How This Homegrown College Is Changing Malaysian Education
“To enable ‘a life of significance through education’,” shares Anne Rajasaikaran, when asked about the core idea behind Imperium International College (IIC). The President of the educational institute oversees the vision and mission of the homegrown college, making sure that they live up to said promise, and help people succeed in life.
However, there is more that meets the eye with Imperium and their dynamic pursuit – especially during a time where new norms are forming. We sit down with Anne to learn more about what Imperium is all about:
How did Imperium come about? Please share the institute’s history with us.
The MAA Group has had a history with education institutions in Malaysia. Having owned Pusat Tuition Kasturi, for more than 20 years, owning an international school and a college was the next step. We want to be the next one stop education center for kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary level education.
How is Imperium different from other colleges?
Imperium International College comes with a strong culture of quality and leadership that focuses on sound academic standards, continuous improvement, and the talent development of staff and students. We offer students a learning experience that enhances their career development, lifetime values, and personal fulfilment. Share our success with the stakeholders and community we serve.
A principal educational goal of Imperium is to provide relevant quality education in a stimulating academic, social and cultural environment and develop – in the process – graduates as lifelong learners who will make a positive contribution to society nationally and internationally. The ultimate objective is to create an environment where teaching and learning take place in a culture of scholarship, creativity, and innovation.
At Imperium International College, we intend to fill the gap, left by the Malaysian education system – which forms the crux of the main complaint by employers, preparing students for life in the work place. This means more than just a paper qualification but more importantly independent thinking, resourcefulness and adaptability, in a practical work-life environment.
What are some of the standout programmes for Imperium?
The accounting programmes like the Certified Accounting Technician and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of ACCA, UK. The range of programmes we offered, including the Foundation Studies in Arts and Science that will provide students with relevant pathways to undergraduate studies and professional qualifications that are connected to high-growth sectors with a strong demand for the employment of such graduates.
How does education – especially during college and university – help to shape an individual’s life?
I am of the opinion that education in the current environment, has to go beyond just merely paper qualifications. We work closely with some of our partner Universities to ensure we offer programs that will be relevant for our students, as they go out into the workforce.
Main purpose of education is to educate individuals within society, to prepare and qualify them for work in economy as well as to integrate people into society and teach them values and morals of society. Education in society prepares youngsters for adulthood so that they may form the next generation of leaders. One of the education essential tasks is to enable people to understand themselves. Students must be equipped with knowledge and skills which are needed to participate effectively as member of society and contribute towards the development of shared values and common identity.
As such, Imperium takes a holistic view towards education – Life Skills rather than merely rote learning, in order to prepare students to be independent. I believe that education, at this level, needs to guide the students to be resourceful, embrace lateral thinking, develop meaningful relationships that will last them a lifetime and adapt to whatever the world may throw at them.
With the presence of COVID19, there appears to be the possibility of a ‘new normal’, where social distancing and staying indoors would have to be practiced frequently. What are Imperium’s plans in addressing this?
The ‘new normal’ is actually something we are quite prepared for, courtesy of the support and close working relationship, with our partner universities. The technology and setup was already in place, with platforms like eLearning, Canvas and Google Classroom. So we hardly missed a beat, as we quickly transitioned to these platforms to ensure our students could continue their learning.
There were some teething problems naturally, for both lecturers and students alike. It posed a cultural shift in learning, we, at Imperium, took immediate steps to ensure students’ achievement of learning objectives was not unduly compromised. We provided extensive guidance for students to come on board the online system we have in our college.
We continue to provide updates as when necessary to the students and staff. Our staff have also been requested to provide flexibility to students where needed. For example, if a student is unable to attend a scheduled online class or has difficulty in the rare case of limited connectivity, the staff have been advised to ensure the student is aided after the lectures to meet the learning objectives. Staff are also requested to be on standby and dedicate time for students to receive additional support. Our main objective is to serve our students as best as we can to and ensure that they meet their learning objectives.
We continue to invest in upgrading these virtual learning environments and adding on software that may enhance the learning experience for our students. We have also quickly begun upgrading our IT infrastructure to cater to these new requirements. As an added bonus, we have begun to reach out to potential students all around Malaysia, who may have previously been restricted by distance, to join us in our new virtual learning environment and programs.
We have suspended all campus visit programming, including information sessions and tours, and Open Day until further notice. Due to the movement control order (MCO), the college is taking a cyber-alternative. If students and parents cannot come to campus, we will virtually bring the campus to them. Open Day is everyday from 9am to 6pm, students can engage through whatsapp chats with our staff.
During the Open Day, we allow potential students to register for degree programmes, diploma and A-Level to apply for scholar-ships or loans, and conduct education counselling over the phone and allows interaction with students, parents and the public who want to know more about Imperium, its campuses and programmes or can log on to imperium.edu.my.