Finding best choices

Overwhelming response: A large crowd thronging the booths at the Star Education Fair.

THE Star Education Fair 2015 in Penang was a magnet for parents, school leavers and students looking for tertiary education choices.

They flocked to the two-day fair at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre where 87 exhibitors took up 253 booths to showcase their programmes and other offerings.

Among the visitors was purchasing executive Teh Ban Hin, 50, who believes it is never too early to prepare for a career.

His daughter Serene is only in Form Three but he is already scouting around for the best college for her when she finishes her SPM in two years.

“My daughter loves culinary arts and have gone for baking courses,” Teh said when met at the KDU College booth yesterday.

Strong support: Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan (centre), flanked by The Star executive director Tan Sri Kamal Hashim and senior regional manager (operations) David Yeoh receiving pledges from institutions. With them are (from left) Equator College Penang academic director Tan Hooi Kee, Sunway College Ipoh Information and Communication head Michelle Foo, PTPL Penang principal Cheah Gaik Chiam, KDU College Penang principal Dr Chong Beng Keok, Sentral College Penang president Dr Koo Wee Kor, Han Chiang College vice-principal Dr James Beh Kok Hooi and The Star Education Fund manager Susanna Kuan.

“I am planning to put her in a good college when she leaves school. I need to know how much a suitable programme for her will cost so I can be prepared.”

Another concerned parent was assistant production manager Ng Chin Oo, 46, who was looking for a good engineering programme for her daughter Teoh Xin Ni.

“My daughter wants to do engineering and I am looking for the best course for her,” said Ng, seen seeking advice at the Inti International University and Colleges booth along with Xin Ni.

Suitable course: Inti academic director Hemalatha Murugiah telling Xin Ni and Ng about the college’s engineering courses.

The girl, 17, said she planned to take up mechanical engineering.

T. Veenisha Stephenie, 17, who studied in the science stream at school, is switching to the arts for her tertiary education as she plans to study Mass Communication.

“I was never good in science and have a passion for public relations. That is something I want to specialise in,” she said.

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology international co-ordinator Katherine O’Dea said the students who approached the university’s booth had done background checks and were aware of what they wanted.

“Most of the students asked about engineering and architecture courses.

“They are seeking programmes that promise good job opportunities and bright futures,” she said.

Providing guidance: Quest International University Perak counsellors giving advice to parents and students at the fair.

King’s Education in United Kingdom and United States director Andrew Hutchinson said the Star Education Fair was always one of the most well-organised fairs in the region.

“We always received enquiries at the fair and generally, Malaysian students have no problems adapting to life in the United Kingdom or the United States,” he said.

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