Housing local talents


  • Education
  • Sunday, 19 Dec 2004

BY PHILIP AUGUSTINE

WITH its one-of-a-kind purpose-built campus, Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology’s (Limkokwing) spanking-new premises stands out in the Cyberjaya landscape. 

Strikingly visible from a distance, Limkokwing’s colourful and eye-catching façade envelopes the length of the campus buildings. 

At the centre of the campus stands Wings Plaza which houses, among other things, the Malaysia Design and Innovation Centre (MDI). 

As Limkokwing’s professional arm, MDI focuses on training and content creation, making various components in the areas of research, exhibition and showcasing available under one roof.  

PHUNG:'The business units help students learn to manage and practice what they learn.'

In fact, Limkokwing is currently playing host to the Best of Malaysia exhibition which showcases 16 praiseworthy Malaysian companies including Bonia, Ambank, Proton and Royal Selangor.  

MDI also serves as the essential bridge that links design to manufacturing, academia to business, and innovators, research and development to industry.  

Thus, students get to incubate ideas into commercially viable content that companies are likely to invest in.  

And in line with Limkokwing's philosophy of exposing its students to real work environments, business units such as Wings Coffee (café), Centrefold (fashion label), One World Club (recreation club), Fitofly (gym), Making Headlines (hair design studio) and Hair Design Academy are also found at the plaza. 

“The business units help students learn to manage and practise what they learn,” says corporate development senior vice-president Gail Phung who recently took StarEducation on a campus tour. 

 

LimKokwing's Making Headlines salon is fully functional modern hair salon that caters to the young, smart and trendy.

Industry within university 

Highly popular among students, Wings Coffee may very well give Starbucks a run for their money. It is stylish, with an “art gallery feel”, and its very own house specialty – durian coffee and smoothie – is definitely not to be missed, whether one is a durian lover or not.  

Similarly, a typical day on campus will see the adjacent Makanlah restaurant a hive of activity. With a wide array of Western, Chinese, Indian, Malay or fusion food, both students and staff need not go further during lunch break.  

Oozing with attitude, Centrefold carries clothes designed by award-winning ex-Limkokwing student Daniel Chong. As the clothes are not only made but also sold in the store, student designers are also exposed to the business side of things. 

Phung says: “They learn that to be successful designers, they need to be aware of the retailing part as well.” 

For fitness enthusiasts, the newly opened Fittofly fitness centre – Limkokwing’s very own lifestyle gym – is a fully-equipped gym available to students and staff, offering a range of exercise programmes including aerobics, dance, kick-boxing and martial arts.  

Junk takes on a whole new meaning and look at the One World Club as scraps of metal are recycled and made into art pieces displayed prominently around the darkened room. 

This cool student hangout comes complete with snooker tables, TV screens and a lounge area where students have the perfect spot to unwind and engage with others. 

Another first-of-its-kind comes in the form of the Hair Design Academy – a collaboration between Limkokwing and Wella International.  

This effort, Phung says, hopes to produce a generation of hair designers and stylists that will enable Malaysia to become a regional centre of excellence in hair design and styling. 

“Part of the syllabus includes areas such as communications, e-commerce, management, finance and studio photography. This results in graduates who are ready to set up their own businesses immediately upon graduation,” explains Phung, adding that all equipment are of industry standard.  

With the first intake of students set to start early next year, Phung is optimistic about the academy. 

“The perception of hairstyling is changing and people are more open to a career in this field,” she adds.  

And located right next door is Making Headlines salon – a fully functional modern hair salon which caters to the young, smart and trendy.  

Another joint venture with Wella, the salon is open to all students, staff and the public.  

“The salon is usually packed with students and staff coming in to have their hair washed during lunch breaks,” says salon creative director Jerry Ong, adding that the salon, although linked to the academy, operates separately. 

“The academy has its own facilities and mock salons where students can practise their skills and learn,” he adds.  

 

Detached link 

With over 4,000 students, 40% of whom come from 60 countries around the world, the university campus has proven to be a hit among local and foreign students. 

Iranian graphic design student Hoda Ahmadi says the new campus, although further away from the city, is “way better” and has certain benefits. 

“The space at the old campus was limited but now space is not a problem. It’s more interesting here and I’m more involved in student activities,” remarks the 24-year-old graphic design student. 

Mass communication student Emmeline Lyon from the United Kingdom concurs. 

“I had mixed emotions at first but I was also looking forward to the bigger and better campus.  

“The campus has a very mixed culture where skin colour does not matter. You get to experience a lot of events you would not experience anywhere else,” enthuses the 23-year-old who is one of several student ambassadors.  

Lnefiok “Preach” Bassey from Nigeria, an advanced diploma of multimedia student who takes the bus and stays off-campus, speaks of his face-to-face encounter with Prince Andrew during his recent visit to the campus. 

“He was walking past a group of students and when he saw me, he stopped and asked me what I was doing here. I explained that I was a student and that I enjoyed being here,” recounts Preach who first heard of studying in Limkokwing from a friend back home. 

“I was sitting in a cafe and my friend who was already studying here told me about it,” explains the 23-year-old who also got to be a model for a fashion show recently on campus. 

Adds Preach: “It was like a dream come true and it was such a thrill to see my pictures pasted all over the campus.” 

For many, feeling at home is crucial.  

“There are about 350 Indonesian students in the Indonesian club and we have regular events, especially during the recent Hari Raya festival,” says diploma in multimedia and software technology student Fedro M Harahap, 22, who hails from Indonesia. 

Meanwhile, some students have made a career for themselves at the university-college. 

Marketing services manager Saji Nair is an ex-Limkokwing student. 

“I started out just volunteering to help on open days and at functions, especially during the long breaks,” says the 23-year-old who has been working full-time for the past two-and-a-half years. 

“Limkokwing provides a good training ground that prepares students for life,” she adds.  

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