Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Budget 2012: Students to Get RM200 Book Voucher from January 3

Posted by Chong

Some of the major announcements related to education made in the federal budget 2012 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in parliament in October this year are:
  • RM50.2bil will be allocated to the education sector so that it can continue to develop talented, creative and innovative people
  • RM1bil will be provided through a special fund for the construction, improvement and maintenance of schools
  • We will abolish payments for primary and secondary education, making these free for the first time in our history
  • Private schools registered with the Education Ministry will be given incentives including an Investment Tax Allowance
  • The Govt will give tax exemption for contributions to educational institutions and all places of worship
  • To encourage private sector human capital development incentives including a double deduction on scholarships will be offered
  • Book voucher worth RM200 will be given to Malaysian students in all private and public institutions of higher learning
  • One off RM100 aid for each school pupil aged 6 to 16. 
  • RM120 million to offer 5,000 Masters and 500 doctoral scholarships for eligible civil servants, including teachers.
  • The government will offer 20,000 places for diploma teachers to pursue undergraduate studies.
Update 26/3/2012: Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Hj. Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced through Facebook that 1Malaysia book vouchers' expiry date has been extended to 30 April 2012 from the previous 31 March 2012.

Update 29/1/2012: Minister of Higher Education Ministry said that cops are investigating varsity students advertising their 1Malaysia RM200-book vouchers for sale at a cheaper price online.

According to BERNAMA, at least 113 students from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) have sold their Baucar Buku 1Malaysia (BB1M) at RM180 to a couple who own a bookshop at Kuala Lumpur. The couple was suspected to get RM20 profit from each voucher bought and arrested for investigation.

UUM Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said the couple have no connection with UUM and their presence in campus were to buy book vouchers from the students. Mustafa also said that all students involved will be called as soon as the second semester begins as he has identified them.

On a related note, all Borders Malaysia bookstore are currently offering free Borders Rewards Card Membership and free Starbucks buy 1 free 1 voucher when you spend a minimum of RM100 (2 x RM50 BB1M vouchers).

Update 16/12/2011: Minister of Higher Education Ministry said that only those higher education students registered and active in January till March 2012 are eligible for this book voucher.

Today, Minister of Higher Education Ministry, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said eligible Malaysian students can start collecting RM200 book voucher from the respective education institution from the 3rd of January, 2012. All current part-time and full-time Malaysian students in Form 6, Matriculation, diploma, Vocational programmes and polytechnics schools and those undergraduates (degree) and postgraduates (master, phd) studying at public and private local institutions of higher learning are eligible.

Previously, deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that the book voucher is not redeemable for cash and students must make full use of it to buy books, references, journals, Science magazines or learning aids.

Also, the higher education institutions have prepared a list of eligible students together with their identity card numbers or matriculation or registration numbers. Students must ensure that their names, identity card numbers and the stamp of their institution are filled on each voucher. Each voucher has the value of RM50 hence each eligible student will receive a total of four RM50 book vouchers. The book voucher is valid from the 1st of January, 2012 until the 31st of March, 2012. These vouchers can be used at all participating bookstores.
Malaysia Budget 2012
From the Prime Minister's Budget 2012 speech (download pdf):
41. Knowledge is the pillar of civilisation and the foundation for excellence. Therefore, to achieve the aspiration of becoming a developed and high-income country, the Government continues to give priority to the development of the education system to produce talented, highly-skilled, creative and innovative workforce. The education sector will be allocated RM50.2 billion in 2012. For the Ministry of Education, development allocation amounting RM1.9 billion will be spend on all types of school consisting of national schools, national-type Chinese and Tamil schools, mission schools and Government-assisted religious schools.

42. In addition, RM1 billion will be provided through a special fund for the construction, improvement and maintenance of schools, particularly to cater for the immediate needs of schools. Of this, RM100 million each will be for the national-type Chinese schools, national-type Tamil schools, mission schools, Government- assisted religious schools, Maktab Rendah Sains MARA while the remaining RM500 million for national schools.

43. To provide a brighter future for all Malaysian children irrespective of their socioeconomic background, the Government will ensure quality and affordable access to education. Currently, students in primary and secondary schools are still required to pay RM24.50 and RM33.50, respectively, for co-curriculum, internal test papers, Malaysian Schools Sports Council fees and insurance premium. To ease the burden on parents, it is proposed that these payments be abolished commencing the 2012 school year. With this announcement, for the first time in history, primary and secondary education is provided free. The abolition of these payments would involve an allocation of RM150 million.

44. The private sector also plays an important role in providing quality education towards creating an excellent future generation. In line with this, the Government proposes private schools registered with the Ministry of Education and complies with stipulated regulations be given the following incentives: 
First: Income tax exemption of 70% or Investment Tax Allowance of 100% on qualifying capital expenditure for a period of 5 years; 
Second: Double deduction for overseas promotional expenses to attract more foreign students; and 
Third: Import duty and sales tax exemptions on all educational equipment. The Government hopes that the savings accrued to the private school operators will subsequently result in the reduction of school fees to ease the burden of parents.

