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Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 15, 2018, 08:26 am
There are very few things that are constant in life. Time will always move forward. Change is inevitable. And Malaysian students will choose to study engineering in droves. Yes, engineering occupies one of the spots in the stable of ‘acceptable’ courses a student can pursue after SPM, sitting snugly alongside medicine and law, but not without good reason. One quick visit to jobstreet.com.my will show you the numerous openings for engineers in a variety of fields. The demand for engineers is omnipresent, and as such, would represent a good choice for a student after SPM. But which university would be the best to pursue it at? Curtin University Sarawak makes a very good case for themselves with their offering. Let’s see why that is exactly.
University rankings are slowly gaining wind in this part of the world. With the introduction of SETARA and MyQuest, Malaysians have been begun to keep their eyes peeled for international rankings as well, and in this particular arena, Curtin University excels. Having ranked in the top 1% of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2017, Curtin also ranked 262 in the QS World University Rankings 2017/18, being awarded the prestigious 5-stars overall as well. Moreover, the university reaching excellence in such a short span of time was also recognized as Curtin University was ranked 22 in the QS World University Rankings: Top 50 Under 50.
When a student enrols in an institution right after SPM, it can be a truly terrifying time. Leaving the comfy confines of home, having to wake up without a parental alarm clock around, classes that drag on long into the evening, and so much more. The advent of change will take over the initial stages of one’s experience. Then will come the time where students leave their first university to pursue further study at another institution, having to go through the entire familiarisation process one more time. With Curtin University Sarawak, this need not be the case. Curtin offers a Foundation in Engineering Science at the pre-u level, which then enables students to choose between 6 different engineering courses as the Bachelor’s degree stage. Upon graduation, students can opt to trek further up the educational slope, and obtain a master’s, and finally a PhD, all in engineering, and all at the same university!
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While scholarships are notoriously tricky to obtain, the mere fact that Curtin University Sarawak offers so many statistically makes one that much easier to obtain. Scholarships doled out to study at Curtin University Sarawak can be divided into two categories: internal and external scholarships.
• Curtin Sarawak Merit Scholarship (offering up to RM10,000 off Foundation programmes)
• CSM Scholar (Degree)
• WA Premier Scholarship
• Dean’s Scholar
• Pro Vice Chancellor’s International Scholar
• Daiken & STA Scholarship
•The Tunku Abdul Rahman Scholarship
• PENERAJU Scholarship
• Yayasan Sarawak Bestari Scholarship
• Biasiswa Kerajaan Negeri Sabah Scholarship
• MREPC Scholarship Award
Curtin University Malaysia is located in Miri, Sarawak. Why is this important? Oh, nothing major, Miri just happens to be a massive oil and gas hub in the region. Furthermore, the Curtin University Sarawak campus is close to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, aptly given the acronym SCORE. SCORE is the economic development corridor erected by the Federal Government of Malaysia. The sheer size of SCORE is difficult to wrap one’s head around — that’s even before we mention that it accounts for 90% of Sarawak’s total foreign direct investment – allowing budding engineers to ply their trade at site known for renewable energy. All Curtin University’s engineering courses also have support and collaboration from big industry players. Suffice to say, the area is fertile for the growth of engineers.
Curtin University takes advantage of the previous point (location), and ensures that students receive the right balance between theory and practical knowledge. More than ever, local fresh graduates find the transition into the working world a scrappy affair, due to what employers perceive to be numerous shortcomings, most notable of which are poor communication skills. Curtin University’s practical exposure is sure to ebb the rise of such an issue, giving their students a cutting edge when there has never been a more exigent need for one. It all begins with a proper foundation, literally. Curtin University offers a common first year for all their engineering students, to ensure that before setting off and branching into specialised disciplines, their basics are as honed as the edge of a blade. Even at the tail-end of their course, students are required to obtain 12-weeks engineering work experience and a senior first aid certificate, a mandatory requirement prior to graduating, and a clear recipe for sweet success.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and Curtin University is akin to a perfect bowl of pudding when it comes to consistency. Curtin University Sarawak’s syllabi for their engineering courses is well-rounded, and in turn, churns out students in the same mould. Examples of such instances include the Honeywell UniSim Design Student Challenge for Europe (2015) and Asia Pacific (2014), Honourable Mention Award in Crown Prince CIPTA (2015), and 3rd Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Chemical Engineering Design Competition (2014/2015). Curtin University Sarawak itself leads by example, becoming the very first institution in Malaysia to be awarded the MacNab Medal for Excellence in Design Project (in 2006) by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), UK.
A typical fear among many local students when it comes to a course offered by a private or overseas institution is that it isn’t recognised by the MQA. Shuddering at the thought of gaining an unrecognised degree, they quickly opt for something with a more local flavour. With Curtin University Sarawak however, that will not be an issue. Want to work locally? Curtin University’s engineering courses are recognised and accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) Malaysia and the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). Want to work overseas instead? There’s the same recognition from foreign bodies such as the Institution of Chemical Engineers UK, Australian Computer Society (ACS), Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (USA), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Geological Society of Australia. In short, don’t worry!