British Council IELTS available online

THE world’s most popular English test for higher education and migration, the IELTS test, can now be done online from Oct 9. It was first launched digitally, in Australia last December and is being introduced across the IELTS testing network this year.

“We are proud to announce the British Council’s launch of computer-delivered IELTS in Malaysia and are continually enhancing our IELTS services to improve the experience for our test takers and
stakeholders,” said British Council Malaysia Director Sarah Deverall.

“As we seek to make IELTS as accessible as possible to candidates across Malaysia, the test can currently be taken with us at over 15 test centres in 12 locations nationwide.”

The computer-delivered IELTS will not replace the paper-based iteration.

“British Council IELTS test takers in Malaysia now have a choice to take the test on paper or computer. Whichever format they choose, they can be assured of the same test security and global recognition. We are offering computer-delivered IELTS at the same price but with faster results turnaround of five to seven days after all test sections are taken,” assured British Council Director of Examinations East Asia Steve Adams.

With over three million tests taken in the past year and recognised by more than 10,000 universities, schools, employers and immigration bodies, the IELTS is the most widely used test of English for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. It is also recognised by more than 10,000 universities, schools, employers and immigration bodies, including all universities in Australia and the UK, and many of the leading institutions in the USA.

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Out-of-classroom education

EDINBURGH Business School, Heriot-Watt University, restores last home of the world-famous economist, Adam Smith
If there is only one economist you’ve heard of, it’s likely to be Adam Smith – arguably the best-known of all economists often referred to as the “father of capitalism”.

In his text “The Wealth of Nations”, Smith details the guiding principles of political economy; his image is on the back of the British £20 note.
Now, his only surviving and final home in Edinburgh, Scotland, is set to reopen, thanks to the efforts of the Edinburgh Business School and Heriot-Watt University.
Professor Heather McGregor, the Business School Executive Dean, explains why the reopening of Panmure House was one of her priorities.
“Heriot-Watt University bought Panmure House nearly a decade ago, in that it can once again become a place for economic debate and a place where people convene to solve the big economic problems of the world – just as they did back in the 1790s.
“In fact, I find Adam Smith’s fame so much greater now than when he was alive in the 18th century, and I think we need him and his thoughts now, more than ever,” McGregor shares.
Smith and his ideas played a huge role in the shaping of modern economic thinking. In his first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” he proposed the idea of the invisible hand—the tendency of free markets to regulate themselves by means of competition, supply and demand, and self-interest.
“Smith was a passionate advocate of the ability to trade freely and without barriers, and he had some groundbreaking thoughts about taxation and how nations should progress. He believed that if there was too big a gap between the very rich and the very poor, it would be extremely difficult for a nation to progress,” McGregor informed.

Today, more than two centuries after his death, Smith’s life and work continue to have an effect on many individuals and organisations around the world, especially those who apply his principles to the modern–day political and economic processes.

Edinburgh Business School has over 10,000 students studying online and on-campus programmes in Putrajaya, Edinburgh and Dubai. “We hope our students are proud to be connected with the School responsible for one of the key heritage sites linked to the modern economic thinking,” says McGregor who travels frequently to meet with students and alumni across the world.
“It is a testament to the power of ideas that Smith has achieved the international reputation he holds today. Our School has played a part in bringing his home back to life, and I hope our current and aspiring MBA students in Malaysia can feel a little bit closer to the teachings of this great philosopher, economist and author,” McGregor concluded.
The Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, is currently planning an event to officially reopen Panmure House, which will serve as a venue for the kind of philosophical and economic discussions that Adam Smith was famed for hosting himself.

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Education and ICT

PETALING JAYA: Over the last few decades, information and communication technologies (ICT) have played a significant role in our lives and also been widely and effectively used as a tool for teaching and learning.

While arguments have been raised that ICT may soon take over the role of teachers, this is surely not something to worry as teachers would, in fact, find their jobs greatly enhanced with the aid of ICT.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Broadway Group, Boon Tan (pix), ICT can play a significant role in enhancing administration, teaching delivery, knowledge sharing and also encouraging better student participation.

Also with e-learning, students will be able to ask questions and access materials from the comfort of their homes.

“Over the years, universities across the globe have allocated huge resources towards the development and implementation of online learning and teaching.

“In fact, in Malaysia, there are more than 500 open online courses being offered now compared to only about 60 when it was first introduced in 2015,” he said.

Unlike popular belief, he said, the use of educational technologies is not an expensive and complicated matter and schools can easily implement and adopt ICT into their everyday teaching and learning process.

“By using ICT in our education system, we can greatly enrich the learning experience for all our children and young people.

“Children these days already have a strong exposure to ICT and they would surely welcome it’s enhanced use as part of the education process,” he said.