45. Registered primary and secondary schools, including national schools, national-type schools, mission schools and Government-assisted religious schools often receive financial contribution from companies and individuals to upgrade school facilities. To encourage more charitable activities, contributions are eligible for tax deductions. This facility will be extended to all registered places of worship. The Government will expedite tax exemption approvals for education institution and all places of worship. 

46. In addition, the private sector is encouraged to work together in strengthening the development of high-skilled human capital. To achieve this, the Government proposes tax incentives as follows: 
First: Double deduction on allowances paid by companies to the participants of internship program; 
Second: Double deduction on scholarship awards; and 
Third: Double deduction on expenses incurred to participate in career fairs abroad.

► Read more on Budget 2012: Students to Get RM200 Book Voucher from January 3

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Exclusive: IPTA Special Deepavali 2011 Holiday from October 25 to 28

Posted by Chong

You read this first at Malaysia Students Blog (www.Malaysia-Students.com) Share on Facebook / Tweet this post to share this news with your friends. We were also the first to break the news that IPTAs change to summer break academic term - four months semester break in 2011. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog so that you are the first to get all the latest education news.

In late July, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the government through the Higher Education Ministry will make changes to local public universities (IPTA) semester schedule so that Indian students can return to their hometowns to celebrate Deepavali on October 26 (Wednesday), 2011.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister when launching the 1Malaysia Indian Student Movement (1MISM) at Universiti Malaya on July 27 this year. Some other great news to the Malaysian Indian community announced that day was:
  • Yayasan 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scholarships would be awarded to Indian graduates who obtained first class honours and come from lower income families to further their studies at Masters and PhD level.
  • Vegetarian food will be made available at the local public universities in the future.
  • Public universities would be providing buses to transport Indian students to temples on Friday evenings.
We have just got the confirmation from official sources that October 25 (Tuesday) to 28 (Friday) will be the special Deepavali 2011 holiday for local public universities (IPTA).

Depending on the state of the IPTA, undergraduates of all races will be enjoying five to six days Deepavali holiday (Cuti Sempena Hari Deepavali 2011)! Universities located in Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu will resume classes on October 30 (Sunday) while others on October 31 (Monday).

October 25 (Tuesday) - Holiday starts
October 26 (Wednesday) - Deepavali 2011
October 30 (Sunday) / 31 (Monday) - Classes resume

At the time this post was written, the academic calendars of most local public universities have yet to be updated to reflect this change.

Have you bought your bus or flight tickets? How do you plan to spend your holiday? Let us know in the comment.

Diwali / Devali / Deepawali also known as Festival of lights

Update 10/10/2011:
Below is the official letter sent by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to all local public universities (IPTA) on September 15, 2011.

► Read more on Exclusive: IPTA Special Deepavali 2011 Holiday from October 25 to 28

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

STPM & SPM 2011 Tips & Trial Papers

Posted by Chong (Last Updated: 14 October 2011)

Submit Your STPM & SPM 2011 Exam Tips and Trial Papers to be included in this list.

Share a link to this post on your blog / twitter / facebook and you will be featured here!

Related post: 2011 Exam Dates (Tarikh Peperiksaan) and UPSR & PMR Tips and SPM & STPM 2011 Tips and Trial Papers.

SPM 2011 Tips and Trial Papers
STPM 2011 Tips and Trial Papers

► Read more on STPM & SPM 2011 Tips & Trial Papers

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Muhyiddin: Malaysia to Attract 200,000 International Students by 2020; Diaspora an Asset to Country

Posted by Chong

"It must be reiterated here that people who migrate are not unpatriotic and the government does not view them as such. The Malaysian diaspora is an asset to our country - an asset that we do not want to alienate but an asset that we would like to co-operate with and hopefully entice to return to return in the near future" said Y.A.B. Tan Sri Dato' Hj. Muhyiddin Bin Yassin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Malaysia during opening speech for Education Nation Conference 2011, a 2 day premier conference which is held on the on the 13th and 14th September 2011 at Royal Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.

This is reflected through the formation of Talent Corp, a government body with a mandate to attract those diaspora back to our country through various enablers, programs and incentives. He also said Malaysia government should co-operate with those diaspora in foreign countries by keeping an open channel via Malaysia embassies.

On the higher education front, the Deputy Minister said that through co-operation with established and renowned institutions abroad, the government intends to make the education sector an economic endeavour by attracting more foreign students. The government aspires to attract at least 200,000 international students by year 2020 which roughly translates into RM 600 billion worth of exchange. Malaysia's strategic regional position forms a melting pot of confluence that allows cross-fertilization of ideas, cultures and civilizational dialogues. This will enable greater understanding of the various aspirations and hope, and for Malaysia, to allow itself to position accordingly in facing challenges that may lie ahead.

