HOPE: Higher Opportunities for Private Education

Just read on Education in Malaysia about the HOPE Program, where students who weren’t able to obtain places in public universities in Malaysia will be able to apply for a subsidised spot in a network of nine private universities – APIIT, LimKokWing, Segi, Life, Stamford, Putra, Inti, Mantissa, and Nilai.

The HOPE Network will also provide more funding options, such as PTPTN, to assure that students will be able to afford their education.

I like this idea. There are many reasons students get left out from being in public universities (for example, my sister was a top scorer and was very high-achieving anyway, but she couldn’t get into any public uni because she was Lain-Lain and didn’t figure into the quota system) and the cost of private universities can be rather prohibitive. This program offers a happy medium – more options for education at an affordable price.

Of course, potential students must be prepared to do their research on the universities in the network to make sure that they offer what the students need, and that the course is up to par. It can be tempting to take a place because it’s there, after facing rejection, but you still need to be careful – and besides, there’s opportunities everywhere.

Any comments from those about to take up the Program? What do you feel about it?

World Youth Congress 2008 – Need Help

I’ve been accepted as one of 600 delegates (out of 5000 applications) for the World Youth Congress 2008 in Quebec, Canada. Here’s my invitation letter (I edited out my address and passport number for privacy). I was selected in the Young Journalist category based on

To go to this congress, I need to get a plane ticket to Quebec, as well as CDN$300, which covers accommodation, living costs, the conference itself, etc. It’s actually a pretty good deal as far as conferences go – the UN Youth Assembly I went to last August cost me over $2000 just for the conference package (the airfare was about the same) and it wasn’t quite worth the money. I’ve also been in touch with some of the other delegates, and they’re pretty excited about going too. It would be a marvellous opportunity if I could go.

However, I am pretty busy trying to fundraise for the KaosPilots, and I don’t really want to spend more energy and time trying to add this into the mix. The KaosPilots are already a big load on my resources. My needs for the World Youth Congress are relatively smaller – a visa, CDN$300, a plane ticket. But they still cost more money than I have.

Can you help?

I’m not willing to collect donations this time – last time I tried this, I failed spectacularly. I did send what I collected to UNICEF Malaysia via Western Union, but I have no idea if they got it or not. However, if you can sponsor me a plane ticket to Quebec – whether through frequent flyer miles, actual purchase of the ticket, or some other means – I would be more than grateful. It’d also be great if you knew anyone working in the airline industry (or if you work in an airline!) that could help me.

Thanks!