By embracing ICT in their teaching methods, Boon said teachers can use it as a powerful, engaging and flexible tool to educate the young.

Apart from having access to an ocean of additional online educational content, educators will also be able to create new content and offer a range of approaches to learning.

Children will also be able to effectively collaborate online with others from across the world, which also provides them with the opportunity to make new friends and learn about different cultures.

“It is undeniable that excellent teaching would inevitably lead to excellent students and the use of ICT in schools is definitely the right step towards achieving this.

“Experts are already of the opinion that online learning is more popular and effective that traditional classroom teaching,” he said.

Malaysia is already equipped with a sound ICT infrastructure and efforts are ongoing to provide greater internet accessibility throughout the country.

With e-learning continuously evolving and growing, our students will soon be able to study just about anywhere and at any time.

ICT also helps make things more interesting and engaging for students apart from encouraging active participation in the classroom.

“This is important for increased knowledge retention and with ICT, different forms of technology can be used to experiment with and decide what works best for students.

“Also, with the use of e-learning, students can learn at their own pace and take time to review difficult subjects. It also provides more opportunities for struggling students,” added Boon.

As for teachers, he said they can opt to use numerous different applications and online resources to enhance their methods of teaching and keep students engaged.

Teachers can also save plenty of time by adopting virtual lesson plans and grading software. They can use this additional time to assist weaker students.

Overall, the use of e-learning is set to create a whole new classroom environment in which students can look forward to each day, he added.

Five Malaysians receive full medical scholarships

FORMERLY known as Penang Medical College, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) awarded full medical scholarships amounting to almost RM3.8 million to five Malaysians and one international student at a recent scholarship award and pre-departure orientation ceremony.

The scholarships provide the opportunity for students to pursue the highly coveted, globally recognised National University of Ireland medical degrees at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) or University College Dublin (UCD) in Dublin and RUMC in Penang.

Presenting the scholarships was Guest of Honour at the award ceremony and pre-departure orientation – Embassy of Ireland Deputy Head of Mission Catherine Aylward. Others present were RUMC president and CEO Prof Stephen Doughty and Academic Affairs vice-president Prof David Whitford.

The RCSI and UCD Dublin scholarships 2018 were awarded to Chan Shu Chen (19), Chiam Kai Ning (19), Sheena Siva Subramaniam (20), Sarah Chua (19), Engracia Yap Shihuan (19) and Sri Lanka’s Fathima Sarah Atheer.

Recipients will begin their pre-clinical studies for 2.5 years at the RSCI or UCD in Dublin, then return to Malaysia to complete their clinical training at PMC and its teaching hospitals.

The students were among 100 applicants and were selected due to their exemplary academic record and personalities that suit their career aspirations.

An orientation session was organised and was attended by senior students, some of whom were on summer break from studies in Dublin. They helped welcome the new intake and answered queries. A total of 120 students were accepted in 2018 and ready to begin their medical education in Dublin, Ireland.

This event further marked RUMC’s last call for students under the 2018 intake for medical studies as classes in Dublin begin early September.

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SJIIM students ace the IGCSE

THE founding students of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) secured outstanding results in the recent Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations.

Overall, 22% of the grades were A* which is an outstanding achievement, while 53% were between A* and A, which is significantly higher than the World IGCSE Examination Result Average of 49% in 2017.

Meanwhile, 78% of the grades achieved were between A* and B, and an impressive 93% received grades between A* and C – also a whole lot better than the World IGCSE Result Average of 83% in 2017.

Additionally, 94% of students who sat for the IGCSE examinations at SJIIM achieved a minimum of 5A* to C grade for all their subject papers – marking huge favour and credit to both the school and its teachers, as well as its students.

Top scorer Ter Shin Huey who scored 8A* 2A in her IGCSE results said: “My learning journey in SJIIM has always been a fascinating one. To me, the SJIIM community is one big family. The support and guidance given by my teachers has helped me in many ways, besides enriching my basic knowledge. It is never too hard to approach our teachers, whether it is to seek help in our academics or advice about life.”

SJIIM High School principal Dr Nicola Brown was pleased, having forecasted the favourable results and students’ achievements. “This success is due to the dedication of the students and the support and drive of our wonderful teachers. We are happy to have been in a position to enable these young people to move on to the next stage in their education. Besides the exceptional grades, our students have also been dedicated in their service work with the less fortunate, and these are strong testaments to the ethos of the school as a Lasallian school,” she said.

Meanwhile, SJIIM IGCSE coordinator Gary Cairns expressed his absolute delight. “The students have really done themselves, their parents and the school proud. Having worked so closely with these students over the last two years, I saw the level of hard work, dedication and preparation. Along with our fantastic IBDP results, these IGCSE results are an important milestone and they give us something to build on for many years to come.”

Find out more on SJIIM, its next academic year and available places at