The Minister of Education also claimed that Malaysia has possibly the most open and liberal policies anywhere in the world as Malaysia is the early pioneers of twinning programs with foreign institutions long before it become an established form. These programs have been fine-tuned over the last decade or so to not only provide the same quality of education offered in their country of origin, but also at a fraction of the original cost benefitting many Malaysians.

Malaysia Students Blog has attended this conference which has an impressive list of speakers and interesting topics on education in Malaysia.
Session 1: Where has Malaysia’s Talents Gone? : Reassessing how we are educating and preparing our youth for the future The setting up of Talent Corporation is an acknowledgement by the government that we have serious problems with attracting and retaining talent in Malaysia. The importance of effective talent management has put people a.k.a the citizen now at the center of investment and development under
the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).
- Is Malaysia struggling to stem ‘brain drain’ as talent departs?
- What are we doing wrong to push our talent away?
- Is Malaysia really lacking talent? Or is it the system?
- Equality in Malaysia’s education system

Jeremaiah Opiniano
Executive Director of the Institute of Migration & Development Issues (IMDI), Philippines

Emeritus Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Khoo Kay Kim
Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University Malaya
Chancellor, Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU)

Mohamad Kamal Haji Nawawi
General Manager for Strategic Programmes, Talent Corporation Malaysia

Moderator Discussant:
Mark E Disney
Chief Operating Officer, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry International Qualification, Asia

Session 2: Education NKEA and KPIs: Transforming Education as an Engine of Growth.
The Development of the Education NKRA agenda aims to widen access to quality and affordable
education and to improve student outcomes to strengthen Malaysia’s economic competitiveness and
move to a high-income knowledge society for Vision 2020. Does Malaysia have the right formula to
achieve these goals?
- The fundamentals of good education for a progressive economy
- The 5 essential shifts of the Education NKEA Transformation
- Education Quality Review and Benchmarks
- Case Study: Finland – Best Education System in the World (UN’s Human Development Index: Education Index 2008)

Prof Keiichi Ogawa
Professor of Economics and Education, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University Japan & the Former Education Economist at the World Bank, Japan

Timo Karmakallio
Chargé d’Affaires a.i. (Counsellor)Embassy of Finland

Mdm Lok Yim Pheng
Secretary General, National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), Malaysia

Umapagan Ampikaipakan
Freelance Writer, Book Critic and Radio Deejay at Business FM, Malaysia

Session 3: Upgrading Malaysia to a World-Class Education Hub.
Malaysia’s strategic location, multiracial culture and harmony have made the nation a favourite destination among foreign businesses, tourists and students. However, the growing competition regionally from countries like China, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and South Korea to be the Education Hub in Asia, will force the nation to rethink its current strategy. How can Malaysia maintain it’s comparative advantage in the region? What does it take to be a World Class Education Hub?
- A global status requires a global mind set
- Prestige, brand and quality: Lesson from the best.
- Case Study: England and Hong Kong

Prof. John MacBeath
Director of Leadership for Learning, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, England

Prof. Dr. der Soz Gumilar R. Somantri
President & Rector, Universitas Indonesia (UI), Indonesia

Dr. Tae-Wan Kim
President, Korean Education Development Institute (KEDI), Korea

Dr. Geoffrey Williams,
Director of the Academy of Responsible Management and Chairman of the Education Committee in the EU Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. Malaysia

Session 4: Technologically Enhanced 21st Century Learning
- Importance of Technology for Globalized Learning
- Challenging the ‘Net Generation’: Can teachers keep up?
- Raising the bar and Closing the gap between Rural and Urban education with Technology

Tony Brandenburg
President, Australian Council of Computers in Education, Canberra, Australia

Prof. Dr. Fong Soon Fook
Professor of Multimedia Education, School of Distance Learning, University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Jang, Snag-Hyun, Ph.D
Vice President of Global Education Planning Center, Korea

Session 5: Voices of Our Future Generation
Is our future generation prepared to meet the challenges of the real world? If not, what is missing?
- Malaysian Education in the eyes of the student
- How can it be improved?

