Transforming Lives Through ’Trust’

Transforming Lives Through ’Trust’

The rising cost of higher education today can burn a hole in one’s pocket and therein lies the question for many a student: How do I further my education? 

For Bernard Chin Kai Yang, he did it with a scholarship – one that covers the full duration of his university study. 

Having scored 11As in SPM, he was determined to accomplish his career and educational goals without burdening his parents and felt a sense of achievement when UCSI University Trust – the scholarship arm of UCSI University (UCSI) – offered him the scholarship. 

”I really feel blessed and relieved,” says the bright 18-year-old, “that all my hard work during secondary school was acknowledged by an established university.” 

Currently, he is reading the Foundation in Science programme that leads to the engineering sciences discipline at UCSI. With science-based courses like calculus, and probability and statistics, learners will learn the basics of engineering. 

With a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.75, Chin – an aspiring petroleum engineer – is among the top in his class. 

And although university life differs much from his secondary school days, Chin takes it all in stride by managing his time well – something he has learned to do here. 

The reward for his efforts is a well-planned schedule that gives him sufficient time to study, conduct research, organise events and hang out with friends – although he points out that independence is also key to efficient time management. 

“For example, I was able to better understand the topics in the General Chemistry 2 course, not only by being attentive during lectures and reading books but also by personally consulting the lecturer on the more challenging bits,” he says. 

Touching lives 

The Trust has touched the lives of thousands of precocious students like Chin by providing them with scholarship opportunities. 

These include the Tan Sri Ahmad Razali Merit Scholarship Award, the UCSI University Trust Scholarship, a pre-university scholarship and a sports bursary, to name a few. 

But the scholarship provides more than just educational assistance for deserving students. 

Through the Scholar Enrichment Programme (SEP), scholars can be part of many robust programmes that boldly underscore the importance of personal and professional development. 

By encouraging scholars to take on leadership roles in special projects or events – on and off campus grounds – and in the community, the SEP allows them to not only enhance their learning experience but also develop their soft skills. 

Some of these activities include peer counselling, research, sports, performing, community projects and events organised by the UCSI Scholars' Club. 

UCSI scholars are students with big hearts and the number of community projects that they helm, as part of the SEP, successfully illustrate this. 

From baking for charity to teaching Myanmar refugee children and youths to build ‘rockets’, the scholars are now working closely with homes for the underprivileged to extend a helping hand to those in need. 

Quoting American professional tennis player Arthur Ashe, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life” and this especially rings true for Chin. 

As a volunteer, Chin finds that there is so much more to being a scholar at the University than scoring good grades and he is glad to be involved in such meaningful projects 

“The programme associated with this scholarship has not only enhanced my personal character but also my overall learning experience in university.” 

‘E’ for excellence 

But ‘giving back’ is not the only value UCSI emphasises because the University pays equal attention to academic excellence. 

This sees students exposed to industry-specific workshops, industry visits and the Co-operative Placement programme, which integrates classroom learning with practical training at the workplace. 

Learners enrolled in UCSI’s diploma and degree programmes are required to complete two months of co-op at a company for every year of study. 

Such programmes are in line with the University’s praxis™ model – which advocates the application of theory to practice – and needless to say, scholarship programmes like the SEP complement this approach. 

According to Trust head Shannen Choi, it is pertinent for students – especially scholars – to be holistic learners. 

“They need the skills and aptitudes of a leader in order to be successful in life. And yet, they need to know how to remain humble amid success,” she points out. 

“This is what we advocate here at UCSI through our Trust scholarships.”