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Equator College

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Institution Profile



Established in 1987, more than a quarter of a century ago, Equator Academy of Art (EC) is a leading college of art and design located in Penang - a beautiful tropical island with sunny beaches, cool hills and endowed with rich cultural heritage. As one of the most respected art, media and design colleges in Malaysia, EC offers students an up-to-date curriculum and comprehensive training for careers in the art, media and design industries.

What Made Us Special?

An outstanding feature of EC is that its principal and founder is an acknowledged practising artist and designer by profession who keeps up with the latest trends and developments in the world of art, media and design.

EC is committed to engaging qualified, experienced and dedicated teaching staff. Our team of highly qualified lecturers made up of local and foreign talents is another winning combination for students aiming for a global setting. Most of our graduate lecturers also have years of industrial working experience that equip them with extensive resource-based experience which is invaluable in the training of young inquisitive minds. Classes are kept small to ensure maximum interactive opportunity between students and lecturers.

The academy is widely recognised for its sterling reputation in churning out award winning students through its unique cross-disciplinary learning, student- centered teaching, research, and practical approaches in the use of knowledge.

As such, the alumni are very much sought after with some specialties having shortages in meeting the demands. Many of the earlier alumni have established themselves as leading designers.

As a testament of the Academy’s excellent processes in teaching and learning, EC students have been significant winners in local and national competitions every year.

Accredited Programmes

The programmes available are the full time diploma programmes in 3-D Digital Animation, Architectural Technology, Graphic & Multimedia Design, Interior Design, Fashion Design Technology, and Fine Art, all of which are fully recognised and approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). Students who are interested in pursuing further studies can make use of the credit transfer arrangements for degree programmes with any of EC’s international partner universities in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

EC shares its optimism with the Malaysian public and offers many part-time courses to working adults to upgrade their skills. EC is an authorised Autodesk Training Centre offering Maya, AutoCAD, Revit Architecture and 3Ds Max.

Academic Facilities & Resources

Both the Leith Street and Amoy Lane campuses are fully air-conditioned. EC has lecture rooms and halls, lecture theatres, computer and multimedia studios; art and design studios, a photographic studio, specialty workshops, a well-equipped library, a gallery to display works of art as well as free Internet and WiFi access for staff and students.

There is a food caterer who supplies food at a specific time of the day although there are nearby food outlets. For chill out time, students are able to use the pool table, ping pong table (table tennis), karaoke set, and view Astro satellite TV channels. There are student sports clubs that arranges the use of outside facilities. Hostel facilities are given on a needs basis. A student counsellor is available for both local and international students.

Student Support Services & Student Development

Extra-mural activities are encouraged under the Beyond Classroom Experience (BCE) where there are student clubs and societies with members of staff as advisors. Each student must fulfill 200 hours of activities ranging from sports, local and out-station excursions, community projects as well as volunteering in homes for the disadvantaged. This is to instill a community spirit, a sense of humanity, a love for the environment and to be a useful member of the community. Students are encouraged to celebrate each other’s cultural events such as Hari Raya, Deepavali, Chinese New Year, Christmas as well as cultural events of our international students. This will eventually produce a group of highly trained individuals who are useful members of society, i.e. holistic thinking citizens of the country with an international outlook.

EC has initiated an International Educational Exchange Development programme and the Equator Alumni plays an important role in keeping the family growing locally and internationally as our graduates venture overseas. This forms a network of graduates who are updated on the happenings at EC through the channels of communications between students and between students and the staff of the Academy. The opportunities and needs for continued education can then be channeled through this network. Outstanding alumni continue to play a vital role in EC’s further development.

Scholarships / Financial Aid for Students

EC is a contributor to the STAR Education Fund which allocates full scholarships for outstanding students to study at EC. EC in co-operation with KOJADI has established a student loan fund of up to RM1million to assist qualified local students in their studies at the Academy. Also available to local students are bank loans and PTPTN loans. In 2000, the Equator Academy of Art Scholarships and Financial Aid fund was established to help deserving students. Up to now, EC has given in excess of RM1 million to deserving students in total.

International Recognition & Partnership

A partnership between a network of key universities for advanced education in art, design and related courses has been established in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Suitable EC diploma holders are given credit transfers to the final year of the relevant degrees at the partner universities.

There are also visiting lecturers and workshops conducted by EC’s many international university partners (Australia, New Zealand and the UK) to provide students with the best knowledge and skills to excel in their respective fields of study.

All the above factors have contributed to the students winning prestigious internationally recognised awards yearly in arts and design and has made Equator a renowned name in the industry. The Academy added a significant feather to its cap when it clinched the Platinum Award (Top 10) of the Young Entrepreneur’s Association of Malaysia (PUMM) 2008.

Courses Offered

Click on a programme name for full details.

