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Guidebook on local studies a must for students

The Star, 22 December 2002

Guidebook on local studies a must for students
Source: The Star (22 December, 2002)

Review by HARIATI AZIZAN
STUDY IN MALAYSIA HANDBOOK
(Third International Edition)
Publisher: Challenger Concept

THREE years on, Study in Malaysia Handbook is still a bible for many school-leavers.

With its third edition hitting bookshelves recently, the guide reaffirms its status as the seminal reference text on Malaysian higher education.

A guidebook is a guidebook is a guidebook, right?

Wrong –
as any undergraduate will willingly tell you, the right handbook can save anxious prospective students from wasting time, going on wild goose chases, and lots of heartache. Take phone numbers for example, what good is a handbook if one still needs to call 103 (Telekom directory) for the updated numbers?

As for individual prospectuses and websites, they are good in the later stage of the planning, once potential destinations and programmes have been shortlisted. But in the preliminary search, when one is still looking at all possible options, a comprehensive one-stop guide like Study in Malaysia is exactly what the doctor prescribed. Plus, the handbook gives well-researched information, so students can be assured of its reliability.

The latest edition is bigger and more comprehensive with new sections and revised information. And with Malaysia establishing itself as a regional centre of education, the handbook has taken a more international approach – it now comes with a summary of the Malaysian profile and education system in four different languages: Arabic, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia and Vietnamese.

The overview gives quick information that is particularly useful to international students.

If you think the facts won’t be useful to Malaysians, test yourself on how much you know about the local education system. As they say, you can never have too much information.

A new section, called Nation on the Move, for one, gives up-to-date information on the economy and policies in addition to the usual data on the country’s geography and history. Similarly, information on the National Accreditation Board and associations of educational institutions, although not essential in one’s search and decision-making process, provides interesting and useful information on the players in the local tertiary education system.

For those planning their university route, Study in Malaysia offers a directory of courses available at the various types of institutions (private and public institutions, branch campuses of foreign universities).

Complemented by a quick search index and course index, users can browse through the list and get their information quickly.

Unlike many directories, Study in Malaysia features courses run by both public and private higher educational institutions under one search system, making it easy for the student.

For students’ assurance, there is also a list of approved higher education institutions in Malaysia.

Once the institutions and programmes have been short-listed, students have the address section to start the ball rolling. This section not only provides the addresses of prospective institutions, but also the addresses of various education agencies, for further assistance to the student.

International students, meanwhile, can tap into the list for useful numbers and addresses of Matrade’s overseas trade commissions, the overseas missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism Malaysia’s overseas offices.

Finally, this edition has allocated a specific section to post graduate courses offered by the local varsities.

Still, the best aspect of this guide has to be its complementary online version. Like the printed copy, the websites provide valuable information on education institutions, their courses and facilities. As it is interactive, the websites can connect students to the institutions and provide online counselling for those seeking advice on education.

New is the international network which provides the profile of Malaysia and its education system in four foreign languages which can be accessed at these addresses: www.studyarab.com,www.studychinaonline.com, www.studyindonesia.comandwww.studyvietnam.com

The postgraduate directory can be accessed at www.studypostgraduate.com, while other sections of the directory can be obtained from the Study Malaysia portal at www.studymalaysia.com

The handbook is definitely a must for school-leavers. It will also make a good Christmas or New Year present for family and friends.