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Western Australia Government hosts Curtin Sarawak scholars

Miri – 22 July 2010 – Five outstanding scholarship students from Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) received firsthand experience of Western Australia’s Parliament House in Perth when they met with Dr. Mike Nahan MLA, Member for Riverton and honorary consul for Malaysia, last week.


The students are the 2010 recipients of the jointly-funded Western Australia Government Scholarship offered by Curtin University and the Western Australia government that enables them to complete their final year of study at the university’s Bentley Campus.


Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Kerr said the students have done very well in representing Curtin Sarawak in Western Australia.


“Through this scholarship, some of our best and brightest students have been given the opportunity to study abroad and gain valuable new experiences and broaden their horizons. We are very proud of what they have accomplished,” Professor Kerr said.


“Opportunities like these also go a long way to help enhance the strong ties between both campuses. The staff and students at Bentley also benefit from the cultural and social exchange that takes place with these visits,” he added.


One of this year’s scholars, Wong Ming Yi, 21, said her experience at Curtin Bentley had been challenging but very beneficial.


“The teaching style in Australia is somewhat different from Sarawak, which proved challenging at times, but yet it has been stimulating, and I really think that I have improved as a student from it,” Wong said.


“Studying at the Bentley Campus provides the advantage of a very culturally diverse campus, and I’ve learnt a lot from working with Australian students as well as others from all over the world,” she added.


The opportunity to visit Parliament House was also a unique experience for Wong.


“Visiting Parliament House was very educational because I’ve never been on such a visit before. We got a firsthand insight into how the Western Australia government works and this was really interesting,” she said.


The Western Australia Government Scholarship was established in 2003 with the Western Australia State Government covering the cots of airfare and accommodation for each student while Curtin meets the cost of tuition fees.


The five 2010 scholars are currently studying undergraduate degrees in commerce, geology and engineering. Besides Wong, the other scholars are Liaw Sui Boon, Raymond Chiong Choo Wee, Liew Kim Fung and Tang Ing Cheng.


Wong, who is studying geology, hopes to work in the oil and gas industry.


“Curtin is one of the leading educators in the oil and gas industry, and I am very excited to be able to study here in Western Australia. I’m looking forward to a rewarding career where I don’t have to be stuck behind a desk all the time as I like being outdoors,” she said.


Besides soaking in the sights of Perth, the students have also been able to participate in many extra-curricular activities and community programmes at Curtin Bentley and around Western Australia.


Professor Kerr said the long-running scholarship scheme has also been invaluable in building a stronger relationship between Western Australia and Malaysia.


 “Many Curtin Sarawak students have benefitted from this scheme over the years and they have always provided much positive feedback about their experiences. With this scheme, the Western Australia government has shown its strong commitment to education and we commend it for making these opportunities possible,” he said.


The five Curtin Sarawak scholars with Dr. Mike Nahan and Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket (4th and 6th left) at Parliament House.