of you where the sky is full of stars and the sea reflects back the lights. You don't know where it starts and where it ends. The sky and earth become one. At that moment, you feel calm and the feelings you have warm you from the inside and bloom all through your vein. Then, you realize that this is the gem. The journey itself is precious enough. It is not like what you imagine it will be because it is beyond that.

Therefore, do not be afraid to try and follow the road ahead of you. Especially to the students and fresh graduates like me who are still confused and have to live through this new life of modernisation. Don't be afraid to try out new things or choose to walk on a road that is unfamiliar to you. You might get lost but, by getting lost is how you find the right paths and realize that actually there are a few roads that will lead you to the same destination. Some might be longer and tougher than the other but you will get there eventually.

Danisyah Dalily Binti Akmal Shahian just finished her Diploma in Communication and Media Studies at University Teknologi Mara (UiTM). She is a fresh graduate with a passion for writing.


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Do You Know These Pros & Cons Of Repeating A Grade?

Do You Know These Pros & Cons Of Repeating A Grade?

Guest post by Kane Williamson (Share your thoughts with 58,000+ Malaysian students)

Normally students who are associated with failure are directed to repeat a grade. It shows a sign that your child is not focused on their studies and not working hard to enhance their performance. There are numerous positive and negative effects attached to the decision of repeating a grade.

If you’re also deciding to repeat a grade, then you’re reading the right content. Read the information shared in the below passage to explore the pros and cons of repeating a grade.
Pros & Cons Of Repeating A Grade

Pros

1. Strengthen Your Knowledge

The process of repeating a grade is an effective idea to strengthen one's knowledge as per the grade level students who fail to satisfy their teachers with expected knowledge need to repeat their grade. In order to get the promotion to the next grade student needs to develop exceptional knowledge of the current grade.

In case you had missed a lot of school due to illness or any issue then chances are high that you will need to repeat the grade to catch up all the lessons which you had missed.  And when you already know the course material, reviewing it can help you perform better in your class test and fetch good grades.

2. Fill Up Age Difference

Children who are younger than their classmates always benefit from repeating the grade. This is because they get an opportunity to attend classes with the children of their age. Furthermore, it is observed that students who are younger than their classmates feel pressure in their class activities.

If you’re younger than your class fellows, then you will also get the benefit to study comfortably with your age group students.

3. Enhance your skills

Repeating a grade is the best choice for students who lack reading, writing or communication skills. When you will repeat your grade you will get the chance to develop more skills through your class activities.

This will allow you to confidently engage in all academic activities with better skills. So if you want to enhance your skills then you should not hesitate to repeat your grade.

Cons

1. Age Difference

It is true to say that students who repeat a grade remain two years older than their classmates. This is the main reason students as well as their parents confused whether or not to repeat a grade. And the problem becomes worse if your younger sibling is also studying at the same level.

2. Bullying or Teasing

Many students feel scared by grade retention idea, because of other students tease or bullying. And this is why you might disagree with your friends and family member with the idea of class repetition.
If you feel insecure because of this reason then you should discuss it clearly with your parents and college counselor.

3. Feel Bored

Almost every student feel bored when it comes to repeating the same grade. There are many reasons behind this but the main reason is the same class lesson and activities in which they need to indulge. This stops students to concentrate on the class lesson which they already took in the last year.  Therefore, many students oppose the idea of grade repetition instead joined other school or college.

The Bottom-line…

Repeating a grade is effective for the group of learners who are too young for studying a grade. What this means is that the learning of underage students tends to slow down and they end up getting poor grades. Repeating a grade helps them adjust with the pace of their education benefit them in their future studies and career.

Similarly, repeating a grade helps the students who are developmentally immature. Since they have a lower mental age than their biological age, it is better for them to repeat a grade in order to cement the things they learn in a class.

On the other hand, repeating a grade has its downside for students who have other reasons than being underage or having a low mental age. For those students, repeating a grade does more bad than any good. The worst is that they tend to lag behind the students within their age group. Besides, when a student repeats a grade, it is difficult for him to get along with new class mates due to the age difference.

After weighing the pros and cons of repeating a grade, we can conclude the case of whether or not a student should repeat a grade depends on his individual requirements. So think twice before you make a decision as it can have repercussions on your future education and career.

Kane Williamson is the writer of this post. Apart from being a veteran writer, he is also an academician, scholar, and educator at Dissertation Crown. In addition, he is an active blogger who frequently writes on the themes of education and career. He is fond of reading academic publications and non-fiction books.


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