KUCHING: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) 2012 Education Carnival kicked off yesterday with graduates, SPM and STPM leavers converging at Permata Exhibition Hall to explore opportunities for further studies from participating higher institutions of learning.
The education carnival, which opens from 9am to 5pm, ends today.
According to Mara assistant director (corporate communication) Amrul Faizal, the carnival was a platform for visitors to learn about Mara educational institutes and study loans provided by the government agency.
“Many students including those with good results are undecided on what field to pursue after completing SPM or STPM. We are here to guide and provide them with information on the range of courses provided by educational institutions,” Amrul said.
This year’s two-day carnival to be officiated today (April 12) by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) Datu Len Talif Salleh comprises 66 participating local public and private universities, foreign universities and colleges, and education agencies.
They are on hand to offer advice and counselling to school leavers.
Frequent participant, Universiti Selangor (Unisel), issues on-the-spot offer letters to students who sign up with the university during the carnival.
“We have a wide range of courses available ranging from art & design to marine and medical – our university is the only institution in the country to offer this diploma course,” said its assistant registrar (marketing and admission office) Meor Mohd Kamil. The university is targetting to register around 200 students.
The carnival also saw education senior consultant Dr Zulkifli Azhaari. Visitors dropping by the Intervarsity Consultancy Services booth learned of the affordable rates charged for medical, dentistry and pharmacy courses.
Zulkifli said: “Medical and dentistry courses can be very costly so we focus on promoting universities from countries such as Egypt and Russia as their fees are reasonable.” So far, 12 students from Sarawak have signed up for these courses through his agency.
The affordable fees for medical courses are attractive to potential medical students like Nur Azlina Ismail of SM Sains Kuching who visited the carnival as part of her school’s programme.
“I find the Mara 2012 Education Carnival informative as it’s easy for us SPM leavers to learn about the range of education prospects and courses available,” she said.
The 17-year-old hoped to gather more information on the various education institutions that provided medical courses to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
STPM graduate Amylyia Jeniffer Ronen Braun suggested that more education carnivals be organised to keep students abreast on the courses available in the country as well as overseas.
“Since arriving this morning, I’ve found out information on the universities that provide courses I’m interested in,” said the 21-year-old who may be registering for pre-school education course with Unisel, or counselling course with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).