President of Taylor’s College on Malaysia’s next generation

November 09, 2016
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Taylor’s College has been in the business of producing successful students for 47 years. And in those four decades, graduates of Taylor’s College have been accepted into the world’s top 200 universities in fields such as medicine, engineering, law, media and communications.

Established in 1969, the college is still one of the largest centres of pre-university study in the country. With campuses in Subang Jaya and Sri Hartamas, it has four pre-university programmes: South Australian Matriculation, Canadian Pre-University, Cambridge A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Taylor’s core drive is the tertiary education of school leavers – in essence educating Malaysia’s next generation of leaders who will venture forth into the world and return home with experience and expertise. These students will one day be leaders that give back to the community through the tools, inspiration and motivation gained through their experience at Taylor’s College.

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Craig Arden Sherrin, has dedicated much of his life to education. As President of Taylor’s College, he continues to seek joy through working and sharing knowledge with young Malaysians. Sherrin says he discovered his calling because of his wife.

“Initially, my interest was to go into science research. However, my wife suggested that I’d be better suited to teaching, so I taught for a semester at a small school to see if I enjoyed it, and I loved it. I love working with young people. I love teaching them about my passion and interest, which is science. With those two things coming together – the opportunity to work with young people and teaching science – it was one of those fantastic situations where I was being paid to do something I loved.”

Throughout the span of his career, Sherrin held a variety of posts. He’s led educational institutions such as the Northpoint Institute of TAFE, Emirates Driving Institute and was once a Member of Parliament for Queensland, where he was the state’s Minister for Family Services.

At Taylor’s College, Sherrin is responsible for leading all aspects of the college’s academic and operational elements, ensuring that it achieves consistent growth in academic quality and operational efficiency at both its campuses in Subang Jaya and Sri Hartamas.

“When I work in an organisation, I want it to be a better place for me having been there. I want to look back and be able to say I contributed to creating something better.”

Sherrin possesses a Diploma in Education, Bachelor’s degrees in Science as well as in Educational Studies and a Masters in Educational Studies, all from the University of Queensland. Here’s what he had to say about his role and his college.

What is of utmost importance to you and Taylor’s College?

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“Well, one of the big challenges for Taylor’s College is the changing Malaysian landscape. I have been coming to Malaysia for almost 30 years, and I have seen Malaysia change and grow. It is because of this fast paced growth, educational providers have to respond to the changing needs of the economy. Malaysia is on the cusp of becoming a first world nation and it needs people trained in first world standards.

At Taylor’s College we’ve had 47 years of perfecting these world class standards and despite being part of the establishment for only a year, I am proud to have already begun work alongside the staff and teachers of Taylor’s College in continuing this tradition of top-notch quality.

It’s funny how I end up meeting many graduates of Taylor’s College in my travels. They talk about this college without me even saying that I am the president. I guess it is not suprising considering that in these four decades we’ve built people up such that they venture all over the world, and then they return home with the hope of contributing to this nation’s growth, economically and socially.”

How do you plan to ensure Taylor’s College achieves consistent growth in academic quality and operational efficiency?

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“With MyQuest, it allows Taylor’s College to grow within their own walls based on the rules and regulations stated by the Malaysian government. This does not constrict our capabilities, but allows us to create graduates with world-class qualities.

Moreover, the criteria of MyQuest, has always been the basis of our business. We’ve had students who graduated the best in the world in their respective subjects because of the quality of education that we offer.

I am proud of my staff members. I always tell my staff, we may call ourselves educators but at the same time we are dream-makers. We are in the business of making dreams come true for our students. Our staff are a family to these students. We don’t just drop them at the counsellor and dust our hands off them. If a student is experiencing some form of difficulty, either with their studies or personal matters, we are there for them.

By providing them the counselling and support they need, through tutorials and peer groups, we ensure the student experience is unlike any other. We also have regular feedback between parents and teachers, because we view it as a partnership. And through this partnership, we ensure students are getting everything they need for a brighter future.

Really, what I love about our college is, while we are academic focused, there is a tremendous student environment with clubs, activities and charity events. We see a balance of intelligent individuals with great personalities that are willing to lend a hand to the community around them. They are constantly reaching out and creating simply great collaborations, and that’s simply fantastic.”

What would a better future look like?

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“Let me tell you a story. It was free period, and I decided to visit the café. I saw a couple of students, in a circle and they were having group study. They were sharing knowledge with each other. They could of course keep their smarts to themselves and become successful all on their own. But that was not what I saw. This is part of what we do in creating a better future.

For Taylor’s College, I always think when you are a leader, what the organisation looks like when you arrive and what it looks like when you leave is something important. I am proud to say in my past roles I played a part in converting traditional teaching methods to having systems where students are lining up to join an establishment where the industry is ready to take them in. I am looking forward to see how far and wide our students will go in the next four decades, as we continue producing world-class graduates, who in turn will go on to create better futures.”

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