Five outstanding scholarship students from Curtin University of Technology’s Sarawak Campus in Miri, Malaysia had the privilege of meeting Western Australian Minister for Education, Hon. Dr Elizabeth Constable MLA at Parliament House last week. Curtin’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket, was also present at the meeting.
The students are the 2009 recipients of a jointly funded scholarship offered by Curtin and the State Government which enables them to complete their final year of study at the University’s Bentley Campus.
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Curtin Sarawak, Professor Joan Gribble, said she is proud to have these five students representing the Sarawak Campus.
“Through this scholarship some of our best and brightest students have been given the opportunity to experience study abroad, gaining valuable new experiences and allowing them to broaden their horizons,” she said.
“The students’ interaction with the Curtin community has also given staff and students at Bentley the opportunity for cultural and social exchange as well.”
Miss Shu Qing Teo, one of this year’s scholars, has had to adjust to life and studying in a different country.
“The tutors and lectures have a different teaching style to the Sarawak campus so I had to get use to that, but they are extremely encouraging,” she said.
“The Bentley campus is so multicultural, and I have made friends from all around the world, an opportunity that rarely arose back home.”
The opportunity to visit Parliament House was a unique experience for Miss Teo.
“Visiting Parliament House was a real eye opener and very educational. I’ve never been on such a visit before and I felt honoured to meet with the Minister,” she said.
This Scholarship scheme was announced in 2003 by then Premier Geoff Gallop during a visit to the Curtin Sarawak Campus.
For each student, the State Government covers the cost of airfare and accommodation, and Curtin meets the cost of tuition fees
The five 2009 scholars are currently studying undergraduate degrees in the areas of Engineering and Commerce.
Completing a double degree in Marketing and Management, Miss Teo said this amazing experience is different to anything she has ever done before.
“This is the first time I have lived out of home so I am faced with many new responsibilities and total independence,” she said.
Besides soaking in the sights of Perth, the students have also been able to participate in many extra curricular activities and community programs at Curtin and around WA.
Professor Gribble said that the Scheme has been invaluable in helping to build a stronger relationship between WA and Malaysia.
“Many of Curtin Sarawak students have benefited from this Scheme over the years and they have always provided much positive feedback about their experiences. We would like to commend the State Government for its vision in supporting such an important education program,” she said