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Thursday, May 21, 2015

JPA PIDN & PDDN Scholarship Application 2015 (Permohonan Biasiswa JPA Program Ijazah Dalam Negara)

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View / Download Jadual Waktu Peperiksaan SPM 2015 Timetable

Malaysia Scholarships 2015

  1. 21 May 2015: Yayasan Bursa Malaysia Scholarships
  2. 24 May 2015: JPA PIDN & PDDN Scholarships
  3. 29 May 2015: Putrajaya Perdana Berhad Scholarship Awards 2015
  4. 1 June 2015: Hong Leong Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Programme
  5. 30 June 2015: Education Ministry Bursaries (Bursary Pelajar Cemerlang SPM Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia KPM)
  6. 31 August 2015: Yaw Teck Seng Foundation Scholarships
  7. 36 Scholarships for IPTA Undergraduate Students
  8. Throughout the year: Intel Malaysia Scholarships
More scholarship openings available at 50+ Most Prestigious Scholarships for STPM & SPM Leavers (Biasiswa Pelajar SPM & STPM).

JPA Permohonan Program Ijazah Dalam Negara (PIDN)
Biasiswa JPA Permohonan Program Ijazah Dalam Negara (PIDN)
Closing Date
24 May 2015

PERMOHONAN BIASISWA JABATAN PERKHIDMATAN AWAM DI BAWAH PROGRAM IJAZAH DALAM NEGARA (PIDN) 2015

Biasiswa JPA PIDN or JPA PIDN Scholarship is sponsored by the Public Service Department to Malaysian citizens who are currently pursuing their Diploma and First Degree studies at selected IPTAs, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Universiti Multimedia (MMU).

Recipients of this JPA Scholarship will be bonded to serve the government for a particular period depending on the courses and disciplines taken. Otherwise, compensation claim will be charged by the Public Service Department (PSD) of Malaysia.

JPA PIDN Scholarship Application (Permohonan Program Ijazah Dalam Negara)

Eligibility Criteria for Program Ijazah Dalam Negara (PIDN):
  • Malaysian citizen;
  • Age not more than 25 years old on the date of application (26 years old for Remove Class students);
  • Good health;
  • Have a full certificate of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) / SPMV;
  • Obtain a minimum CGPA of 3.30 or equivalent in first degree semester examination;
  • Has completed at least one ( 1 ) semester of study or have a remaining duration of not less than one ( 1 ) year.

JPA PDDN Scholarship Application (Permohonan Program Diploma Dalam Negara)

Eligibility Criteria for Program Diploma Dalam Negara (PDDN):
  • Malaysian citizen;
  • Age not more than 21 years old on the date of application (22 years old for Remove Class students);
  • Good health;
  • Have a full certificate of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) / SPMV;
  • Obtain a minimum CGPA of 3.30 or equivalent in diploma examination;
  • Has completed at least one ( 1 ) semester of study or have a remaining duration of not less than one ( 1 ) year.

How To Apply JPA Scholarships

  • Application of JPA Scholarship can be made online by accessing ePermohonan Biasiswa JPA PIDN;
  • Inquiries regarding technical problems while filling an online application form can be made by calling 03-88853453, 03-88853541 or 03-88853552. Lines are open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday - Friday);
  • Enquiries regarding sponsorship program can be made by calling 03-88853049 (10 lines) on all working days from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or e-mail at [email protected]
  • Application received after the closing date will not be entertained.

Check JPA Scholarship Application Results

The result of this JPA PIDN Scholarship (semakan keputusan permohonan biasiswa JPA PIDN) is expected to be released in July 2015 via http://esilav2.jpa.gov.my.

Forum Discussion: Biasiswa JPA Scholarship Application Process and Interview

Read more info on frequently-asked-question (FAQs), syarat-syarat permohonan and discuss JPA scholarship application with other applicants on this forum post. Ask question and get fast reply from your seniors and scholarship holders at SPM Student Malaysia online forum.

