AT the foundation of teaching and learning at Taylor’s University is an ecosystem that integrates a variety of pedagogical methods, delivering quality education and meaningful experiences, so that students graduate with a clear-cut sense of purpose and belonging.
Although education plays a pivotal role in cultivating innovation, as well as personal and professional growth, being academically intelligent or “book smart” alone is not sufficient to guarantee a graduate's success.
Today, well-rounded students are more employable and productive, and are better able to cope with the ever-changing social and economic needs of the rapidly developing world.
As such, Taylor’s has redesigned its curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to fit the evolving education landscape by carefully curating its unique Taylor’sphere ecosystem which nurtures students based on three pillars – intellect, creativity and practical wisdom.
Taylor’sphere sets the stage for students to explore their passions, collaborate with like-minded individuals and organisations, and develop their skills beyond the classroom by using the critical thinking and life skills taught by specialised facilitators to become resilient problem-solvers in an ever-changing world.
Students at Taylor’s also have access to an extensive network of career planning coaches, alumni, and a dedicated research and enterprise commercialisation team.
This team helps refine students’ business proposals and facilitates connections with investors and venture capitalists – providing them with valuable opportunities to secure funding to further innovate and commercialise their projects.
As a pioneering institution that implements mandatory multidisciplinary projects across all of its bachelor’s degrees, Taylor’s University shines a spotlight on meaningful and innovative learning through its multidisciplinary learning experience (MLE) embedded within the Taylor’sphere ecosystem.
“Providing students with the right atmosphere, networks and resources at the university level is essential to enable them to thrive in their future careers and pursuits,” says Taylor’s University deputy vice chancellor and chief academic officer Prof Dr Pradeep Nair.
“Our guiding principle for the MLE approach is equipping our students to live out their visions and goals through a purpose-driven education.”
Students are introduced to multiple learning tracks to choose from, such as conventional internship opportunities, the “technopreneurship” mode or a work-based learning experience that exposes students to the industry by spending a year of their degree with reputable industry partners, based on their field.
This exposure gives students the chance to collaborate closely with industry experts to develop and apply what they learn during their two to three years of undergraduate studies, as well as enhance their capabilities in a variety of areas, thereby increasing their adaptability to the market for employment.
Uplifting through collaboration
Other than instilling adequate and relevant job skills, the university through its staff and students actively tackles societal challenges and empowers communities to leave a sustained impact. This endeavour is demonstrated by three of Taylor’s purpose-led projects which embody multidisciplinary collaboration and community involvement.
Realising that conventional Braille books are not only costly to manufacture and purchase, but also heavy and often outdated, a team of students from the School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Taylor’s Business School – called Team Visionaries – joined hands in a multidisciplinary collaboration to develop a 3D-printed tablet-like reading device called the BraillePad.
Having worked closely with Braille readers from the Malaysia Association for the Blind to better understand their needs, the device addresses the limitations of conventional Braille books and enables visually impaired readers to immerse themselves in independent learning without relying on a teacher.
To date, Team Visionaries has won several national and international awards, including recently being announced as the national runner-up for Malaysia in the James Dyson Award 2023 for their BraillePad, after actively participating in competitions to improvise and upgrade their innovation in terms of material efficiency and production time since August this year.
Team Visionaries is also currently involved in Taylor’s Camp of Leaders mentorship programme – which pairs industry mentors and mentees to empower today’s youth to make positive contributions to their community and enhance quality of life.
The programme also allows the student innovators to gather insights and guidance on how to enhance the marketability and feasibility of BraillePad.
Knowing the importance of literacy in unlocking one’s educational and professional potential, Taylor’s School of Education established a targeted reading programme called Projek BacaBaca, after seeing the alarming rates of schoolchildren at risk of falling into learning poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme pairs children, between the ages of six to nine years old, with a volunteer reading coach to conduct weekly sessions over the telephone or video conferencing to improve reading in both English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Last year, a community leader from Sungai Choh in Rawang, Selangor, reached out to project leader and senior lecturer Hema Letchamanan to request for the programme to be implemented in their town, as they explained the grim reality of how so few of the youth from the community end up going to college or university after school.
Despite being faced with poor Internet and telephone connection, the Projek BacaBaca team decided to continue their support for the community through a different approach, named Projek BacaBaca Komuniti.
This approach involved training a group of stay-at-home mothers within the community to become reading coaches, so they, in turn, could teach reading to the children within their communities through physical weekly sessions.
Since April this year, the reading sessions have seen improvements across the 25 participating students’ reading abilities and performance at school in both classes and exams, setting them on the right path to a prosperous future.
Projek BacaBaca Komuniti also motivates the group of trained teachers to contribute to their respective families’ income through the monthly allowances funded by project sponsor, Trinovik Labs.
CAREbinet by The Risers
Many families in underserved communities find it increasingly difficult to fulfil the fundamental needs of their children so that they can excel in their academic pursuits – particularly due to rising costs of essential goods and services.
Understanding this, Taylor’s College committed RM200,000 to support underserved students by building and distributing “CAREbinets” to schools in Kuala Lumpur.
Led by the institution’s student engagement arm – The Risers – the cabinets are restocked monthly with essential food and sanitary items such as bread, rice, soup paste, instant beverages, hand soap, shampoo, deodorant and sanitary pads.
These items are provided by the initiative’s partners Adabi Consumer Industries, Gardenia Bakeries KL, Jasmine Food Corporation, Kotex Malaysia and Unilever Malaysia.
The CAREbinets, built by The Risers’ ambassadors and students from Taylor’s College, with guidance from and assistance from creative hub Mereka, are made using sustainable materials sourced from plastic waste, used beverage cartons and polyAI panel boards.
As well as providing those school students with the avenue to obtain their daily necessities, the initiative also aims to empower local school communities to develop a culture of sustainable practices to ensure an equitable and inclusive future for all.
In its fourth consecutive year as the top private university in South-East Asia, Taylor’s University is also ranked 41st in Asia, making it the only Malaysian private university to make it to the Top 50 in Asia, according to the QS Asia University Rankings 2024.
Taylor’s exemplifies its ongoing commitment to pursuing balanced excellence in education by nurturing purposeful and impact-driven student leaders.
The institution’s impactful education ecosystem is designed to produce high-calibre graduates with the right life skills and aptitude to collaborate across disciplines that are aligned with current market demands and mimic the way the industry operates.
To find out more about Taylor’sphere, go to bit.ly/Taylorsphere2023.