Friday, 7 October 2011



You Take Charge

“Your best years in education are those spent in college or university (tertiary education)”, a saying so often heard. Indeed, those years of higher education, whether in IPTA (Institut Pengajian Tinggi Awam) or IPTS (Institut Pengajian Tinggi Swasta), are years when students are no longer children and most importantly, not treated as children. They would be expected to make their own decisions with minimum guidance. These are times of well-earned education amidst mushrooming of friendships and network of acquaintances developed which would greatly influence your future.

Gone are the days of rigid time tables with classes from 7.30 am to 1.00 pm; standard dress-code and classmates from only within the local vicinity. The college/university years see a more flexible time table, less rigid dress code (or no dress code at all) and a chance to mingle with students from near and far, especially those from other countries. In addition, the students are also being credited with more accountability for their conduct and are entrusted with taking responsibility for their actions. 

College/university education educates students to be more independent and to think on the spot as there will be very much less ‘spoon-feeding’ by the lecturers (no longer called teachers) as compared to their earlier years of education. Students are given the responsibility to control their own lives and to ensure that they keep their priorities right. Thus, in a nutshell, college/university life not only imparts knowledge and academic/professional skills to students, but more importantly, also prepares them for life as adults, grooming them in their personal development, including for leadership.

Students who are or will soon be sitting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), GCSE ‘O’ Levels, ‘A” Levels or other pre-university qualifying examinations that mark the cross-over from secondary to tertiary education will be understandably excited or anxious about their options after their examinations. The question on your minds now would be whether to further your education at public or private institutions (IPTA or IPTS) or for some, whether to look for work.

If you have chosen to further your studies, then you should ask whether you would desire to go the academic pathway or the skill-based/hands-on pathway. One other major consideration when deciding on your choices is your financial situation (or that of your family’s) because education does not come cheap.

Thus, the decision-making to select the correct institution for your higher education would be a tough one. Whatever your decision may be, you should and have to stand by it, if you feel you have made an informed choice. The following information should be of great use to you in your decision-making process.

Adapted from

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