17 June 2022

For SPM School Leavers Who Want an Australian Degree

By P Michael

Getting a good education looks different to everyone. It comes in all forms and from all directions (read: country) but one thing that most can agree on is that good education gives one the feeling of security for the future and self-satisfaction.

At Swinburne University, one of the many ways to offer this security and self-satisfaction is by opening doors for school leavers to learn valuable life skills on top of the academic skills it offers.

So, what can Swinburne University offer these students to help them get ahead in life when life demands change according to the economy and political environment, while trends continue to come and go?

Critical thinking

Being able to think for oneself is one life skill that is most required, especially at a time when the concept of career and the workplace is changing. While critical thinking is self-directed and a self-discipline, it does need some prompting and a great deal of honing to master it.

At Swinburne, students are exposed to critical thinking skills through the Creative Thinking and Communication Skills unit. This unit of study equips Swinburne students with the skills and theories that enable them to develop lateral thinking tools and techniques.

Ultimately, students will develop skills and techniques that enable them to identify and generate ideas, apply practical, critical, and creative thinking skills in various environments, and communicate these ideas in writing or orally.

Developing the ability to think critically and to express one’s ideas and thoughts will benefit today’s students who are tomorrow’s leaders.

Exceptional communication skills

Excellent communication skills are essential for the future success of a student. Students now are going to need to excel in these skills as they will, for example, encounter moments where they will need to navigate around extraordinary circumstances. In today’s workplace, communication skills in business are a sought-after quality of an educated person.

The ability to read, write and listen carefully are skills many take for granted. But these are skills that help us express our thoughts, expressions, and feelings and get across our point successfully to listeners. To ensure this and the success of our students, Swinburne offers students requiring enhancement of their English the English Language support programme, or ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students).

The programme prepares students for academic success with skills that students can apply to connect their learning with the needs and opportunities of industry and society.

This is just one of many scenarios. With technology and the ways in which we now communicate using varied and new mediums, exceptional communication skills are in demand due to it being multifaceted. Think ZOOM, Skype, MS Teams, or even WhatsApp video.


New and emerging technologies are something students now need to understand, be proficient in, and use constantly. While technology can make life easier, it does come with new circumstances, especially in the workplace. Many companies now use tech to expand their global presence, resulting in top-tier companies encouraging their employees to work remotely and to take full advantage of the digital age.

To meet this demand, Swinburne Sarawak introduced the use of CANVAS, a web-based learning management system (LMS), for its students’ learning and teaching in 2019. One of the world’s most advanced LMS, CANVAS is also adopted by renowned universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. With CANVAS, teaching and learning are customisable with tools for creating and managing courses, analytics, and internal communication ability between teachers and learners.

Swinburne students also have access to Adobe Creative Cloud, software which gives students access to more than 20 applications that can be used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and social media. What is more appealing is that these creative apps can be used for more than education, such as for personal projects.

So obviously, students now need to be able to adapt to new technologies or be left behind.

Cultural understanding through diversity

A deeper understanding of culture can lead to positive interactions, better collaborations, and a more diverse conversation. Since the students of today are made up of Gen Z, one of the most diverse generations to date, there will be a wider variety of voices and perspectives in the workplace of the future.

As a foreign branch university, Swinburne Sarawak offers a multi-cultural and multi-religious environment that many students will benefit from. Its 4,500-odd students are representatives of more than 45 nations, giving the city-campus a strong campus community that respects difference and cultural diversity.

As cultural understanding is an important part of business progress, companies like Google, Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft, and even Tesla are constantly on the lookout for graduates with such exposure. By the time students enter the workforce, the concept of cultural diversification is a norm in global companies.

Initiative and drive

While competition is a norm towards achieving success in life, the world now is more connected than ever which also adds to the competition a student now will face, especially on the global stage.

Having the initiative, determination, and resilience to compete on a global stage will be a crucial element in navigating certain aspects of life. This is especially true when it comes to education opportunities and the career of ones choosing.

At Swinburne, this is manifested in our students with our four Moon Shots, a curriculum that emphasises meeting the demands of the future through work integrated learning, and further strengthened with student services that address the need for balanced student life and academic success.

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