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New students kick off their university careers with StartUp Week


Miri – 19 March 2010 – With hundreds of new students beginning their university career, Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak)’s campus was abuzz with its ‘StartUp Week’ student orientation activities recently.


The bi-annual event kickstarts each semester and combines faculty and course specific advice for new students, as well as information on the university’s social offerings.


StartUp Week for the degree programme intake was from 22 to 25 February 2010, and 1 to 5 March 2010 for the foundation programme intake. Participation was compulsory for all new students, and international students were, in addition, required to attend a prior two-day International Prep Programme.


University Life Manager Haslina Abdul Malek said the aim of StartUp Week was to ensure students were able to handle any future obstacles that may otherwise drop out of university.


She said Curtin runs an intensive orientation because university studies have shown that students who attend orientation at their campus tend to have a higher success rate of completing their studies at university.


“We know it can be challenging for new students to adapt to university life and provide a very systematic approach to help them adjust. Through various activities and workshops, we familiarise them with the university’s administrative processes and help them adjust, socially and academically, as quickly as possible,” she added. 


According to Haslina, the University Life Department at Curtin Sarawak, or University Life @ Curtin as it is also known, plays a significant role in helping new students manage the challenges of university life and providing current students the opportunity for self-growth in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and professional development.


“In order for them to optimise their time at Curtin Sarawak and enjoy a meaningful university life, we encourage new students to do three things – ensure you get connected in your first year and seize the opportunity to participate academically and socially; link yourself to the community, be of service and contribute towards a larger cause; and stretch your potential, be enterprising and gain valuable skills that will prepare you to excel as a Curtin graduate,” said Haslina.


The new semester saw the enrolment of a record number of some 340 new students, including 54 international students from a variety of countries and regions, including the United States, Australia, Brunei, China, Myanmar, the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa.


During the International Prep Programme from 18 to 19 February 2010, the international students were given insights into the local culture and lifestyle and taken on a tour of the city.


“The Prep Programme was great. I learned a lot about the people, culture and places here through the various sessions as well as the city tour organised by the International Office. It helped me get settled much quicker. Miri’s relatively quiet environment and slow-paced lifestyle is definitely conducive for university study,” remarked Casey Rule, an exchange student from Curtin’s main campus in Perth, Australia.


Lisa Jones, another student from Perth, echoed Rule’s sentiments. ”We were able to make new friends quickly through the activities, both among our fellow freshmen and the student orientation advisors. The staff members were incredibly accommodating in helping us get settled. Everything went smoothly with little or no hassle,” said Jones.


American student Genevieve Durst from Wisconsin meanwhile said, “During the orientation, I managed to learn a lot about the campus culture, policies and procedures. At first, I thought the orientation programme would be long and boring but it is designed to be interactive, which kept it interesting and fun throughout. I had a great time, especially with the student orientation advisors who showed me a lot about this university’s spirit of unity, tolerance, philanthropy.”


Curtin Sarawak’s new intake for Foundation and Diploma programmes has been extended to 26 March 2010 in light of the recent release of the SPM results. For more information on the programmes offered by the School of Foundation & Continuing Studies, contact the university’s Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443939 or e-mail


Students participating in StartUp Week activity.


New students at the beginning of StartUp Week.


New International students who underwent International Prep

Programme with Curtin Sarawak staff and the Student Council members.


University Life Manager Haslina Malek.


(Left – Right) Casey Rule, Genevieve Durst and Lisa Jones

registering for accommodation.