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More Options After SPM

by StudyMalaysia.com on March 4, 2015 | Top Stories

Besides the pre-university route, there are other options you can explore after SPM. If you already know what you'd like to pursue and would like to get into that field immediately, you have the option of taking up a certificate or diploma programme. Alternatively, you can also consider transfer programmes that allow you to pursue part of a bachelor's degree in Malaysia before moving to the US to complete the degree.

American Degree Transfer Programme

After SPM Students who have their heart set on studying in the US may want to consider the American degree transfer program (ADP). This program allows you to pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree in Malaysia for about two years (or 50 to 60 credit hours) before moving on to the university you have chosen in the US. To graduate with a degree, most American universities require its students to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

The advantage of this program is that you can select from more than 200 American universities that will recognise the transfer of credits you've earned in Malaysia. However, you can apply to these universities only after you've accumulated sufficient credit at the institution in Malaysia. In addition, the college you're studying at is not bound to a particular university; similarly, no American university is obliged to take in a student under the credit transfer scheme. Every American university sets its own admission standard and quota and will offer you a place only if you satisfy its requirements. In other words, the ADP offers you the opportunity to study in the US, but you will need to secure a place yourself.

The good news is that many of the institutions that offer ADP is experienced in formulating course curricula that takes into consideration the requirements of the American university curriculum. As a result, many students have earned places in reputable American universities. Today, the concept of credit transfers has extended to include universities in the UK, Australia and Canada.

The general entry requirement for a 4-year ADP is SPM with 5 credits or its equivalent.

Diploma and certificate programmes

There may be some of you out there who may not be too keen with the idea of going through four to five years of further education. You might already be interested in a particular field and would like a qualification to start you off in the working world. There may also be come of you who may not be ready to commit to the financial commitment of a degree programme. If any of those situations sounds like what you're going through then you could consider taking up a diploma or certificate programme. Private colleges are the main providers of diploma and certificate programmes although some universities also offer them.

In Malaysia, diploma and certificate programmes are offered in almost every field of study. The minimum admission requirement for students with SPM or equivalent qualifications is 3 credits for a diploma and 1 credit for a certificate programme.

Besides private higher education institutions (HEIs), diploma programmes are also offered by polytechnics under the Ministry of Education (minimum 5 credits for SPM) as well as at public universities. The Ministry of Human Resources through their institutions under the Manpower Department also offer diploma programmes for students with SPM qualifications (minimum 3 credits for SPM).

The diploma advantage

Taking a diploma programme doesn't mean that you're giving up on your hopes of getting a bachelor's degree. Many of the internally-developed diploma programmes offered by private HEIs are recognised and granted ‘advanced standing' status by local private universities and selected universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, China, Taiwan and the US.

An ‘Advanced Standing Programme' means that a private HEI's internal diploma (or a particular degree transfer programme) is recognised with ‘advanced standing' status by one or more partner foreign universities, in terms of credit exemption given when advancing to a bachelor degree programme. Typically, students who have completed a course with ‘advanced standing' status can gain admission into the second or final year of a degree programme depending on the collaborative university's requirements.

This means that if you choose a diploma programme with advanced standing benefits, you can opt to further your education at bachelor degree level, in Malaysia or even abroad.

Skills Qualifications

Many private HEIs and public training institutions such as IKBN (Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara) under the Ministry of Youth and Sports and ILP (Institut Latihan Perindustrian) under the Ministry of Human Resources offer skills programmes to school leavers which lead to SKM1, SKM2 and SKM3 qualifications. Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) qualifications are awarded by Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (JPK), Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia.

The general entry requirement for these programmes is SPM or its equivalent.

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