Link: http://esilav2.jpa.gov.my


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Are you prepared for a research postgraduate study (Masters or PhD) in Malaysian universities?

Are you prepared for a research postgraduate study (Masters or PhD) in Malaysian universities?

Realities of Postgraduate Education
Guest post by Dr. Christopher Teh Boon Sung (Submit your guest post and get published on this blog)

A PhD degree is not a souped-up Bachelor degree. You need to have very good reasons, the discipline, and the capability of pursuing a postgraduate research degree.

Some students go through a self-inflicted torrid time during their Masters or PhD programme in local Malaysian universities. There are many reasons for this, but they can be grouped into two issues. These students often have: 1) a wrong evaluation of their interests and capabilities, and 2) a wrong expectation of the amount of self-reliant work required from them in their postgraduate studies.

research postgraduate degree in a Malaysian university
Yes, yes, you are interested in a research postgraduate degree in a Malaysian university, but are you really prepared for it? (photo from www.wtsinternational.org)

So, before you fill in the postgraduate study forms, you need to ask yourself the following questions.

1. Why do you want to do a research postgraduate study?


This is the most important question students should to ask themselves, but yet, students often neglect to do so. Doing a postgraduate study is not a customary progression after completing your first degree. And you should not do a Masters or PhD simply because some of your friends are doing it, or because you cannot find a job, or because you feel aimless after graduation.

Research work often involves plenty of lab analyses
Research work often involves plenty of work in labs (photo from www.upm.edu.my)

Unbelievably, one of my former (and failed) students once disclosed that she wanted a PhD simply because she like the title “Dr.” to precede her name! Some students also do a PhD with the belief that their employers would increase their salaries or their social status would rise.

A research postgraduate study should only be pursued if (and only if) you are interested in research or academic work. What you might be unaware is doing a research postgraduate study would limit your career options to only those in research and teaching. And even if you do find a job that is unrelated to research, do not expect your employer to pay you according to your highest training level. In other words, you would be paid according to your first-degree level. But in most cases, your job application would likely be rejected because you would be deemed over-qualified.

2. Do you have sufficient money?


Another often neglected question is to ask is if you have sufficient funds to support your postgraduate study. A Masters study would take two years, and a PhD four years. Shockingly, some foreign students have little qualms coming to Malaysia with insufficient money. God willing, they might say, part-time work or additional money would come later.

postgraduate studies scholarships are available to local Malaysian students
Shockingly, some students pursue their postgraduate studies with insufficient financial means. Although plenty of scholarships are available to local Malaysian students, these scholarships are typically unappreciated. These scholarships actually act to cause students to be lazy and slow down their work progress (photo from www.themalaysiantimes.com.my).

When you are stressed out thinking of money, is there any room left in your concern for your research?

To put it simply, you must have sufficient funds to pay the tuition fees, accommodation, food, and other expenses.

And, no, part-time work is never a good option for additional income. The job, even though part-time, steals your precious time from research work. You must be fully focused on your research work. My students who have part time jobs have never been able to give their best effort in their research or to complete their studies in time – never.

But what about scholarships?

3. Can you get a scholarship? And would you even appreciate the scholarship if you get it?


Supervisors in Malaysian universities are blessed with ample research projects and with ample financial support for student scholarships. However, these scholarships are competitive. There is no guarantee you would get it because supervisors often have more than one student under their wings. Do not be surprised that a supervisor can have as many as five to twelve students at any one time.

My university, UPM, along with five other universities, is recognized as a Research University. This means, UPM gets additional funds to offer scholarships to postgraduate students. Local Malaysian students find it relatively easy to obtain one form of scholarship or another. Now, ironically, comes the problem with abundant scholarships. With plentiful of scholarships available to Malaysian students, you might think this would make these students work even harder and more appreciative, right? Wrong. Easy access to scholarships only makes some Malaysian students lazier and slower in their research work.

