Still Ahead with Pre-U Courses

Every year, students from Taylor’s College gain entry into some of the top 200 universities in the world.

Having earned a reputation for its pre-university programmes, the 45-year-old institution has maintained excellence in its quality of education.

For this year, eight students were accepted into the University of Cambridge and another four into the University of Oxford, says its president Lim Tou Boon.

Last year, the only Malaysian who was accepted into Harvard University was a Taylor’s College student. Taylor’s College offers the Cambridge A Levels (CAL), Canadian Pre-University (CPU), International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the South Australian Certificate in Education (SACE) International programmes, all of which are pathways into tertiary education.

“Our core purpose however goes beyond just preparing our students for university; it is to educate young Malaysians to take their productive place as leaders in the global community.”

To this end, the private college has embedded special programmes to develop the learning skills, life skills and leadership skills – the three Ls – of its students during their course of study, Lim adds. In the CAL stream, students undergo IsCoRe skills training which develops their independent learning, collaborative learning and research skills.

CPU students have the MyBluePrint platform, where they are guided to plan their personal mission, set their university and career goals and formulate personalised roadmaps to success. IBDP students, meanwhile, are guided to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award where they are required to participate in community service and team expedition trips.

Finally, the Explore. Excite. ignitE. programme under the SACE International stream develops students’ leadership skills through a community project portfolio they must develop, manage and evaluate throughout their study.

“Many students who come to us are dependent learners. But at university and in life, you need to be an independent learner and then an interdependent one: learning to do the work on your own and then work with others as part of a team.”

“Students need to become adults with strong decision-making, problem-solving and time management skills. And to be leaders, they must first have a mastery of self before they can influence others.”

According to the Survey of Malaysian Youth Opinion conducted by The Asia Foundation in 2012, 73% of young Malaysians said they could not find a job they liked, cites Lim. “How do you ensure this doesn’t happen to you? You have to own your future by starting right. You have to ask yourself the hard questions, so that you don’t end up doing what you don’t want to,” he adds.

For students who are unsure which pre-university programme to choose, you have not been forgotten.

The Pre-Registration Programme (PReP) is a four-day course that allows school leavers to explore and experience the four different programmes on offer, to better gauge which one is best suited for them.

“Attendees also undergo workshops to develop their three Ls. We also help them to master the five critical skills that are most sought-after by employers: collaboration, communication, cultural adaptation, critical thinking and problem solving and creativity and innovation,” he says.

There will be two PReP intakes this year which are March 9 to 13 and March 16 to 20.

Last week, the Taylor’s College Experiential Programme (TCXP) was held for the first time where 100 school leavers were given a taste of student life at the private college for free.

Like PReP, the TCXP attendees explored the different pre-university programmes and underwent skills workshops over the course of three days. They also met with seniors and academic leaders and stayed and dined at Taylor’s College student apartments.

Sunday Star, Education, 15 February 2015