President of Student body Council:
Nor Huda Mahmud
Council Member, MASSA Student Association, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Prabsimran Singh
President of Student Representative Council, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

James Chai
President of Student Representative Council, Curtin University Malaysia, Sarawak Campus, Malaysia

Moderator Discussant:
Christopher Tock
co-founding conveners, Young Corporate Malaysia

Session 6: Employers Debate: Quantity vs Quality of Graduates Moving into the Workforce
In today’s competitive environment, organizations are looking for graduates who have balanced skill set and are capable of demon strating superior performance at work at all levels. In reality majority of graduates produce every year still lack of sufficient knowledge, skills and the basic attributes that are essential to enable them to ‘serve’ themselves or their employers, and the larger society.
- Why are our local graduates not making the ‘grades’?
- Change of Mindset towards the ‘English’ language – the universal language of business.
- Generation Y: Employer’s expectations and reality

Vimala Bnoo Pathy
Corporate Human Resource, Talent Acquisition, SIEMENS Malaysia

Khairul Azman Yasin
Head of Education & Learning, Human Resources Management Division,
Petroliam Nasional Berhad, Malaysia

Moderator Discussant:-
Sam Haggag
Country Head, Manpower Malaysia

Session 7: World Class Education Institutions – Where do Malaysia’s Schools and Universities stand?
Malaysia’s premier university, University Malaya (UM) has dropped from the top 200 of the prestigious 2010 QS World University Rankings - slipping to 207 this year compared to 180 in year 2009.
- Why are our universities not moving up the ranks? What are the underlying reasons & what can we do about it to raise the bar?

Dr. Mahender Singh
Director of Research for MIT Supply Chain 2020 Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Prof. John MacBeath
Director of Leadership for Learning, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, England

Prof Robin Pollard
Pro-Vice Chancellor & President of Monash University, Malaysia Campus

Jiang Xueqin
Director & Deputy Principal, Peking University, High School, China

Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
Vice Chancellor, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia

Moderator Discussant:
Mark E Disney
Chief Operating Officer, London Chamber of Commerce & Industry International Qualification, Asia

Session 8: Affordable Education: Lower Quality?
Every year new private colleges and universities are popping up in Malaysia to cater to the local market and the growing influx of foreign students coming to Malaysia to study. Yet every year Malaysia is faced with a growing problem of unemployed graduates from both the public and private higher education institutions. Who should be responsible for the rate on unemployed graduates? The students? The government? Or the institutions producing these graduates?
- Private vs Public Education
- Why are parents willing to pay top dollar to send their children abroad to further their studies?

Dr. Siva Ananthan
Educationist Advisor, CTT Global Consultants, Malaysia.

Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim
Chairman, Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia

Keeran Sivarajah
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Teach For Malaysia

► Read more on Muhyiddin: Malaysia to Attract 200,000 International Students by 2020; Diaspora an Asset to Country

Education Nation Conference 2011 "Paving the Educational Roadmap for Malaysia & Asia"

Posted by Chong

Education is an important catalyst in developing talented, relevant, skilful and sufficient manpower to a nation. The future of a nation depends greatly on their education. The most advanced nations in the world have always prioritized and understood the importance of education as a panacea for competitive advantage to strengthen competitiveness, employment and social cohesion and mobility in their nation. Education has played a vital role in developing and transforming Malaysia into a key player in the global economy. It has always been a vital component of Malaysia’s development agenda and even more so now as the nation’s deadline to become a high-income developed nation by 2020 approaches.

Today, however, Malaysia’s growth is stunted by the departure of its people, in particular the highly skilled workforce bracket that are leaving to neighbouring and far off nations for better opportunities, compensation and relief from the sense of social injustice lingering back home. An estimate of one million Malaysian has migrated to other nations since 2000, a third of them are ‘Brain Drain’ –the migration of talent to other nations.

Asian World Summit Sdn Bhd (AWS) is organizing a 2 day premier conference namely EDUCATION NATION CONFERENCE 2011 with the theme "Paving the Educational Roadmap for Malaysia and Asia" which is held on the on the 13th and 14th September 2011 at Royal Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.

The summit is supported by the following organizations:
1. Ministry of Education, Malaysia
2. University of Nottingham
3. Institute of Chartered Accountants if England and Wales
4. Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology
5. Statworks (M) Sdn Bhd
6. Parent Action Group on Education (PAGE)
7. Teach for Malaysia
8. National Association of Private Educational Institutions

The 2-day program comprises of 32 local and international speakers. The topics that will be covered in depth are:-
  • Where has Malaysia’s Talents Gone?
  • Education NKEA and KPIs: Transforming Education as an Engine of Growth
  • Upgrading Malaysia to a World-Class Education Hub.
  • Technologically Enhanced 21st Century Learning
  • Voices of Our Future Generation
  • Employers Debate: Quantity vs Quality of Graduates Moving into the Workforce
  • World Class Education Institutions – Where do Mlaysia’s Schools and Universities stand?
  • Affordable Education: Lower Quality?

The program is structured to be interactive via dialogues sessions, moderator discussants, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with delegates.

Malaysia Students Blog is attending this conference and will be covering some of the topics. Read www.Malaysia-Students.com for more updates.