Foreign students have it harder. The only scholarship available to you in Malaysia is through your supervisor’s research funds. You need to ask your prospective supervisor even before you apply for a postgraduate study if he or she has sufficient funds to support you.

4. Is your family or partner supportive of your studies?


What most students fail to realize is doing a Masters and particularly a PhD can disrupt your family life and social relationships. I have seen more than one case where parents threaten to disown their children because their children wanted to pursue a postgraduate study. This is because some parents fail to appreciate or are naïve about postgraduate studies. These parents think a postgraduate study is an unnecessary and additional financial burden to continue to support the children’s seemingly never-ending studies.

Support from family members in your postgraduate study
Support from family members and/or your partner can be crucial in your postgraduate study. They can derail your studies as easily as they can support you (photo from www.mc.vanderbilt.edu).

I have seen one of my former students receiving ridicule from relatives and even from family members when they compare her to her ex-course mates who have already graduated (from Bachelor) and who are earning good money while she still slogs through a Masters programme.

I have seen a marriage end up as a divorce because the wife cannot stand being alone for long periods whilst the husband was busy at the field or lab. I have seen a long-term relationship break up due to one partner (girlfriend) pursuing a PhD, while the other partner (boyfriend) was not. Intellectually, it appeared, they grew apart. On a personal note, my own ten-year-old relationship with my former girlfriend broke down because of my long absence while I pursued my PhD in the UK while she remained at home in Malaysia (no, long distance relationship do not work).

I have seen one student who was so completely stressed out from his PhD that he was admitted to a hospital mental health ward … twice. And I have seen both husband and wife (both PhD students at the same time) stressed out of having to take care of their newborn baby, their financial difficulties, and their respective research; so stressed the husband was that he was close to tears as he disclosed his troubles to me in my office.

Doing a research postgraduate study is stressful because it competes with your family or your partner for your time, energy, devotion, and concentration. So, you may be ready to do a PhD, but is your family or partner ready?

5. How is your English?


English is the lingua franca in academia. Unfortunately, the level of English among students (both Malaysians and foreigners) in Malaysian universities often range between poor to atrocious. Yes, English courses (even from British Council) are easily available, but the level of English proficiency required in science is much higher than what can be taught in these English language centers. It is one thing in being able to read and speak conversational English such as:
“I would like to see my supervisor. May I know when he is free to see me?”
and wholly different in being able to read scientific text and actually understand what the whole text is saying, such as:
“…factors of aggregate stability can interact with one another; meaning that a factor may not, by itself, have a unique contribution to aggregate stability. Instead, it jointly contributes with another factor or factors to affect aggregate stability. Such jointly contributions cannot be measured by simple linear regression or by correlations…”.
So, if your command of English is less than desired, how far are you willing to work to improve it? You simply cannot escape achieving at least a good level of English language proficiency in science.

6. Are you willing to learn to read and write a lot?


Laziness to read and write scientific papers is a key problem among postgraduate students. Part of this problem is the poor level of English proficiency among the students.

Plenty of reading is required in research postgraduate study
Plenty of reading is required in research postgraduate study (photo from srpp.com.au).

You need to start reading—and read a lot—early in your research work. You need to understand the problems, gaps in knowledge, issues, and latest findings in your research area. When you read enough, you feel more confident and competent in your work. Instead, students often start to read only when it is time to write their thesis.

And how much should you read? One journal per day, as once pledged by my former (and failed) student? No. You read as much as you can or as needed. Contrary to a common notion among students, you do not have to read a book or journal paper from front to back like a novel or story book.

You only read parts of a book or paper that are relevant or for information you require. Yes, there would be books or papers which you will read front-to-back and many times over because they are most relevant to your research, but certainly not all documents should be treated as such.

Unfortunately, poor comprehension and low concentration skills hamper reading. Students may understand the individual words that make up a text, but yet fail to understand what the whole text means.

