Securing study funds

Kuan (in black) advising visitors about the scholarships.

HENG Kang Wei was starting his first day of internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers on Jan 6.

Yet the hardworking lad still willingly returned to the Star Education Fair 2020 last weekend to help out as a student volunteer for the Star Education Fund.

Heng, a former scholarship recipient, said it was his third time volunteering for the fair.

“Whenever they need help, I am always happy to help out. And I get to meet new people, ” said the Sunway University accounting and finance student.

He said that the two most frequent questions asked were if the Star Education Fund was a full scholarship and whether the recipients would be bonded to any company or university upon graduating.

Another former fund recipient Adam Wong Mun Wai, 19, was also happy to spend his weekend interacting with students and parents.

“It is only right for me to give back to the company that has given me the opportunity to study my preferred course and university, ” said the student who is pursuing Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.

Noting that he wanted to spread more awareness on the Star Education Fund’s existence, Adam said many visitors who came to the booth were unclear about the fund’s application process.

“Some already knew about the fund, but wanted to get advice on the application process, ” he said.

Despite not being a Star Education Fund recipient, his younger brother Arthur Wong Jun Keng, 17, volunteered to be a student helper at the booth as well.

“My brother roped me in and since I had completed SPM last year and have some free time on my hands, why not spend time fruitfully?” he said.

To familiarise himself with all information related to the scholarship, Arthur said he sat with Star Education Fund manager Susanna Kuan and executive K. Peresamy Kalimuthu while they explained about the fund.

“I sat with them for two sessions and I was all set. They guided me well!” he said.

Arthur noted that the booth’s visitors consisted mainly of students who, like himself, had just completed their SPM last year.

In her talk on the Star Education Fund scholarship awards last Saturday, Kuan explained that every scholarship application is vetted by representatives from The Star and its partner institutions.

The closing date for the scholarships is two weeks after the release of the SPM and STPM results.

Applicants will be shortlisted in early April and informed via e-mail. Interviews will be held from April to June.

While good grades are important, students need not be straight-A scorers to secure a scholarship.

Kuan said participation in extra curricular activities would be taken into consideration as well.

“Scoring straight As is not the sole criteria of securing the scholarship.

“How you carry yourself during the interviews, family background as well as co-curricular and sports participation matters too, ” she said.

It is important for students to choose a course they are interested in when applying for a scholarship.

If you really want a scholarship, said Kuan, a good personal statement on why you deserve it is needed for you to stand out from the crowd.

She also stressed to students that when submitting their documents and certificates obtained from co-curricular activities, it is best to submit only those which are most recent and relevant.

To be eligible for the Star Education Fund, students must be Malaysians no older than 25-years-old as of Jan 1 for undergraduate courses.

These scholarships cover a wide range of fields and disciplines, from entry-level courses to undergraduate education and professional studies. The scholarships are all bond-free.

The 30 partners-in-education are Brickfields Asia College; Equator College Penang; Erican College; HELP University; Heriot-Watt University Malaysia; IACT College; Infrastructure University KL; Kolej University Tunku Abdul Rahman; Malaysian Institute of Art; Management & Science University; Methodist College KL; Monash University Malaysia; Multimedia University; Nilai University; Quest International University Perak; RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus; Saito University College; SEGi University & Colleges; Sentral College Penang; Sunway College; Sunway College Ipoh; Sunway College Johor Bahru; Sunway University; Taylor’s University; UCSI College; UCSI University; University of Nottingham Malaysia; Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman; UOW Malaysia KDU University College and UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College.

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