► Read more on Education Nation Conference 2011 "Paving the Educational Roadmap for Malaysia & Asia"

Monday, September 05, 2011

UM Ranked at 167 in QS World University Rankings 2011 (UKM: 279, USM: 335, UPM: 358)

Posted by Chong

Source: London-based QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings Year 2011

Rank    University
1          Cambridge University,UK
2          Harvard University, US
3          Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
4          Yale University, US
5          Oxford University, UK
6          Imperial College London, UK
22        University of Hong Kong
25        University of Tokyo
28        National University of Singapore (NUS)
58        Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
167      Universiti Malaya (UM)
279      Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
335      Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
358      Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

The Star Online wrote:
QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) Ltd Intelligence Unit head Ben Sowter said QS conducts and compiles the annual World University Rankings, which is an annual league table of the top universities in the world.

The rankings are based on data gathered and measured in academic peer review, employer reputation review, international faculty ratio, international student ratio, student faculty ratio, and citations per faculty.

On UM's improvement, Sowter said it was the only Malaysian institution to have improved in its academic, employer scores and international aspects this year

He said UKM lost ground in the employer reputation review and citations per faculty but improved in academic reputation.

UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon said the policy to have academics and postgraduate students improved their quality of research and to have their output published in the Thomson Institute for Scientific Information indexed journals was paying off.

“This is a key policy that will continue under my administration so the promise of getting UM into the Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings will be achieved by 2015,” he said
University of Malaya

► Read more on UM Ranked at 167 in QS World University Rankings 2011 (UKM: 279, USM: 335, UPM: 358)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

2011 Exam Dates (Tarikh Peperiksaan) and UPSR & PMR Tips

Posted by Chong (Submit Your Exam Tips)
Update: 2011 STPM trial papers and SPM tips are available now.
Upcoming Examination Dates
Primary School Assesment Test (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah, or UPSR)
UPSR 2011: September 13 - 15

Lower Secondary Assessment (Penilaian Menengah Rendah, or PMR)
PMR 2011: October 4-6, 10-11

Malaysian Certificate of Education (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or SPM)
SPM 2011: November 14 - December 14
SPM 2011 Timetable (Jadual Waktu Peperiksaan SPM 2011)

Malaysian Higher School Certificate (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, or STPM)
STPM 2011:
Oral - September 20 - 22, 27 - 29
Written - 21 November - 15 December
STPM 2011 Timetable (Jadual Waktu Peperiksaan STPM 2011)

Malaysian Higher Religious Certificate (Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia, or STAM)
STAM 2011:
Oral - July 11 - 14, 18 - 21
Written - October 12 - 13, 17 - 19

Malaysian University English Test (MUET)
MUET 2011 Year End Exam:
Oral - October 11 - 13, 18 - 20
Written - November 19

Source: Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia: Takwim Peperiksaan Tahun 2011

UPSR Tips and Exam Papers
  • UPSR Tips and Trial Papers
    Collection of UPSR tips and trial papers available on the Internet
    Exam notes, exam tips and past year question papers from 2006 - 2010 with answers and comments
  • SoalanUPSR.Com
    Collection of trial papers (kertas soalan peperiksaan percubaan) with answer schema (skema jawapan)
  • Contoh Karangan UPSR
    Sample essays

PMR Tips and Exam Papers
  • PMR Tips and Trial Papers
    Collection of UPSR tips and trial papers available on the Internet
  • Koleksi Soalan PMR SPM
    Collection of Trial PMR and SPM, SBP (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh dan Sekolah Kecemerlangan) Trial Papers
  • MySchoolChildren.com
    Collection of PMR 2011 Trial Papers with Answer Schema (Kertas Soalan Peperiksaan Percubaan PMR 2011 Dengan Skema Jawapan) from Melaka, Kelantan, Perlis, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak
  • Skor Minda
    Collection of PMR 2011 Trial Papers (Soalan Ramalan PMR 2011) from Wilayah Persekutuan KL and other states in Malaysia
  • Science PMR 2011
    Collection of Science Trial PMR Questions (Koleksi Soalan Percubaan Sains PMR)

► Read more on 2011 Exam Dates (Tarikh Peperiksaan) and UPSR & PMR Tips

Friday, August 19, 2011

AIESEC Go Exchange Program Experience

Written by Lim Pei Yeen, VP Communications of AIESEC in MalaysiaShare your university life with us and get published here!

Hi, I am Jovian Tan, an undergraduate from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia who studies Computer Science majoring in Software Engineering. I love to travel, I love computers, I love music and I love making new friends!

I went to Taiwan in June 2011 under the Go Exchange Program by AIESEC, a program which provides opportunity for students and recent graduates to be part of issue-based or professional internships in more than 107 countries.

I joined Go Exchange Program because of the priceless diverse experience that money cannot buy! Going exchange is another step in my learning process to become a more independent and responsible person. I love traveling to new places, experience new things and of course meeting tons of new friends from all around the world.

