Can Local Students Succeed in the Global Arena?
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 – Despite what many describes as an inferior education system to the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, do Asian students have a good shot at winning among foreign-bred intellects? It’s not just a “yes” but the answer may surprise you. By Natasha MH
For many parents, a foreign university is often the preferred choice to any local institution. Reason being that most employers consider local grads as inferior, less exposed, and even less proficient in English, qualities needed to succeed in the working world. That would have been the case a decade ago. Today, many universities and colleges facilitate what is known as the 3+0 programme with international universities where the core teaching and learning material are provided by the foreign counterpart and the local lecturers conduct the weekly lesson plans. Still, for some parents, the questions remain: would this make my child as good as learning overseas? Are they as qualified as their peers? For IACT College, the fact that three Malaysian students not only earned first class honors in their studies, but also awards that surpassed their international classmates clearly answers the question in one word: Yes.
Fong Chui Yin or better known as Aki, Samuel Lam Keen Lok and Joshua Paul Jesudasan studied at IACT College before furthering to the University of Sunderland to complete their Bachelor’s degree. While many might tribute their success to the British campus life and exposure to diversity in culture, teachers and European lifestyle, their strength, however, were fueled by what they had learned prior to leaving IACT College. This goes to show it’s not where you learn, but how.
“One of the main misconceptions we get from parents is that students achieve better once they set foot overseas. Truth is, local students who succeed abroad – like the three winners – usually exhibit exceptional personality traits that distinguish them from their peers while still in IACT College,” said Alicia Benoy, Programme Leader for the UK Bachelor of Advertising and Design. Having taught the winners, she describes how such students are usually more “self-driven, have higher aspirations and possess a clear idea on what they want to achieve out of their learning experience.”
Aki, who won the University of Sunderland’s National Survey video competition for advertising and design in her second year, is described as someone who is “enthusiastic, hardworking and fresh thinking” by her UK mentor despite not having any background in design. For Lam and Jesudasan, winning the Best Documentary award at Sunderland’s annual Sparky’s award for Broadcast Media Production, they were motivated to participate out of sheer fun, curiosity and self-motivation much like all their other assignments given at IACT College. Winning was not in their agenda, but seeing it as another playful project that was challenging was what led them to their creativity. Competing among their international peers had little intimidation.
Recently, IACT College was privilege to once again witness several more wins when Song Jia Jia, won the grand prize for the poster design competition organised by GSC Cinema. The team of Creative Multimedia students, Chong Kern Wei and Khoo Min Shern also won the 1st and 2nd runner up positions. The competition was held in conjunction with the release of Datuk Jackie Chan’s latest movie Dragon Blade alongside Hollywood actors John Cusack and Adrien Brody. “It’s like a dream come true,” says Jia. “I need someone to pinch me. I only get to see these actors in the movies and TV screens. Thank you IACT for nurturing my skills and opening me up to this opportunity.”
Founded in 1970 by the creative communication industry, IACT College offers degree, diploma, and foundation programmes in mass communication, media, marketing, advertising, broadcasting, graphic design and creative multimedia. To know more about the learning environment and meet the industry professionals visit IACT College Open Days on the 7, 8, 21 and 22 March 2015. Log on to IACT College website at iact.edu.my or contact its education counsellors at 03-79560211.