Lastly, you need to write. You must get your research published, but not just in any journal, but also preferably in high impact journals. Unfortunately, there are many so-called scientific journals out there, ready to publish your work, sometimes as fast as within a week. These journals require payment, which itself is not unusual because some high impact journals do carry page charges, but the problem is these so-called journals carry low quality research papers, sometimes complete with grammar and spelling errors and missing references.

Students must publish theirs work in good journals
Students must publish their work in good journals (photo from www.agronomy.org)

7. Are you self-reliant?


Self reliance is a very essential ingredient in all good research students. Masters and PhD study is a test on independent work. You must plan your research work and keep to the schedule. It isn’t your supervisor’s duties to accompany you to the lab or to the field all the time.

Research planning and schedule are crucial.
Self reliance is crucial in research. It means able to go out to the field to collect data, for example. This was one of my previous research with my former student.

It is your supervisor’s duties to provide financial support for your research (such as to purchase chemicals or research equipment) or networking assistance in any research collaboration with external organizations. But, ultimately, it is you who have to plan and setup the lab and/or field experiments, collect and analyze the data, and interpret the results. This includes solving problems that often crop up unexpectedly in research work.

Your supervisor guides and advises you in your research but not do all of your statistical work and interpret your analyses.

Self reliance is such an important criterion that it cannot be stressed often enough. Used to being spoon-fed with information and work being carried out for them, students often struggle to prepare, let alone execute and complete, a series of experiments on their own. Deadlines are never self-imposed, so their work is often completed late and shoddy, lowering the quality of research.

Self reliance also means self study, where you learn to overcome your knowledge deficiencies through reading, consultations, and hands-on practice. No one knows everything or is talented in all aspects. The crux is being able to seek out the relevant information and to do it diligently to overcome our knowledge or technical skill weaknesses.

Consequently, these seven questions are essential questions you need to ask yourself. This article is not about the nitty-gritty details about postgraduate application, as universities’ websites carry those information, but it is about whether you should be pursuing a Masters or a PhD programme.

My PhD student and I discussing some finer points in our research.
My PhD student, Mohsen, and I (left) discussing about some finer points in his research project.

Stress, difficulties, sleepless nights, and delays are part and parcel of any research work. In fact, they are to be expected. But what becomes an unrewarding Masters or PhD experience is when students come unprepared in terms of insufficient financial means, wrong attitude and expectations, and inadequate basic knowledge and skills.


Republished with permission. Original article is here. Christopher Teh Boon Sung is a senior lecturer from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. He obtained his PhD in Agriculture from The University of Reading, UK.


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Saturday, May 09, 2015

7 Ways for Interns to Succeed Working with the Media

7 Ways for Interns to Succeed Working with the Media

by Josephine J [Writing Contest 2014 ★ Winner ★]

Internship Tips for Media Interns
So you've secured an internship as an intern reporter with a media organisation. Congratulations!

I've been a journalist with a mainstream English daily for more than three years and I've encountered my fair share of interns. I was even an intern myself too at the same newspaper organisation several years ago, so I know what it's like to be the clueless newbie.

As a senior colleague, I had a great experience working with and teaching some of the interns the ropes of being a good journalist. I was glad to share my knowledge with those who were willing to learn and help them when they were in a tight spot. At times, I found myself learning new things from the interns as well.

Take note that whether it's a newspaper, online news portal or a TV news station that you are attached to, the following tips generally apply to all. Whether it's your first or second time interning with a media company, rest assured that you would find this almost comprehensive guide a useful one towards a media internship success of sorts.

1. Work hard, work smart, work fast


This is of course, the kind of advice that has been ingrained in us in order to achieve what we want in life. But seriously, by working hard and working smart, you could go places and reap the benefits of what you sow. Even if it is just an internship and you are probably poorly paid, make use of this opportunity to do your best and show your bosses what you've got.

