Experiencing University Life
Mon, 2010-04-26 16:27 — admin
A shot of the wall painting copy.jpg
UCSI University's multi-purpose hall was abuzz with activity as 234 students showcased their projects, complete with videos, pictures and colourful posters. These were not merely projects, but part of a subject named University Life. While most of the other subjects in Universities require one to memorise formulas, understand history and work out calculations, the University Life subject is nothing of the sort. In line with the University's tagline, "The University, The Experience", students taking this subject is instead encouraged to experience University life through co-operation with classmates of different nationalities, while cultivating creativity in their coursework, and learning vital first year skills as University students.
The students presented the projects that they have done, which they range from visits to charity homes, environmental rallies, crime-solving games and awareness campaigns, to name a few.
Moreeletsi Mmolotsi of Botswana, part of the group called the Mighty Ones, said that they enjoyed going to the Heritage Old Folks Home as part of their project. "The people in the home did not usually receive foreign visitors, so there was a very frank cultural exchange which I found really fulfilling," she said. Moreeletsi, together with her classmates, plan to visit the home again soon, even though their project has ended.
Another group called One Youth, One Nation, organised a trip to Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan (Tamil) Sungai Manggis in Banting, Selangor. The group's aim was to share the experience of undertaking social work with others. The group for the trip eventually grew to include other University students who were not part of the project, and 12 other secondary school students from SMK Taman Sri Muda. The group and its additional "members" not only organised a gotong-royong for the school, but also painted murals around the school in the 3 day, 2 night project.
Yet another team, led by Moysis Wassef from Australia, compiled a guide book, which they termed as the ultimate "University Survival Kit" which includes all information the students felt were important for new students, and which also included tips such as "Small Life's Instructions". This included advice to "Vote!, Never Close A Door to Opportunity and to Say 'thank you' a lot." According to Moysis, the guide would be especially helpful to international students who need more time to adjust to life in a new environment, culture and country.
Meanwhile, the Green Team launched a campaign recently to get as many people to use reusable bags instead of plastic bags. The team even organised a rally at an LRT station nearby campus to get the public to join in their campaign.
The subject, taken by all first year, first semester students at UCSI University, was introduced by the University's Centre for Learning Excellence (CLE). Presently, students from four faculties have undertaken the subject and CLE plans to introduce the subject in stages to other faculties. The main aim of the subject is to initiate new students in to University life, and to encourage them to bond with their peers. Modules in the subject are designed to inculcate important values in students such as respect, tolerance and the recognition and appreciation of each other's differences. The subject also teaches students basic skills they can use for the rest of their lives, such as identifying learning styles, learning effective study techniques, note taking skills, presentation skills, listening and memory skills, as well as different methods to prepare for examinations.
Students are required to participate in a community-based project as part of their final assessment, and present it during the University Life showcase. The judges gave points to the students based on their creativity, team cohesion and more importantly, how effectively they utilise the knowledge and skills learnt in actual situations.