Tuition-free French coding school opens

Merit-based: Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Elizabeth Lee and Leeuwen at the launch of the learning programme.

FRENCH coding school 42 has set up its first campus in Southeast Asia.

Situated within the FutureX building in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, 42KL – the Malaysian campus of the French coding school – will operate with 42’s innovative model in collaboration with Sunway Education Group, Sunway iLabs and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Some of the anchor partners include Sunway Group, CIMB, Roland Berger, DHL, Huawei and Carsome.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the opening of 42KL marked an important milestone in the nation’s development.

“This is a brilliant idea of coming up with a new methodology, a new system and a new approach to education. We are now facing a fast-changing geopolitical advancement in the world, but nothing can challenge the advancement of technology.

“Changes in technology are inevitable. We have to embrace them to benefit everyone.

“We have to face new types of jobs, environments and technologies. Education has to move together with such advancements – that is why I take it that 42KL is moving in the right direction, ” Saifuddin said during the 42KL virtual launch event last month.

Stressing on Sunway Group’s commitment to nation building, its founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said Sunway’s venture with 42KL would produce quality talents relevant to various industries who can overcome challenges in an era of rapid changes.

“42KL will lay the foundation for Malaysia to become the leading digital economy in Asean. The venture is also a testament to our commitment to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We recognise that realising the SDGs is not the responsibility of governments alone. It requires the commitment of the private sector, academia, civil society and individuals, ” said Cheah in his address.

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri said the addition of 42KL to the country’s digital talent development ecosystem will enable more potential Malaysian tech talents to become world-class developers and tech entrepreneurs.

“Malaysian talents have a great opportunity to make that digital leap with 42KL’s internationally-recognised educational approach and help make Malaysia the digital workforce hub in the region, ” she said.

French ambassador to Malaysia Frederic Laplanche and Ecole 42 managing director Sophie Viger also delivered a special address during the ceremony.

This was followed by Sunway Group chief innovation officer and Sunway iLabs director Matt van Leeuwen’s introduction of 42KL, which is open to working with more industry partners interested in developing and recruiting Malaysia’s top technology talents.

42KL’s first intake is slated for Nov 1. Free and open to all, the only requirement is that applicants must be aged 18 and above.

While no prior paper qualification is needed, all applicants will have to sit for an online test, whereby 450 will be selected to undergo an on-site assessment for four weeks.

Created in 2013 by French serial entrepreneur Xavier Niel, 42 focuses on project-based learning, imitating real-world work that trains the best talents in computer programming without using any teachers and traditional classrooms.

Students are encouraged to learn time management and build conceptual frameworks that can be applied to industry challenges and problem statements.

This is via peer-to-peer learning where students are responsible for their own successes and the whole programme is gamified, where progress is accounted for using experience points through the completion of each project.

The first 42 campus offering merit-based peer-to-peer learning was established in Paris, France, and the second in Silicon Valley, in the United States.

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