In Taiwan, I worked in the Animal Protection Program organized by the Life Welfare & Environment Quality Association. We were sent to attend courses and classes lectured by prestigious veterinary professors from National Taiwan University. We helped in various animal adoption campaign and even had the chance to participate in huge events like Pet Expo Taipei 2011.
Jovian at Pet Expo Taipei 2011.
A picture of Jovian with the Veterinary Professor and friends after attending a course in National Taiwan University.

I find it very interesting and challenging to work with people from diverse culture. I worked with young people from Indonesia, Philippines, Czech Republic, Russia and Mexico in the project. I learned about the differences between cultures, be tolerant in situations and the concept of give and take. Most important of all, I learned to respect all lives.
Jovian and his fellow friends from Indonesia, Philippines, Czech Republic, Russia and Mexico.

I was surprised that a 70 years old lady, who is my Project Manager, Aunty Liu (劉姐) can maintain the heart of a teenage spirit, without hesitation in striving towards her dreams and goals. “Don't just sit there, take action! Turn your dreams into reality,” she said. I am truly inspired by her.
Jovian and his very inspiring Project Manager, Aunty Liu.

The most memorable piece of memory throughout my exchange experience would be the “Cool Conference”. It is the most amazing conference I had ever participated. I interacted with many high school students in Taiwan. It was a lot of fun especially during cultural sharing session. The students had culture shock when I shared with them the diversity of Malaysia. They were surprised that I know many languages such as English, Mandarin, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, and Xin Hua.
Jovian and the Taiwanese high school students in Cool Conference.

I definitely will recommend Go Exchange Program to all my friends because this is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity that you will hardly get after your graduation. I am already considering and planning for my next exchange!


AIESEC, present in over 107 countries, is the world’s largest youth-run organization with over 60 years of experience in developing high-potential youths into global-minded responsible leaders. AIESEC focuses on providing a platform for youth leadership development. This is done by providing youth the opportunity to take up leadership roles and do an internship abroad. For more information, visit http://www.aiesec.my

► Read more on AIESEC Go Exchange Program Experience

Friday, August 12, 2011

My First Year University Life at University of Malaya (UM)

Written by Lim Wei Jiet, 19, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fun & Optimism, Masters in Criticism and a PhD in Over-exaggeration. Sometimes, he does wonder why he’s still studying for another degree in law. Nevertheless, the thrills of law proved impossible to resist and he’s enjoying university life to the max. He blogs at http://lwjheaven.blogspot.com

Having browsed through the Malaysia Students Blog, there is no doubt that a negative perception persists towards local universities in Malaysia. To a certain extent, I agree: from the ridiculous orientation, dirty politics to how they treat us like school kids all the time. Honestly, I hated that. Therefore, I vowed from the beginning of my course, by hook or by crook, that I shall turn these 4 years in the University of Malaya into the most kick-ass experience ever.

This article is a hard-thought, careful and honest description of the tribulations, achievements and lessons which I experienced in this wonderful campus. But more than anything else, this is a tribute to the beloved friends I made along the way, the powerful mentors that have laid down invaluable guidance and the enthusiastic juniors whom I shall meet in the future. Below, in no particular order, are the meaningful experiences and genuine lessons I want to share with you.
  1. University is a beehive of people, activities and hot girls societies. Do not hesitate to jump into the nectar-filled river of opportunities. Make meaningful friendships. Join an event you never dreamt of doing. The options are endless.

  2. Do the most wacky/silly/ludicrous/nonsensical stuffs ever! You're only going to go through university once in your entire life. Unleash all those teenage and childish demeanour before adulthood hits you. And don't forget to take photos!

  3. Yes, be silly. But when the moment calls for it, be serious. Go all out. Show the world how good you are made of.

  4. Grab every opportunity to travel around the world and experience its wonders. Yes, you may be studying in Malaysia but like I said, the opportunities are always there and you just need to make the best use of them. I have learnt so much about the different cultures, perspectives and people in the places I have visited. It has no doubt made me a better person with a global outlook.

    You don't need to be a Porsche-driving son of a CEO to afford these trips, most of the programs are partially funded and grants are available. More importantly, nothing beats travelling with university coursemates as they're so much fun!
  5. When all the fun is over, take a step back and reflect upon ourselves. Who are we? We're university students and the younger generation, the future leaders in this country. Always remember that we have a role to play in society. Give back to the less fortunate. Fight for a noble cause you believe in. Move your lazy asses of the backseat, stand up and be counted.

    Honestly, I am quite ashamed of not doing enough for my part in civil society. Compared to my other friends who are involved in Clinical Legal Education and Community Outreach Program, I am nothing as opposed to their continuous efforts to educate prisoners, abandoned children and many more.

