The annual Borneo Post International Education Fair (BPIEF) takes on more importance this year

BPIEF offers diverse options in education, career prospects

Representatives of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus attend to visitors.

Representatives of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus attend to visitors.Sarawak.

It opened its door to the public yesterday, housing 130 booths representing 93 educational institutions offering a comprehensive overview of the educational programmes available in Sarawak and abroad — from certificate, diploma and undergraduate level, up to postgraduate studies.
Sarawak Skills Development Centre (PPKS) marketing and student recruitment manager Diana Ramping said her side was optimistic to see a bigger crowd this time.
“We hope the rain would not dampen the spirit of the people, as this is really a golden opportunity to get all the information on pursuing higher education.”
When asked if there could be a negative impact on the education sector due to the tough current economic situation, she pointed out that there was no sign of a slowdown.
“Parents will not compromise on education for their children — definitely. In addition, PPKS is a local institution that is affordable. Moreover, students can always apply for financial assistance like from PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) and we also offer instalment for the students to settle tuition fees,” she said.

The SEGi College Sarawak crew welcome all to their booth.

The SEGi College Sarawak crew welcome all to their booth.

An academy offering sewing courses displays finished products.

An academy offering sewing courses displays finished products.

Siti Zakiah (second right) and her fellow MMEA officers gather for a group photo.

Siti Zakiah (second right) and her fellow MMEA officers gather for a group photo.

On BPIEF’s development, Diana noted how the fair had not only been catering to students and school-leavers but also supporting working adults who were interested in changing their jobs, or simply enhancing their skills further.
“We offer skills enhancement and lifelong learning programmes, besides short or specific courses targeting areas of need,” she elaborated.
For Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Kuching District operation officer Lt Jr Siti Zakiah Hambali, the BPIEF allowed graduates or job seekers to explore careers in various sectors.
“SPM graduates can apply for Class II Maritime Grade XA1, Diploma holders can join the force as Petty Officer (Maritime Grade XA5), while degree holders can enter the force as Second Lieutenant (Maritime Grade XA13),” she said in encouraging graduates to join the maritime force.
“All applications will go through the Public Service Commission. Candidates will need to go through an interview and must pass the fitness test.”
Meanwhile SEGi College Sarawak principal Ivy Lay said despite the economy downturn, she did not see any negative impact on the education sector because the industries moving the economy would always need more manpower.
“Education will always remain a top priority for every Sarawakian. We hope students, parents and working adults would come and visit this exciting fair and allow us to help and lead them to the correct education path.”
Lau added that SEGi should be the right option for many as it offered flexibility study mode, coupled with affordable fees.
“We offer instalment plan so that students will not be stressed by financial burden. We will look into each student’s financial ability and hear their needs.”
UCSI University chief operating officer Mukvinder Kaur, who earlier collected the university’s first runner-up prize for last year’s Best Booth Design Award, was pleased with the achievement.
“We’re going to land the top prize this year,” she quipped when met at the university’s booth, which had a functioning bar serving mocktails, coffee and tarts.
On a serious note, UCSI University would have an exciting year ahead, with the UCSI Hotel opening this May near BCCK, and a dedicated campus to follow.
Mukvinder emphasised that its top priority would be to help as many students as it could in their career choices, and put itself out there as the best tourism and hospitality school in Sarawak.
“We hope the university would be a key part of this area. Our move here reflects what exactly the university wants to be — close to the industry and business.”
UCSI University is also celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.
Meanwhile, the culinary students of Yohos School of Skills were cheerfully explaining to anyone interested about their food display, butter and chocolate sculptures — while offering free cookies.
According to staff-on-duty Teresa Billy Bayang, the main attraction of the institute is that it is largely skills-based, and also offers accommodation and food for trainees.
“This makes it attractive to those who are from the rural areas. Our courses are around 70 to 80 per cent hands-on; the rest is theory,” she said.
Based in Batu Kawah New Township, Yohos also offers courses in Early Childhood Care and Education, Mechatronics and Vocational Training.
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/02/28/bpief-offers-diverse-options-in-education-career-prospects/#ixzz43QO2RUX7

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