Making graduate employability a priority

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  • Saturday, 14 Mar 2020

IN today’s competitive job-seeking arena, a world-class education from a prestigious university that awards you an internationally recognised qualification can help tip the scales in your favour.

The added advantage comes from the reputation that distinguished higher education institutions - such as those in the United Kingdom - have built over the years in developing highly skilled graduates with pertinent knowledge and expertise to excel in the working world.

As the world experiences rapid changes with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), individual elements such as artificial intelligence, automation and disruptive technology are starting to emerge, causing a ripple in the business and operational models across all industries.

Many companies, even established ones, will inevitably be thrown in at the deep end as they face a sea of overwhelming uncertainty. Institutionalised, legacy-bound companies, for instance, will see more challenges as they are unable to acclimate fast enough.

Prevailing trends and practices can become obsolete in the span of a few short weeks to several years, meaning that an organisation will need to rely on its biggest asset - its employees - to remain relevant and stay ahead of the market.

Employees also need to be able to embrace change and new ways of doing things to enable sustainable business growth.

This is where quality education brings added value, as with the right mindset and character - such as being open to continuous learning, adaptable and versatile - it will be easier for to adjust the way you work to fit the requirements of any situation.

The focus on holistic skills development and character building, in addition to technical knowledge, is something that the world’s top universities strive to inculcate in graduates.

By providing exposure and opportunities to cultivate a global mindset and gain valuable life skills, such universities help build a solid foundation that will anchor you through not only current challenges, but also future ones.

Among the top proponents leading the way in global education are:

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s (HWUM) unique take on education is a well-structured approach called the EmPOWER Programme that enhances the wellbeing and happiness of its students.

The four-level programme has six developmental domains: emotional intelligence, resilience and happiness; people skills; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; critical-thinking and decision-making; employability and industrial relevance; and global citizenship, leadership and impact.

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s EmPOWER Programme helps develop its students academically and character-wise, readying them for an ever-changing world and uncertain future.

The approach of positive education focuses on developing the students not just academically but also helping the students in building their character by strengthening relationships, enhancing personal resilience, promoting mindfulness and building positive emotion.

It is based on the belief that to prepare students for an ever-changing world and uncertain future, education should be a lifelong undertaking that extends to developing the emotional potential, ensuring graduates are resilient, happy and emotionally intelligent.

Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

For Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia, it is the excellence and quality of the programmes it offers - alongside the opportunity for students to develop the critical thinking skills, creativity and confidence that employers throughout the world are looking for - that has ranked it among the Top 10 by The Times and Sunday Times’ Good University Guide 2020.

Students benefit from the university’s vast resources and best practices, from its highly-accomplished international faculty to innovative teaching methods, industry-leading research and up-to-date curriculum reflecting the latest trends and developments.

NUMed's highly accomplished international faculty and quality teaching reflects the latest trends and developments in medicine and healthcare.

Programmes offered are identical to that offered at Newcastle University in the UK. More importantly, they lead to the award of the same qualifications - but at significantly reduced costs.

Its international branch campus in EduCity in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, affords students a conducive study environment where they can learn from the best, gain valuable practical experiences and lead a fulfilling lifestyle.

University of Southampton Malaysia

When it comes to the University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM), the curriculum is kept abreast with the latest industry developments and is highly practice-based with many hands-on projects to complement theoretical knowledge.

At this university, it is all about putting what is learnt into practice, whilst engaging with others. This helps build up a student’s soft skills – from communication to confidence and the ability to work with others. Such attributes are hugely vital in today’s borderless world.

The University of Southampton Malaysia builds up a student’s soft skills – from communication to confidence and the ability to work with others; skills that are vital in today’s borderless world.

UoSM’s main programme offerings currently include three MEng programmes and a foundation year.

The MEng programmes are not to be confused as postgraduate programmes as they are in fact, integrated Masters of Engineering programmes that allow students to graduate with an MEng instead of a BEng in four years. UoSM is one of the few private universities in Malaysia to offer such an arrangement.

All programmes are delivered with exactly the same course content as those in the UK, including the same laboratory experiments and practical tutorials. This ensures students gain excellent grounding during their time in Malaysia and are ready to take on studies in the UK.

University of Nottingham Malaysia

The driving force for the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) is to ensure that its students learn to learn.

It does so through creating a facilitative and vibrant environment that enables students to build a strong foundation of technical knowledge in their chosen industry, while inculcating the love of lifelong learning to future-proof their future paths at the same time.

The university stands out for the importance that it places on ensuring that students build up strength of character and a global mindset, which will see them through each stage of their lives and careers.

The University of Nottingham Malaysia stands out for the importance that it places on ensuring that students build up strength of character and a global mindset.

This is the reason its programmes do not revolve around IR4.0, but educate students from the ground up, covering the basics and developments throughout the years for the student’s chosen field.

Independent learning is an essential aspect of university life at UNM, where students need to beyond what their lecturers teach in-class to complete recommended readings and research to draw their own conclusions.

Another area it differs is in terms of assessments, as the university believes in measuring output through performance, rather than input (such as class attendance).

University of Reading Malaysia

The strength of the University of Reading Malaysia lies in its small but distinctive set of quality programmes which are aligned with industry needs and have good employment outcomes, in line with the main concern of students and parents alike: employability.

The university wants to play its role in developing the nation by addressing the persistent issue of talent shortage by supporting the talent pipeline and producing graduates that are able to perform and excel in the workplace.

By supporting its talent pipeline and producing employable graduates, the University of Reading Malaysia endeavours to build the nation,

Consistent with its industry-focused curriculum, the University of Reading Malaysia seeks to develop graduates with attributes and soft skills that are highly sought after by employers, aside from technical knowledge and expertise. Chief among these are adaptability, agility and attitude.

The institution’s listing among the Top 75 of Universities Worldwide for International Outlook in the QS World University Rankings 2020 - and having 98% of its research rated to be of international standing - bears testament to its commitment to quality education.

For a PDF copy of the UK Education StarSpecial supplement, where you can get more details that will help you in deciding or enrolling in a top UK university, click here

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