  6. Be inspired by the people around you.

    Yes, every moment when you think you have achieved great things already, it will come to you that there are even better people out there.

    I've known a girl who is a brilliant writer, passionate thinker and an admirable advocate of animals.

    I've known a Sabah native who possesses so much zeal in orang asli rights and helps out tirelessly with the OKU community almost every weekend despite his heavy academic workload.

    I've known a final year buddy who is a South East Asian Bronze medallist in ping pong, who has to train at the sports centre almost every day and still managed to graduate with a degree in law.

    I've known a brilliant lecturer who has taught me the often-forgotten values of humanity, compassion and kindness. He has shown remarkable courage in facing a world which resists his dreams and hopes. I will miss him terribly when he flies to Korea this August to complete his PhD.

    And the most inspirational of all, I salute my fellow coursemate who topped his STPM with flying colours, managed to enter law school and scored better grades than the majority of us. All of this, despite being blind.
I don’t believe that university life should only be about cramming books 24/7, mingling among the same circle of people (or race, for that matter) and joining an activity you dislike just to fight for a spot in hostel the following year (trust me, it’s sad that many people do that!). Life on campus should be full with passion, rigour and vivacity!

This is not an article to show off whatever I have achieved. If indeed I joined those tournaments and events just to add in my collection of memorabilia, then I would have dumped those chances a long time ago. Because behind every personal best I have scaled, it involves tremendous amounts of failure, sacrifice, tears, blood, sweat and hard hard work. You feel like letting go of everything at times. That is what you have to endure to reach your goal.

But as I reflect back, it is not the trophies or plaques dotting the cabinet which matters most to me. It is the simple memories of friendship, fun and feverish fascination in pursuing my passion which I treasure with all my heart. To my batch mates at the law faculty and the seniors I know, I owe you all a big thank you for everything. I appreciate every moment, despite being critical at times.

I am proud to say that I have debated with superb Asian teams in Macau, mooted before the Senior Counsel of the Republic of Singapore, wrote for my faculty's Vox magazine, drank soju amidst -10 degree celcius snow in Korea, flashed a sword while wearing a hanbok like an asylum escapee at Seoul International Airport, performed a traditional Indian dance in front of hundreds of delegates, played futsal in torrential rain at 3am in the morning, acted like a possessed Syariah lawyer for a video, became an ardent follower of Lord Bobo's minions and had my balls shrunk while visiting the abandoned Vice-Chancellor's house at midnight.

It has been an awesome roller-coaster ride so far.

Each person's journey in university is inevitably unique; and can only be charted, discovered and cherished by the very path we choose to walk upon. We may not be setting foot on the grounds of prestigious Harvard Square or amble through the hallways of ancient Cambridge buildings, but I am a firm believer in making the best out of whatever God has given to me.

“ Stay hungry, stay foolish” ~ Steve Jobs, at Stanford University’s 2005 commencement address.

Always believe that we can achieve many great things in life.

► Read more on My First Year University Life at University of Malaya (UM)

Friday, August 05, 2011

20 lessons learnt in USM – 2 years life as a local university student in Malaysia

Share your university life with us and get published here!

This guest post was written by Wilson Beh who was a Physics student in matriculation, but chose Finance as his 1st choice for his interest and never regret of it. He has a passion in good foods, youth development, social entrepreneurship and urban development. He is going to study in US for 1 year under Global Undergraduate Exchange Program by Department of States, and will be back to complete his final year in USM, Penang. He blogs actively at http://wilsonbeh.com

So the UPU result for intake 2011 is finally out.

Congratulation for those who got your 1st choice; if you don’t no worry as God will not shut one door without opening another.

Local university students are often regarded as 2nd class compared to those study overseas or in private college.

One of the main reasons is public does not have confidence in Malaysia education system: -many thought our syllabus are still in Malay language. In fact, we use American syllabus and all of our classes are conducted in English, at least in USM School of Management.

Yes, overseas students certainly have some privileges. If given a scholarship and financially allows, who doesn’t want to study aboard? However, in this era of Facebook, it doesn’t really matter where you study but how great you let your dreams soar.

My 2 years local uni life has taught me otherwise, too. There are so many successful local uni graduates in the society – and let us be one too!

I’m writing this post as a humble sharing which learnt through the past 2 years. You can take it or leave it as a story.

Student Activities Societies USM

20 lessons learnt in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Universiti Sains Malaysia USM Campus

1. Forget about your SPM/STPM/Matriculation result.
SPM STPM Matriculation result
When you step into university, everyone is on par. You and your coursemates share the same opportunities. Focus in CGPA; don’t rest upon laurel of what you achieved previously.

2. Make friends, as many as possible.
Make New Friends
在家靠父母,出外靠朋友+ (靠自己) – 四海之内皆兄弟 – The Chinese proverbs can’t be wrong. Don’t be shy to make new friends. You’ll never know they will be your CEO or biggest client some day!

