Sunday, July 01, 2007

KYUEM - An Interesting Model

KYUEM (Kolej Yayasan UEM) has been on my radar ever since I found out that Nik Nazmi, a close aide to an opposition leader in Malaysia, did his A levels in that school. The Star reported recently that 11 out of the 183 graduating class from KYUEM were accepted into Oxford or Cambridge (6% of all students). This prompted me to take a closer look at KYUEM's website.

This is how KYUEM is described in its website:

KYUEM, owned by Yayasan UEM and part of the UEM Group, is a fully-residential college that is modeled upon the top British boarding schools. It has a very active student life on campus and a caring pastoral care system, run by an internationally diverse staff of widely-experienced Malaysian, British and Indian teachers. Occupying a purpose-built site at Lembah Beringin, just 70km north of Kuala Lumpur, and enjoying easy access to the North-South Highway, the College offers tranquil surroundings in which able and highly-motivated students can study without distractions.

Given that many UEM executives probably studied in the UK (not Halim Saad, who is a graduate of Victoria in New Zealand), it is not surprising that KYUEM was modeled after a British boarding school system. (The other such school in Malaysian which I know if is Kolej Tuanku Ja’far which is located in Negeri Sembilan)

What I find interesting about KYUEM is that is it genuinely multi-racial. Nothing in its admissions pages states that there is a racial quota for entry into the school and from its alumni listing and past high achievers, one can immediately see that this school is well represented by all ethnic groups, at least in Peninsular Malaysia (perhaps lacking Sabahans and Sarawakians). Its seems to be a genuinely meritocratic place.

Its residential system also seems to be genuinely multi-racial (unlike the de factor segregated housing in our public universities) and encourages students of different races to engage with each other and to have activities with one another. It's probably easier in a school with 200 to 300 students compared to a public universities with 20,000 students.

While it is not cheap (a year's fees cost 60,000RM, close to what you'd pay for one year's university fees in the UK), its website indicates that most students obtain scholarships from major corporations (it doesn't say which corporations though).

The only thing I would slightly criticize KYUEM's website it that it doesn't provide any information on how one can obtain these scholarships to study in KYUEM. Perhaps this is only revealed after the students send in their applications and are accepted.

Kudos to UEM and the other backers of KYUEM in setting up KYUEM in the way that it was set up. It could have easily set up an exclusive boarding school to cater only to Bumiputeras in Malaysia (much like MCKK) but it chose to take a more progressive path and opened the doors of KYUEM to all, on a merit basis.

Hopefully, the experience of studying at KYUEM will produce future leaders who are as progressive in their thinking and in how they will lead their respective organizations be it corporations, educational institutions or political parties. (If Nik Nazmi is any indication, we need more Nik Nazmis in Malaysia!)

Update: Both Bakri Musa and Nik Nazmi have written about this topic.


Anonymous said...

Anyone who has money and has met the requirements can study there.

On the scholarships, people sponsored by UEM, TNB, Petronas, JPA, BNM and all can find themselves doing A-level there.

It is just like another A-level college, just that it is more expensive and harder to get into.

Anonymous said...

The corporations mentioned in the website are the ones we already know.

Anonymous said...

I had more than a passing interest in KYUEM and I went through the names of A-Level achievers posted on their website before and my guess is this: majority of those doing A-Levels at KYUEM are scholarship recipients like JPA so should be considered to be academically superior even before entry. From what I can gather, it's an excellent school but expensive.

Luckily, I came to know of a missionary school situated in Brickfield that achieved 4% into Oxbridge in one of the past years that I was aware of but the student figure was very small so making it statistically unreliable. On the other hand, these are not scholarship recipient students unlike KYUEM. And the cost is probably 1/5 of KYUEM and 1/10 if you are of the same faith as that missionary school.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Kian Ming,

Are you sure about this "...from its alumni listing and past high achievers, one can immediately see that this school is well represented by all ethnic groups..."

I thought they looked more heavy towards the "Bumiputera" side...

TheKid said...

I happen to be student at KYUEM. KYUEM is basically compsed of an equal ethnicity and most of the students there are on scholarships(i.e BNM, Khazanah,PNB,SC,KPM,MARA). Kyuem is trying hard to attract private students(non-scholar) which needs to meet the criterion first indicated in the website to be admitted. The fees charged(~RM60k) would cover your living expenses(i.e accomodation, food, laundy,tuition fees,exam fees) for 2 years. The amount charged is considerable inclusive of its reputation for students admission to top UK universities(6% Oxbridges , >25% IMperial College, LSE, Uni College london).

Anonymous said...

One does not need to study at a prestigious college to get into Imperial, LSE and UCL. These 3 universities look heavily into your bank account.

You can study at TARC and still get a place, provided you can show that you have lots of ££££

Anonymous said...

