Pre-university programmes in Malaysia are preparatory courses to ensure that students are ready for their tertiary education. These courses are usually taken after a student has completed his or her high school education such as SPM or O-Level before they proceed to their undergraduate degree.

In Malaysia, there is a wide range of options for students to choose from according to their educational goals and needs. For instance, there is STPM, A-Level, Australian Matriculation, International Baccalaureate (IB), Canadian Pre-University (CPU), American Degree Programme (ADP) and Foundation Studies. The duration of study may vary according to the programme and duration. Typically, these courses will take about 1 to 2 years to complete.

After deciding on a course, you still have to choose your desired institution. It may be a tough decision as there are many institutions offering the same program, hence making the decision-making process even more confusing. If you are having a hard time deciding on the college to enrol in, fret not, here are 3 tips to help you pick the one that best suits your needs and help you attain excellence.

1. Skill Enhancement and Support

While academic achievement is crucial to advance to reputable universities, students’ soft skills must not be neglected. Institutions that provide quality education will focus on fostering a holistic individual instead of merely focusing on academics.

One of the most emphasized skill is critical thinking, which enables students to analyse, integrate and evaluate information. This is an important skill in tertiary education as knowledge is open for debate and you are expected to have active engagement in the learning process instead of passively receiving information, memorizing and regurgitating them in the examination.

Besides that, it is important for institutions to develop independent skill sets in their students. The learning process in the university setting will require students to take initiative and seek information independently without relying on their lecturers or tutors. Many undergraduate students struggle in the first few semesters because they have trouble coping with the independent learning style. So, it would be helpful if you could start fostering these skills and get accustomed before admission to an undergraduate programme.

2. Experienced and Committed Academic Professionals

While researching for your institution, do take into account the academic staff that will be teaching you for the next one to two years as they will play a significant role in the success of your pre-university pathway.

Experienced and committed academicians will ensure that the knowledge shared is up to date and connected with the current industry. As knowledge is constantly updated in this fast-paced era, you would not like the idea of learning hard and then realizing that they are not applicable anymore in today’s society, do you? Therefore, remember to choose your institution and lecturer carefully.

Other than that, committed lecturers may provide guidance according to each student’s learning style to help them excel and unlock their potential. They will always be open for feedback from students to make modifications in their teaching style in order to provide a comprehensive learning experience for students. Also, academic professionals with high levels of commitment are ready to provide extra support for students with need beyond lecture hours.

3. Global Partnerships with World-Wide Universities

If you are thinking of going abroad for your undergraduate degree, do remember to select the institution that has partnerships with prestigious universities across the globe. Try to research whether the universities recognize the programme before enrolling, especially when your pre-university programme involves a transferring process such as the American Degree Program (ADP). Check whether that institution is recognized or has a partnership with your desired university so that you can reduce a lot of trouble when applying for your undergraduate degree. Usually, institutions who have global partnerships offer guidance in the application and transfer process.

To conclude, here are 3 tips to identify an ideal institution for pre-university in Malaysia. You may be overwhelmed by the wide range of choices, but do not be too pressured by it. Take your time to research and analyse. You may also discuss with your parents or educational consultants for some suggestions. With these efforts, you will be able to make an informed choice and have a fruitful journey of pre-university education in Malaysia.