TAYLOR’S University completed the first half of 2020 on a high note by taking 49th spot in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings Top 50 for “young universities” below 50 years old.
This makes Taylor’s the only Malaysian private university to achieve a place on the coveted global higher education analysts’ 2021 edition.
Taylor’s has earlier broken into the top 400 at number 379 on the QS World University Rankings, making it the No.1 private university in Malaysia and South-East Asia with an outstanding performance of having climbed 135 spots from the previous year.
Taylor’s University vice chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll takes the latest global achievements as a vote of confidence in the teaching and learning strategy that Taylor’s University is pursuing.
“The latest QS World University Rankings confirms Taylor’s University as the best private university in Malaysia. It also recognises the world-class education we provide for our students. My congratulations go to all the staff, students and partners of Taylor’s for their continued commitment to excellence.
“We will continue to push the boundaries through radical transformation of our approach to teaching and learning, and by broadening our international reach.
“Our employer partners have also strongly signalled their approval of the direction Taylor’s is taking as the university produces high-calibre, industry-ready graduates who perform well in their careers.
“The outcome of this transformation, reflected in the new rankings, is the result of a massive team effort at Taylor’s and close engagement with our partners, ” added Prof Driscoll.
While 2020 could have been better, every sector did its part in quickly adapting to the global pandemic through online tools and services to maintain their business and personal relationships.
Online tools have become the key driver in the educational transformation as well, to ensure that students complete their courses and graduate in time.
Even before the pandemic, universities were hard at work in creating learning environments that are practical and relevant – preparing them well for the real world.
Innovating for tomorrow
Taylor’s University is one of the few private institutions in Malaysia to be awarded five stars for online learning under a new category announced by QS – in addition to the Teaching; Employability; Facilities; Internationalisation; Inclusiveness; and, Hospitality and Leisure Management categories.
Shortly after the QS announcement, the Government allowed universities to reopen for students who need to use campus facilities for their final assignments, adding stringent guidelines to ensure the students and academics’ safety.
Many experts believe that blended learning will be a new way of learning post-pandemic and will provide an experience to enhance students’ capabilities to operate in a globalised virtual way – resembling the manner most businesses will operate from today onwards.
Adapting to this style is a perfect opportunity for the graduating cohort to refine their collaborative, independent and self-directed learning abilities, which are key skills of the future workforce.
With one click into the current business landscape, many new job seekers will see that this pandemic has shifted the global community’s spending habits – and organisations are responding quickly to move services online before they lose out completely. Only those who do not fear this change or challenge will persevere in the aftermath.
The movement control order in the last few months also saw remarkable innovation in the responses from educators to find suitable approaches in engaging their students for their courses and assignments.
For example, Taylor’s Law School Faculty of Business & Law senior lecturer Puteri Sofia Amirnuddin incorporated augmented reality in the modules she teaches for English Legal System and Land Law.
Adapting a mission concept for her “agents”, Puteri Sofia instructs her class to complete assignments using two custom mobile applications. The project was designed along with her colleagues from The Design School – lecturers Mike Choong and Razif Mohamed.
Industry leaders are also opting for virtual reality experiences for their consumers who are stuck at home.
Currently, a group of students from various disciplines at Taylor’s are embarking on a massive project for renowned Malaysian science centre Petrosains, in creating an interactive virtual gallery for visitors aged between 10 and 18 years old to explore themes grounded on oil discovery, recovery, processing, engineering and technology.
Led by Mike Choong for students in the Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Creative Media, the multidisciplinary project also involves students from the School of Computer Science & Engineering to develop a downloadable application for Mac or PC computers, that can be played offline.
“The multidisciplinary design collaboration was a new experience for me. It was a great opportunity to get to know my peers from different fields of specialisation, where we could gain multiple insights and work towards an outcome, ” said Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Creative Media student Sangeetha V. Supramaniam.
“I feel this project certainly helped me prepare my expectations for when I enter the workforce – where clients and collaborators will also be from varying fields with a common goal.
“I now understand that collaboration is necessary to bring various disciplines together to push further innovatively. It’s a lot of different sources of knowledge coming together to create something spectacular.
“Visitors will be able to explore these galleries freely to activate mini-games or interactive animations by interacting with triggers that are positioned at the respective thematic galleries.
“These galleries are deliberately designed to be spacious to accommodate future games or three-dimensional interactive exhibit additions, ” said Sangeetha.
Opportunity for reform
The pandemic may also quickly lead to a new hybrid model of education – an area that Taylor’s is exploring in their fully digital summit.
Themed Rising Together As We Reimagine The Future: Evolution And Change Amidst The Covid-19 Era, the Taylor’s e-summit is targeting Malaysia’s youth and future nation-builders to strengthen, resolve and renew optimism.
The e-summit on July 25 and 26 is divided into four sessions tackling current affairs. The two-day virtual event will see the industries’ movers and shakers from the Health Ministry, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and Adobe, all of whom had their fair share of professional and personal challenges – and triumphed.
The live stream summit is designed to stimulate impactful conversations and inspire audiences to embark on new fields of exploration to further their learning to overcome this unprecedented crisis.
The two-day affair will also allow participants the chance to be a part of in-depth breakout sessions, view the Lakeside Campus through virtual tours and engage with Taylor’s experts in e-counselling sessions for youths interested to find out more about blended learning and the course they are interested to pursue.
The Taylor’s E-Summit 2020 is keen to help the nation’s youths rise to their dreams – by equipping them with the right values, knowledge and survival skills to be future leaders in their chosen fields.
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