Most u.k unis are heavily strapped for cash, they need all the foreign students they can get and if they were allowed to do so they will probably fill their unis with foreign students (those from outside the E.U). Only cambridge and oxford have substantial endownments in the u.k so the rest of them depend heavily on fees and government funding, so you really cant blame them since foreigners pay like 5 times the tution fees compared to locals. On the oxbridge admissions although the overall acceptance rate for cambridge is about 25- 30% the acceptance rate for malaysian students is about 5-10% since they only have about 25 seats for malaysian undergrads each year. Anyway putting into perceptive a 25% rate for imperial, ucl and lse is nothing to shout about, my friend is in ucl on a bbc (as in he got two bs and a c), however the 6% rate for cambridge is kinda good, but overall nothing much to shout about, i mean most of these ppl are scholars right.

Anonymous said...

Dr Alan Colman has joined Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

When will Malaysia succeeded in attracting such talent, putting the continuing brain drain phenomena aside?

AAB is asking for more investment from China, but he should look at how he treated the people in the first place? Who would have came to such discriminating country? Secondly, with AAB publicly voicing out such remark, meaning Malaysia is seriously lagging behind for FDI.

50th nationhood of Malaysia, what a shame.

Anonymous said...

i'm an alumnus of KYUEM, formerly known as KMYS.
most of what was said in the comments is true, but i'd just like to point out a few things.
to emphasise kian ming's point, yes, the kyuem model is especially effective in promoting inter-racial interaction. Having previously studied at Taylors for 6 months, kyuem completely changed my attitude towards the problems facing malaysia and how they should be handled.
so, just to correct one of the comments, it's not kyuem thats heavy towards the bumiputera side, its the scholarship system. but thats a separate matter...

anyway, you mentioned the kyuem website doesnt have info about getting a scholarship to get into kyuem. right, anyone interested shud look up, and any other student run education blog for that. JPA has stopped sending scholars to kyuem because of costs, though they were aplenty back in my day.

bank negara, pnb, mara, kpm, and uem still send scholars to kyuem, to name a few.

i believe kyuem offers a good platform to produce future leaders with the right frame of mind to tackle msia's racial issues. if only the other 99% of msia's education system was like that.

Anonymous said...

Mr Bean is also an Oxford Graduate. Need I say more. Richard Nixon is not from Ivy League and tried very hard not to have them in his entourage. If not for Watergate, he would have made a great President.

Anonymous said...

yeps agree on UK unis do look on $$$.

however, they do consider your grades. I mean even if you don't satisfy their conditional offer, there will be no wild cards given to you just because you are able to pay overseas fee.

seriously, people assume UK unis are below par compared with US unis, and they assume wrong alright. IC, camb, and oxford were ones of the top ten univ in the world. Of course ranking is not everything, is there any other thing?

so stop criticizing uk unis. no statue is buitl for those who criticize others.

Anonymous said...

just wanna ask u guys who visit this page..
either germany or UK. which one is the best place to study engineering?
germany is famous with its modern and advanced technology, but uk is just also a well knonwn place as well..
but why do people look more into UK graduates compared to germany that provide a better, high experience and quality graduate..
this question is always puzzling in my mind...
i do ask for some people view, but they dont give a very concrete explanation why they choose uk... is it just because of the name? name or quality?

Anonymous said...

1.5 years = 45k
2 yrs = 60k
cant do your mathematics ke sial
just because some obscure prominent vagina faced studied there that doesnt mean its on par with Eton

abs said...

ok lets face
people love the uk more, because we'r more exposed to it, in television, history, and of course, we opt to study in the UK coz we need not to take any language classes, language of instruction is in English. if Japan is widely using english i'd rather go there, more tech n otakus, and things r greener and politer there

Anonymous said...

wuteva it is, I'm proud to be KYUEMian!!

Anonymous said...

is kyuem good though in academics? i really need to know... PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

does kyuem offer scholarships? if yes then what are they?

Anonymous said...

nanie : im a kyuem alumni currently studying in london. i have studied in help and taylors and i should say the environment u are put into at kyuem is more than conducive enough to get the results needed. but then again at the end of the day its up to the individual right? but yeah, i would strongly recommend it.

KYUEMian said...

i strongly agree with aimran. KYUEM does not offer scholarships. KYUEM is non-profit organisation.

Sam said...

i am just wondering as in intend to apply for KYUEM and HOPEFULLY attend the college in 2011, when is the deadline for its application?

and what sets it apart from other colleges like HELP and Taylors?

Anonymous said...

KY is a boring college with lousy monkey management team which is made up of a bunch of sissy butchers and shrew not go there unless u are ready to face all those typical scums of Malaysia society...All the good teachers were forced to leave because of them...only those Scottish and British who cannot secure a job in the UK teach there... Private students are treated like royal family while sponsored students are treated like trash... food is claimed 5 star but actually it is edible only for chalet is like a dog's den which is separated by a poor partition... Muscom there is like underground dogs that watch u every minute(no offence to Muslims)...Accepted students are already SPM tip-top students but they claimed they are so great in The Star when some students score good grades and got into Cambridge or Oxford...A college of no life- KYUEM.

Anonymous said...

yah says:
hey iam planning to get into it good now??

Anonymous said...

Down to the wire....

If you are aiming at Academic Results (5 As) and the required character moulding to get you into a good British University....which college would you go to:

2. KTJ
3. Taylors
4. Sunway
5. Others