Are you currently studying in a local public university? Do you feel worn out from all the exams and assignments you have to face almost every month? Are you dreading that final year that is slowly creeping up on you? Have you been dreaming about taking a year off from studying, but don’t want to give up on your degree because, let’s face it, your parents might just kick you out of the house? Well, there’s good news for you because for the first time ever, eight public universities have just launched a gap year programme for undergraduates!
Starting this September, the Ministry of Higher Graduation will implement the Gap Year 2017 programme with eight local institutions, which include Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah. This type of programme is very popular among students and graduates overseas but has yet to become a norm here in Malaysia.
Image: Malay Mail Online
“This programme will provide an opportunity for undergraduates to gain experience in carrying out volunteer work in public agencies,” said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. Besides volunteering, students can also opt to do national service, work with government agencies, test the waters of a particular industry they want to work in or even travel around the world.
Image: Pacific Discovery
Idris also said that Malaysia needs to produce graduates who are all-rounders rather than ones that are clueless about the world after graduating. The Students Volunteers Foundation (YSS) implemented last year saw more than 200 undergraduates participating in high-impact missions in East Malaysia, Southeast Asia, as well as Europe.
Also, nearly 118,000 volunteers joined the Malaysian Universities’ Volunteers Council’s (Maskum) volunteer programme last year. Idris added that he hopes Maskum would see an increase in student volunteers from public and private universities following the start of the Gap Year programme.
At the moment, the Gap Year programme is only open to undergraduates who have completed at least their first year of studies at the eight identified public universities. Unfortunately, post-graduates and students who wish to defer their enrollment are not eligible for now.
We hope to see more universities and students participating and getting their big break in the near future!