Journalists do not work the fixed number of hours, which is from 9 to 5. Assignments can begin as early as 5am and end as late as after midnight. Crime reporters are practically on call 24/7 and they would have to rush to the crime scene in the wee hours of the morning. Interns are normally spared from working during these bizarre hours but if you love what you do and want to prosper in the press line, know what you are in for.

2. Be willing to learn


It is common knowledge that the more you know, the further you will go. You may think you know everything but the harsh truth is no one does.

Listen and learn when your senior colleague is teaching you something new or even rebuking you for an error in your news story. Any type of error in a news story is not to be taken lightly as it would cause unnecessary consequences that could affect the newspaper, the reporter and the people involved in the story (if any).

3. Ask questions


This goes hand in hand with learning new things. Remember to always ask at the earliest moment possible on what you want to know. You might find yourself in a sticky situation because you didn't know what to do and you smack yourself in the head because you didn't ask.

Prepare your list of work-related questions and ask a friendly senior colleague to answer them for you. Approach them when they don't seem busy and they will happily help you out with what you need to know. If you like, you can also approach the news editors for advice. They'd be happy to know that you are willing to learn more about your work surroundings and would remember you better.

4. Be humble


Again, if you think you know everything or that your language skills are better than others, there's no need to be stuck up about it. No one likes an arrogant person, so get off your high horse. You will be more likeable when you are down-to-earth and have a friendly personality. Office gossip runs high especially in a media organisation. So if an intern sticks out like a sore thumb, there's no need to guess who would be among the main topics of the conversations.

Speaking of gossip, keep out of office politics. Try not to engage in gossip of your senior colleagues or of your fellow intern colleagues. Stay neutral and occupy yourself with work.

5. Have common sense


This is a bit tricky. What one might regard as normal might seem peculiar to another. Be aware of how you conduct yourself when placed in various kinds of situations. For example, if you are to cover court proceedings, try not to speak loudly about the accused when his or her family members are nearby. The accused may be on trial for an alleged offence but it's downright disrespectful to be speaking ill of him/her in the presence of their family members or relatives.

Also, don't whine. Nobody likes a whiner either.

6. Be thick-skinned


In many movies, news reporters are mostly portrayed in a negative light. They seem pushy, persistent and annoying. Don't be surprised but in the real press line, it's all so true. A reporter has the responsibility to gather as many facts as possible, whether it's on their own accord or it's an order from the editor. When you find yourself stalking a person for a comment or to take a photograph, you will most likely be subjected to verbal abuse from them or their friends and supporters. Whatever it is, take it in stride because it is after all your job.

Another time to be thick-skinned is if your superiors and editors, for any reason, reprimand you. Some of them may be ruthless in their words but all they want is for you to learn and ensure that you don't repeat your mistake. Editors are busy people; so don't take it to heart if they only seem to bark orders at you. Remember that they are also human and can be the nicest people around once you get to know them better.

7. Have patience and persevere


If you are new to the workings of the press line, it may initially seem daunting but try not to feel overwhelmed. Take it all in at your own time because you will indeed learn something new every day and you will improve as time goes by.

Your internship stint is possibly one of the most important phases of your life, so try not to waste this opportunity to learn and improve yourself as a person. Even if along the way, you don't feel that you are suited to be a journalist, give your best nevertheless. Your supervisor, who is most probably the news editor, will still grade your performance and they will know how hard you have worked.

Here's to hoping that you have benefited from the seven tips provided for you to succeed as an intern with a media organisation.

It's important to give your best at work but it does no one any good if you overwork yourself and fall sick because of it. Remember to have fun and keep an open mind as you explore the wonderful, fast-paced world of journalism.

Josephine J (@josephinejalleh), 27, is a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring travel writer and former journalist. Her working stint as a news journalist with a mainstream English daily for more than three years has undoubtedly been one of her most unforgettable life experiences ever. She is most grateful to her former colleagues and bosses who have painstakingly guided, nurtured and at times, reprimanded her in her work. Though she misses her days in journalism, Josephine has ventured into freelance writing and further studies to seek new knowledge and experiences.


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