How KYUEM Helped Its Students To Secure Spots In Top Universities Amidst Stiff Competition

Published by Afterschool.my on May 20, 2022, 04:56 pm

“Shocked, Overjoyed, Surreal!” These are a few emotions that the eight students from Kolej Yayasan UEM (KYUEM) felt upon discovering they are heading to Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford later this year.

There is no right template for students to follow to enrol in prestigious universities, as even some academically gifted students are denied entry due to stiff competition. However, KYUEM has proved to be the exception by continuously sending its students to top universities in the world — Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, Princeton etc. — since 1998.

Puai Xyn Ci

One of its students, Xyn Ci, bound to the University of Oxford, was over the moon upon getting her conditional offer, and she couldn't be more grateful as “without KYUEM, I wouldn't have known where to start.” 

Nestled in Lembah Beringin, about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the resort-style campus has been a premier residential college specializing in pre-university education. KYUEM’s excellent learning environment, university application guidance, and rich boarding facilities have been fundamental to its students’ achievements.

A-Levels Excellence in KYUEM

With 11 Cambridge International A-Level subjects available in the KYUEM curriculum, students' interests are paramount to KYUEM. Hence, the students are taught by highly knowledgeable teachers with over ten years of subject-specific experience, while 60% hold post-graduate qualifications. The classes at KYUEM are conducted at a 11:1 student-teacher ratio to ensure the sessions run smoothly and for each student to thrive in their learning. 

Herman Leong Xin Yang

“The teachers have been supportive and caring. In addition, the small-sized classes allow the teachers to give more attention to students and assist us when we face difficulties,” Leong (Harvard-bound) says. 

The teachers in KYUEM are experts in their field and are a mix of locals and from the UK, US, Germany, etc. These educators are always available to help students achieve their desired grades and prepare them mentally and socially for life beyond A-Levels. 

 Lee Jing Yao

“Teachers are helpful in the teaching process and would answer any academic questions that I ask even though they are not in the syllabus,” Lee Jing Yao (Oxford-bound) says. “The Resource Centre has a variety of resources that help me discover my real interest and provide sufficient resources to study the field I was interested in.”


Apart from that, the students in KYUEM are supportive and are always willing to help each other. Emeline, who will be pursuing Economics & Management course at Oxford, says, “I might not have applied if I was studying elsewhere. Being surrounded by hard-working and driven people makes you feel like your dreams aren’t as far-fetched as you think.”

Social Skills in KYUEM

Apart from academic achievements, KYUEM also emphasises soft and life skills development. It's no secret that universities are looking for all-rounder students who possess excellent grades and are leaders outside of the classroom.  

With a wide range of extra-curricular activities available at KYUEM, students have every opportunity to hone their communication and leadership skills. In addition, Leong admitted, “these skills will be useful for group assignments and handling club events at Harvard.”

KYUEM is experienced in guiding students to develop relevant skills by creating a healthy competitive environment where they can cultivate their sense of responsibility and become independent and mature individuals. In case students struggle, strong support is given in the form of pastoral care by tutors, house parents, counsellors, and peer groups. 

“By studying at KYUEM, I managed my time between studying, playing sports, and going to classes. I had the opportunity to meet many nice people in KYUEM and have effective conversations with them. It improved my socialising skills, and it definitely will be useful in Oxford and life in general,” Lee Jing Yao says.

Lim Qi Shean

Lim Qi Shean, Cambridge-bound, agrees with her classmate that by participating in extra-curricular activities in KYUEM, she has become more independent, and “they help to strengthen our leadership and teamworking skills”.

In today’s competitive world, stress is a common denominator. However, in KYUEM, the students are already learning how to best tackle stressful situations to achieve their goals. 

“Being surrounded by supportive people teaches me how to cope with stress, identify and admit my weaknesses and be open-minded when exchanging ideas,” Xyn Ci says. “For example, my friends and I normally share how stressed we are after a school day. In the end, we normalise the stress and feel better.”

University Application Guidance

Application for any university can be a hectic process, even more so for prestigious universities. But thanks to the University Relations (UR) department at KYUEM, the process has been a seamless experience for their students. From their guidance in writing remarkable essays to answering trivia questions when filling in the details, the UR department has been immensely helpful in guiding the students.

Kelvin Ngu Zhu Hao

Kelvin, who’ll be pursuing MEng in Materials Science in Oxford, praised the UR department for its commitment to providing students with excellent coaching for their university applications. 

“To apply to Oxford, you must register with UCAS, write a personal statement, take the admissions test, and then attend two interviews at two separate Oxford colleges,” Kelvin says. “I’m so thankful to the UR Department and Exam Department for their assistance with my university admission process.”

As Kelvin pointed out, students hoping to enrol in foreign universities must take admission tests. Knowing this, KYUEM registered itself as an admission test centre to help its students to take these tests on the campus, enabling their university application process to be smoother.

Chong Rui Qi

The KYUEM UR team also goes above and beyond standard assistance by having individual discussions with the students about their university applications. Rui Qi, who will be studying chemical engineering at Cambridge, couldn't be more grateful. 

“I had a one-to-one consultation organised by the UR department and attended mock interviews with peers before attending the real interview,” Rui Qi says. “They were accommodating and supportive throughout the application process.”

Iman Harris Idham

Iman Harris Idham, who loves looking at problems from ingenious perspectives and will be taking Mathematics at Oxford, also acknowledged the UR team and cited his teachers’ experiences in helping him ace the interview process.

KYUEM Students’ Entry Into Top Universities 

Getting conditional offers from top universities in the world is no easy feat. However, the students in KYUEM have been making it look easy for the past many years. Apart from their hard work and talent, the students have singled out KYUEM in helping them land offers from their dream university. 

“KYUEM has given me the motivation to challenge myself. I never expected that I’d get into Oxford. KYUEM provided me with a platform to know many excellent people, and they helped me a lot in my application process,” Lee Jing Yao says.

Meanwhile, Leong, from a Chinese school before taking his A-Levels in KYUEM, believes the College exposed him to a diverse population with individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds. 

“I’m now better at socialising and interacting with foreigners. KYUEM has encouraged me to exchange ideas with others and gave me the courage to apply for Harvard in the first place,” Leong proudly says. 

Getting into Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge is challenging but is not impossible. Being surrounded by a group of highly competitive and supportive people in KYUEM has been a keystone in these eight students' personal development, preparations, and entries to their choice of universities. 

So, if you’re considering sending your child to KYUEM, don’t hesitate. As Leong, Harvard-bound, pointed out, “If you have an idea that you think is brilliant, just do it.”

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