Nilai's boost for tourism


BY JOANNE LIM

TENGKU SHAMSUL: 'We strive to provide students with experience they can put to use for the rest of their lives.'

TO help meet the demand for manpower in the tourism industry, Nilai College is offering the tourist guide course to students who enjoy travelling as a career. 

With its first intake in May, the course kick-starts the college’s efforts to introduce National Vocational Training Council (MLVK) courses to its students. 

“The number of tourists is expected to increase to 25 million over the next few years, which is why we need more manpower to manage the rapid growth,” says college president Tengku Shamsul Bahrin. 

The course covers a wide range of topics, including the history and culture of Malaysia, information on its historical and natural heritage, safety, tour reporting, and tourism products. 

Students completing the course will be awarded a certificate by MLVK and qualify as tour guides. However, the programme will not confine students to just becoming local tour guides, Tengku Shamsul adds. 

“We want our students to possess an adequate amount of knowledge and experience to be able to join the work force in other countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar,” he says. 

Expecting a pioneer batch of 50 students to enrol in the one-year programme, Tengku Shamsul says these students will experience education at its best. 

“We strive to provide students with a quality experience which they can put to use for the rest of their lives. Our students are active in attending lectures, tutorials, seminars, group discussions, industrial visits and practical work,” he adds. 

Upon completing the tourist guide course, students can take the Diploma in Hospitality Management followed by the Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality Management) from La Trobe University, Australia, or Strathclyde University, Scotland.  

“We have excellent facilities to accommodate our students’ needs, including a training kitchen, dining restaurant, mock housekeeping and front office rooms on campus,” says Tengku Shamsul. 

During the certificate and diploma programmes, students are required to undergo industry placement in hotels and resorts. 

Unique campus life 

Apart from tourism and hospitality management, Nilai College is also looking to expand its courses to include areas such as nursing, radiography and medical laboratory programmes.  

The college promises its students a unique campus life. “We believe the right environment is necessary to bring out the best in them; hence special emphasis has been given to creating a beautiful yet stimulating campus environment to inspire students to excel in all areas of education,” says Tengku Shamsul.  

Situated in Bandar Baru Nilai, Negri Sembilan, the 42ha campus includes a resource centre with a 1,600 square metre library, science and computer laboratories, lecture halls, and indoor and outdoor sports facilities. 

Indeed, it is not all work and no play at the college. The secret to wholesome education, says Tengku Shamsul, is to strike a balance between academic and social or recreational activities.  

“We encourage students to constantly mix with people while learning to adapt and accept others’ cultures and beliefs,” he adds. 

Students enjoy a variety of activities with up to 30 societies and clubs to run.  

The college also houses an indoor sports centre with badminton, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, and a full-sized soccer field.  

With Nilai Springs Golf Club situated close to the college, students can go there for swimming, bowling and golfing. 

Business is brisk 

Nilai College offers a comprehensive range of academic programmes, including foundation-level studies, certificate, diploma, advanced standing, credit transfers and 3+0 degree programmes. 

Over 200 local students are at present pursuing various business programmes, including commerce, accounting, finance, business marketing, human resource management, and information technology/computing. 

“Business is a very popular field here. Almost 80% of our students are enrolled in business related courses under our 3+0 programmes with top Australian and British universities,” Tengku Shamsul says. 

Students who do the three-year Australian degree programme or British degree programme at the college will be awarded a Bachelor of Business by La Trobe University, Melbourne, or a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Oxford Brookes University. 

“We produce a number of first class students who are at par with those studying at our partner universities abroad. This is testimony of our quality,” says Tengku Shamsul. 

Credit transfer and advanced standing degree programmes are also offered with universities in the United States, New Zealand, Britain and Australia.  

The New Zealand degree programme allows students to gain two years of credit for the Bachelor of Commerce and Administration. The final year is completed at the Victoria University of Wellington.  

Other universities offering twinning programmes with the college include the University of Tasmania, University of Northumbria, and University of the West of England.  

“The 2+1 (twinning) arrangement provides the opportunity to complete an international degree while at the same time keep costs to a reasonable level,” says Tengku Shamsul.  

Nilai College also offers a Diploma in Engineering course, and students can choose to specialise in one of three disciplines – electronic and electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or manufacturing engineering.  

The qualification is accepted for second- or third-year honours degree courses in engineering at one of nine universities in the United Kingdom and Australia, including the University of Wales, University of Nottingham, and University of Queensland.  

On choosing a field of study, Tengku Shamsul advises students to identify their areas of interest and the skills they possess. “Your studies serve as a launching pad to a successful career path. College is where you build your groundwork. One can succeed as long as there is interest,” he adds.  

Nilai College has contributed four awards worth RM150,000 to the Star Education Fund this year. They are for Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Accounting & Finance/ Business & Management/ Business & Marketing Management; Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computing; and Bachelor of Business (Accounting/Finance/Marketing/Human Resource Management/ Information Technology). 

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