When semester break starts you will know how nice if you’ve friends across Malaysia!

But don’t expect everyone will be your good friends, as you cannot please everyone too.

3. Study hard, play harder
Study Hard Play Harder
Many say college life is the best time of life – as you don’t have too much responsibility, yet.

Don’t lock yourself at dorm studying only. This is the least thing to do until final is approaching!

So, go out and do crazy things, have some fun!

4. Try different societies, but focus in 1 or 2 after some time.
Student Societies Activties USM
There’re more than 100 societies/clubs in USM, from MPP, MPD, School Society, Tiong Hwa Society, AIESEC, PUCS, The Wanderers, Kung Fu Club…the list goes on! But I’m not telling you which one is the best here.
USM University Experiences IPTA
Go to explore yourself. Choose the one which suits you and can learn the most.

5. Mix with friends from other races & international students.
truly 1Malaysia
Embrace the “true” 1Malaysia in your campus. Sometimes you’ll find friends from other races are more helpful.
true 1Malaysia
Mix with China friends. They are good people. But at the starting they just need some helps especially English & Malay language.

Don’t ever judge a person by appearance.

6. Love your course – be proud of what you study
Choose the course you like, like the course you choose.

Be proud of what you are studying – regardless of what courses you will play an indispensable role in the society.

7. Don’t complain too much, find solutions.
Most of you will get frustrated with some of the bureaucracy. Courses registration, school communication, PTPTN, hostel and many problems. Seek solutions, take immediate actions and solve the problems – complain doesn’t help anything.

8. Don’t be shy to Ask.
If you don’t know, then ask until you are clear.

Build up good relationships with your school lecturers, staffs, HEP and hostel officer. They will treat you kind if you do the same way.

9. Find your passion
It’s the right time to ask yourself: “What you want to achieve in life?”, “What’s your passion”.

Passion is what you love to do even you’re not paid for it.

10. Fall in Love.
Falling In Love
Yes they are couples who maintain over the course from high schools until marriage, but its possibility is like 2 out of 10.

Falling in love in university is more realistic. Find your soul mate during this period, if you think he/she is the one.

Did you know our Vice Chancellor meet his wife when he studied in USM too?

11. Do a SWOT Analysis for yourself.
As a trained business student, I am used to do SWOT analysis for different companies and products.

But it is even more interesting if you do one for yourself. From there you can leverage on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, grab the golden opportunities and minimize the treats.

Never stop learning.

12. Take a foreign language – yes for free!
Learn Foreign Languages

13. Be a leader, be a follower.
University time is the best time to practice leaderships. Before you can lead well, be a good follower.

Take up leaderships posts, it’s a good training. At least it’s not like real world when you get fired directly of wrong deed.

14. Help your friend – sharing is caring.
Share necessary info with your coursemates in FB. Jangan kedekut ilmu!

15. Always know where are you from, but don’t be constrained of it.
It doesn’t matter you are from big city or small kampong, rich or poor. Here at university you have limitless possibilities.

Live at present and hope for tomorrow, don’t live for the past!

16. Start something
USM Dormitory Room
Start any projects that you’re interested and benefit the society. Trust me USM supports it tremendously if it aligns with its mission.

Start a business if you embrace entrepreneurship. Facebook was started in a dorm, too.

17. Don’t make your family worry.
Take care of yourself well. It’s still ok if you don’t bring money back now, but don’t ever bring them worries.

One of the tips is to report only good news! If they can’t help on bad news no point burdening them.

18. Bring a good diary
Record your financial expenses, important events or write down what you feel at that particular moment.

You will put smiles on your face when you read back some time from now – and know how much have you grown up.

19. Don’t limit yourself in USM, Go Beyond.
Go Beyond USM
Join national & international conferences, take part in competitions!

Meet with people out there, get inspired, set your benchmark high and network but in the right way.

A mentor once told me:
" If you’re no. 1 in USM, don’t be too proud. There’s Penang. If you’re no. 1 in Penang, there’s still Malaysia. Even you’re no. 1 in Malaysia, but compared to China market you’re still small. Don’t ever limit and you can grow further."

20. Think of what you want to achieve at the end.
Life is all about 4L – and it applies to university life too!

To Live
To Learn
To Love
and To leave a Legacy behind

Who you want to be 3, 4, 5 years from now? How you want friends to remember you as?

It’s all up to you.

All the best in your future undertaking!

► Read more on 20 lessons learnt in USM – 2 years life as a local university student in Malaysia

Join over 50,000 people who get FREE latest scholarship updates via email!

Free Scholarship Updates:   

More scholarships available at Malaysia Scholarship Information Centre

Do Not Miss Any Job Offers! Get Student Part Time Jobs via Email!