Munir Ahmed Dar, Publisher & Chief Editor Daily "Layalpur Post"
Prof. Dato Dr. Nik Muhammad Nik Majid, my Ph.D. Agroforestry Studies, Supervisor, at the Faculty of Forestry, Univeriti Putra Malaysia delivering a Graduate seminar on "How to Write a Research project proposal for Ph. D. Forestry and M. Sc. Forestry degrees.
Majid, N., Hashim, A., & Abdol, I. (1994). REHABILITATION OF EX-TIN MINING LAND BY AGROFORESTRY PRACTICE. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 7(1), 113-127. Retrieved April 21, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43581796
Majid, Nik Muhamad, Azizah Hashim, and Idris Abdol. "REHABILITATION OF EX-TIN MINING LAND BY AGROFORESTRY PRACTICE." Journal of Tropical Forest Science 7, no. 1 (1994): 113-27. Accessed April 21, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/43581796.
WITH the easing of the movement control order, Malaysians are hopeful that the road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is nigh, with many eager to pick up from where they left off before the MCO started on March 18. Those transitioning from high school towards their tertiary education will be looking forward to starting that next important chapter of their lives. This period of repose offers these students a time to reflect and carefully consider their game plan on how to directly take charge of their future.
If you are one of those bright hopefuls fresh out of high school and who still haven’t decided on an option that you are comfortable with, why not check out Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s (HWUM) foundation courses, which give you a good basis for planning your future.
Home-based UK excellence
Heriot-Watt University UK, as an institution, has been one of the many bright beacons in the world of higher education. Since its humble beginnings as the world’s first Mechanics Institute in 1821, Heriot-Watt today holds high ranks across key university league tables. Some of its recent accomplishments include the top 300 universities worldwide on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, and according to the QS World University Rankings 2020, it is 314th in the world, 38th in the UK and seventh in Scotland.
It came in 35th in the UK and sixth in Scotland on the Complete University Guide 2020, among others. In 2014, due to an influx of students from the Asean region, the university decided to establish a Malaysian branch. Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) was set up in bustling Putrajaya, with the aim of bringing that same high quality UK education to Asean students, via its foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level courses.
Taking learning to another level
The Heriot-Watt Foundation Program, which is the preferred course for high school students aiming to further study in Heriot-Watt University in the UK, Dubai or here in Putrajaya, paves the way for them to acquire skills and learning techniques required for proper degree-level studies.
HWUM has five main areas of interest, these include engineering, business, psychology, built environment, and actuarial and data science. The curriculum that HWUM adheres to is an international syllabus, created to meet the Scottish Credits and Quality Framework (SCQF) in Levels 6 and 7. It was approved by the Academic Senate of Heriot-Watt University and fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
Although this curriculum and course learning outcomes will remain unchanged, the methods used to reach out to students have evolved. This is especially so in today’s globalized world where challenges appear to cut across different disciplines. For that, HWUM foundation students are taught to acclimatize themselves with these issues through a challenge-based learning. This set of learning is presented to them in a structured, collaborative manner throughout lectures, tutorials and seminars.
Students are also guided and supported by a team of experienced lecturers who are also just a click of the mouse or a tap of a mobile device away.
Another important aspect besides the academic prowess of HWUM students is development of their emotional intelligence, through its commitment to produce future-ready graduates who will become the moves and shakers of the world. Through its Positive Education approach – introduced in 2017 – HWUM aims to nurture purposeful, impactful, professional and resilient individuals by providing holistic development.
This takes the form of two extracurricular activities, the EmPOWER program, which encourages students to hone their soft skills, such as developing positive personal qualities, building leadership qualities through group–, community– and industry-level activities. There is also the Youth Transformation Program that is introduced during freshman orientation, which helps students identify and achieve their full potential in areas such as creativity, innovation, critical thinking and communication.
Model of learning set for the future
HWUM has adopted technology that crunches out real-time data on each student’s academic progress. Using such analytics, lecturers can gauge, scrutinize and provide solutions to students that will enhance their performance. This includes real-time access to the individual student’s performance, which enables him to gauge where he stands and allows him to better manage his study activities. Similarly, most of HWUM’s learning activities are online, making it easier for students to take full control over their learning. This secure and non-intrusive learning analytics also helps lecturers perform an additional, important role.
HWUM introduces this new learning experience in its orientation program to every new student joining the campus. Using this new platform, a student can hone 21st century skills and set up a roadmap to his success, as he progresses through his academic journey. The student will learn how his brain reacts, manage relationships, set personal goals and more, as well as pick up a thing or two about online learning.
And like a social media platform, this new program also lets him meet new friends in his program. It even works the same way. Beyond just teaching professionals, HWUM’s academic staff also act as mentors to the students and these analytics provide them with feedback on how to advise and offer counsel. Technology is also integrated into the classrooms, which expands the capacities in the students’ learning experience. Students can create individualized and group activities, or to generate personal learning sessions with lecturers, making learning even more all-encompassing.
Cornerstone to success
The HWUM Foundation Programme is streamed into two paths: business and science. Each stream helps students form a solid base of knowledge and learning, upon which they can build their career when they graduate. The Foundation in Business prepares students who will later go on to major in fields such as business administration, management, actuarial science and more. Students who graduate from this course can proceed to specialise in Actuarial Science, data science, psychology and business.
The Foundation in Science focuses on subjects that will eventually lead students to actuarial science, engineering, psychology, quantity surveying and data analysis. It prepares students to take on any degree programme they wish to pursue after they graduate, including engineering. These foundation courses will introduce students to academic subjects, the required study skills and proper English language training that will mould and prepare them for the next step in their study career in HWUM.
The next step
Courses in HWUM’s Foundation Programme are taught through lectures, seminars and group work over three semesters, each lasting 14 weeks. All courses taught are designed to relate directly to the progression degrees offered on their choice of programme. After successfully completing the course, students will graduate with a Scottish Certificate of Higher Education in Foundation Studies, an internationally recognised qualification awarded by Heriot-Watt University UK.
From there on, the sky’s the limit. The option to pursue an academic career in any of Heriot-Watt University’s undergraduate degree programmes locally at HWUM, in the Dubai campus, at the headquarters in Scotland, UK or even another institution of higher education – the choice is endless. With the right mindset, academic skills and knowledge, taking the next step towards a degree would not require a leap of faith.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s July 2020 intake is now open. Those who apply and pay for their first semester tuition fees by the end of the month will enjoy an early bird waiver worth RM4,000. The university is open seven days a week online with education consultants on standby to attend to inquiries, which will be answered remotely.
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