Certificate Level
Cert. in Art & Design
Level: Certificate Level
Fees (Local): 9760/Course
Duration: 1 Yr 3 Mths (3 Sem)
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Diploma Level
1. Architectural Technology
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 29000/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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2. Digital 3D Animation
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 27000/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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3. Fashion Design Technology
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 21500/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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4. Fine Art
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 20000/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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5. Graphic & Multimedia Design
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 20000/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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6. Interior Design
Level: Diploma Level
Fees (Local): 23000/Course
Duration: 3 Yrs + 3 Mths (Practical Training)
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Contact Details

Equator College

Amoy Lane Campus
Wisma Equator
10050 Georgetown
Pulau Pinang

Type: Private College

Tel: 604-228 1315
Fax: 604-226 4766

Other Campuses

Equator Annex (Branch)

Leith Street Campus
7, Leith Street
10020 Georgetown
Pulau Pinang

Type: Private College

Tel: 604 - 2615116/ 2625117
Fax: 604-264 4766

Key Personnel

Y. Bhg. Dato’ Chuah Kooi Yong

CEO/Principal , Equator College

Dato' Chuah Kooi Yong graduated from the Nanyang Academy in Fine Arts and Hornsey College of Art & Design in the United Kingdom (now Middlesex University, UK) with a Diploma in Graphic Design (equivalent to a Degree) in the 1960s. Dato' Chuah was one of the first few Malaysians to receive such a qualification.

After graduation, Dato' Chuah had a vision to set up a post secondary college to cater to the more aesthetically minded students in Penang. In the establishment of Equator, he had made it possible for all art-interested students to study the subjects of their choice. His main objective is to cultivate the creative minds of the young generation - to train school leavers to spearhead the nation's need for a better tomorrow with quality-driven artistic designers.

With Dato' Chuah's vast experience in the art and design discipline, and always being far-sighted and having the students' best interest at heart, he foresaw the needs of artistic-inclined youths to keep abreast of the times. He invested millions of Ringgit to make Equator Academy a cutting-edge educational institute by equipping it with state-of-the-art facilities.

For his more than 20 years of unrelenting dedication in providing continuing education and services to the art community, he was acknowledged by the Royal Society of Arts UK with a Fellowship, the FRSA. However, nothing is more gratifying to Dato' Chuah than knowing that his hard work has paid off when Equator graduates are fully employed with some securing jobs even before they graduate. Most graduates continue to perform exceptionally well overseas, by receiving high distinctions in their degrees, first class honours degrees, master's and doctorates. All these are proof of Equator's quality of education and are in line with Dato' Chuah's bigger objective of producing knowledgeable, skillful and creative manpower for the nation.

During the 2008 alumni reunion dinner in Kuala Lumpur, he was commended by the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, Professor Michael Driscoll for his services towards the Malaysian private education sector. Dato' Chuah's DSPN award by the State Governor in 2008 was given in recognition of his perseverance in Art & Design education, his encouragement in tertiary art advancement and his work towards charities for the welfare of his fellow human beings.

Student Testimonials

Cai Yi Min, China

Diploma in Interior Design, January 2002 - November 2004

I have found that Equator Academy of Art offers the best standard of Education in Art & Design in Penang. I am very happy with my choice of the Interior Design Programme which offers me great opportunities to further my final year Degree studies overseas countries like in United Kingdom, New Zealand & Australia; which I would be unable to do so if I were back home. I have improved my English Language skills tremendously with the use of the language in the curriculum. Besides the reasonable fees I have to pay, the easy availability of good & affordable varieties of food, cheap accommodation and conducive environment for studies in the safe, free and beautiful Penang, make my studies at Equator and my stay in this city a very memorable one. There are a lot of students from China who are looking forward to coming over here and I would strongly recommend them to Equator.

Chen Wei, People’s Republic of China

Graphic & Multimedia Design, 3 years

As a foreign student from China, I have spent my three years at Equator Academy of Art. Studying at EAA has changed me into a much stronger person than what I was before. I have certainly learned a lot, not only knowledge in my own field of study but also enriching various perspectives of my personal life. The experiences I gained will help me to brave whatever things that will come my way in the future. Thank you to Equator, the Specialist in Art and Design.

Doreen Chipo Chapoterera, Zimbabwe

Diploma in Interior Design, 3 Years

I knew of Equator through the internet and I was impressed. After joining Equator, I found the environment very conducive to learning. The lecturers are very helpful. The course of study is suitable in developing my future career.

Inca Natalia Rosalyn, Indonesia

Fashion Design Technology, 3 years

Equator offers a very well-balanced education programme. I have the opportunity to learn all the required skills I need for a career in Fashion through my caring lecturers. Besides this, Equator’s learning environment is the most conducive to my development and a most enjoyable experience too. I get to take part in Fashion shows which is most educational indeed.

Ivona Ong, Indonesia

Graphic & Multimedia Design, 3 years

Studying design abroad has always been my dream and I was glad to be recommended into Equator Academy of Art, Penang by the Educationist from Medan.

Penang Island, which is full of heritage and culture, is an ideal location for me as it is very near and similar to Medan. The course I am taking is also of quality with a wide range of interesting subjects, topped with affordable fees.

Lady Diana, Indonesia

Graphic & Multimedia Design, 1st Year

In my opinion, the reason I chose to do my Diploma course at Equator Academy of Art is because I think it is the best Art & Design college in Penang. The college offers good quality education at an affordable price. On top of that, I also really like Penang. I feel that it is a nice place to live in.

Pok Chuchuen, Thailand

Diploma in Graphics and Multimedia, 3 Years

I found out about Equator through a friend. I like studying at Equator because the college is good for Art and Design…and the lecturers are nice...

Veronica, Indonesia

Graphic & Multimedia Design, 2nd Year

The reasons I chose Equator are as follow:

  • Reasonable fees.
  • Advance lessons in Computer Graphics, advertising, illustrations, etc.
  • Personal attention from lecturers.
  • Equator has links with overseas universities.
  • Penang is near my hometown and monthly costs are cheaper than KL.
  • Easy transportation.