NUSAJAYA: First year student Kudzayi Taruwoma was a little anxious when she first arrived in Malaysia but as she stepped into University of Reading Malaysia’s (UoRM) campus, she felt almost immediately at ease.
The 20-year-old Zimbabwean made new friends and realised it was a very integrated community in UoRM. As such, her worries were very quickly laid to rest.
“I was a little bit worried about racism, to be honest, but the diversity of students here makes me fit right in.
“In fact, this diversity has united students because we get to learn more and appreciate each other’s culture.
“The lecturers and staff have also been tremendously supportive and I love how approachable they are,” said the Pharmacy student when met at UoRM’s Open Day.
Her views were echoed by Yeoh Fang Yi, who studies Real Estate at the university.
Yeoh, from Kuala Lumpur, said it was a struggle for most students transitioning from secondary school to university but the support from lecturers at UoRM had been key in the smooth shift, adding that students also learned a lot of life skills at the university.
As president of the Reading University Malaysia Students’ Assocation (RUMSA), Yeoh said students acquired many non-academic skills such as teamwork, communications through both presentations and writing, budgeting, events planning and being a leader.
“RUMSA is a bridge between the university and students to improve student experience while studying at UoRM,” said Yeoh.
As an international campus of University of Reading in the United Kingdom, RUMSA is modelled after RUSU (Reading University Student Union). RUMSA was then contextualised according to Malaysia’s laws and environment.
Another student, Fitness Club president Kaliappan Muthukasinathan, who is in his second year at the university, said despite having to meet the academic excellence expectation, students were able to achieve a balance between studies and social life.
First year Psychology student Faiqah Zulphatil said she was very impressed by how the students were empowered to do many projects and assignments by themselves without being spoon fed, and that this helped them to be more independent. However, they were also able to consult a lecturer for advice if needed.
Associate Professor Bruce Howell, who is head of UoRM Foundation, Study and Language Institute, said the university’s standards here were the same as that of the UK, as all staff had undergone vigorous and extensive training to ensure consistency.
“Also, not all universities have their own foundation programme. By having our own, we ensure that the quality and standards in all areas are up to expectations.
“We are building these students for the workforce and we must do so from the very start.
“Our examinations also go through a very stringent process to ensure uniformity between the one here and the one in the UK. We even have external examiners to ensure standards are kept,” he shared.
Howell said 180 students have graduated since 2017.
UoRM will hold its next Open Day at its campus in EduCity@Iskandar, Johor, tomorrow. For details, call +607-2686205, Whatsapp +60(16)772 5400, email email@example.com or visit www.reading.edu.my.