WITH around 3,900 students vying for only 398 scholarships, it was certainly no easy task for the representatives of the 46 Star Education Fund contributors to sort through the application forms, and come up with a shortlist of potential scholarship recipients.
The job was made more difficult by the excellent academic results of many of the applicants.
Said Star Education Fund manager Susanna Kuan: “The partner institutions and I have noticed that while going through the forms, many of the applicants this year have excellent results.”
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Business and Marketing Relations manager (regional projects) Lim Kiat Lay was very happy with the calibre of the candidates she had seen.
“I have been really impressed with the quality of the 80 applications we received,” she said, adding that most of the students who applied had obtained excellent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results. However, having top scores is not the only criterion the institution, which is participating for the first time in the Fund, is looking out for.
Lim shared that SIM was looking at students not only in terms of their academic achievements, but also how active they were in extra-curricular activities and their financial background.
Meanwhile, SEGi College Subang Jaya Centre for Foundation Studies head Vilasini Kandiah shared that she was looking out for specific qualities for each of their courses.
“For example, for our Cambridge A-Levels scholarships, we are looking for more academically-inclined students, because it is a very academic-based course.
“For other categories like creative multimedia and photography, we look at their extra-curricular activities — whether they have participated in school activities, competitions, etc.
“For the American Degree Programme, we want all-rounded students with leadership qualities,” she explained.
Vilasini added that financial need was also an important criteria for all the candidates.
HELP University College senior manager Vincent K.C. Tan agreed. “When we compare applicants, we look at their financial background, family status, and interview performance.”
An applicant’s interview is particularly important as the institution looks out for candidates who are outgoing and can communicate well.
“A few years ago, we had a few candidates who were very impressive in the way they wrote, but they couldn’t speak well at all during the interview.
“It made us wonder if it was the same person writing the application and attending the interview,” he shared.
Aside from the institutions mentioned above, the other partner institutions in the Fund are:
ALFA International College,
Brickfields Asia College,
City University College of Science and Technology,
Equator Academy of Art,
Han Chiang College,
HELP International College of Technology,
International University College of Nursing,
INTI College Subang Jaya,
INTI International College Penang,
INTI University College,
ISBA UK Thinking Skills College & Academy,
KDU College Penang, Life College,
Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University College, and
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
The other contributors are:
Management and Science University,
PJ College of Art & Design,
PTPL Group of Colleges,
Raffles International College,
SEGi University College,
SEGi College Kuala Lumpur,
SEGi College Penang,
SEGi College Sarawak,
Sentral Technology College Penang,
Sunway University College,
Taylor’s University College,
The One Academy of Communication Design,
The Otomotif College,
Tunku Abdul Rahman College,
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.