Marjon News

University of St Mark & St John Educate Malaysian Teachers

Released: 22.11.13

Image of Cara in Malaysia

A total of 49 Malaysian students from the University of St Mark & St John recently celebrated gaining their degrees at a spectacular graduation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The students received the University’s degree of Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language.

In total, 200 B.Ed TESL students from a Malaysia-UK twinning programme for the training of secondary school teachers of English for Malaysian schools graduated through a partnership between the Malaysian Institute of Teacher Education (IPGM), part of the Ministry of Education in Malaysia, and four UK Universities: University of St Mark & St John, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Warwick.

The ceremonies were held on the 19th November, at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang. Each of the four UK Universities had representatives present for the graduation ceremony, and Professor Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Mark & St John, presented the opening address at the graduation ceremony on behalf of the partnership.  

Also in attendance from the University of St Mark and St John were lecturers Dr Katy Salisbury and Michael Hall who were both responsible for teaching the students during their three years in Plymouth and then visiting the students during their subsequent year of teaching practice in Malaysia. Following the graduation ceremony Dr Salisbury and Mr Hall, who have both previously lived and taught in Malaysia, travelled to Marjon’s two partner teacher institutions that are part of the twinning programme; at Kota Bharu in the north of Malaysia and Sabah in Borneo. Professor Aitchison travelled to Segi University which has a further partnership with Marjon to deliver programmes in Education, Early Years Education, English and Public Relations and Mass Communication.

Professor Aitchison joined the Rector of the Malaysian Institute for Teacher Education, Professor Tuan Sulaiman Bin Wak, for a national press conference following the graduation ceremony. Both speakers discussed the surprisingly similar issues they face in developing and delivering teacher education in a period of changing political priorities and funding regimes in their respective countries.

Professor Aitchison commented on her visit “The relationship between the University of St Mark & St John and the Malaysian Government is a highly valued partnership. The University has been providing teacher training programmes for the Malaysian Government for the last 30 years and the University has benefited greatly from presence of the Malaysian students in Plymouth as they have added enormously to the culture and ethos of the campus which is well known for being a small and welcoming community. We are currently in discussion with a number of institutions in Malaysia about further collaborations and the development of existing collaborations in Vietnam and a new partnership with the Academy of Principals in Singapore and supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education. Each of these initiatives contributes to the development of Plymouth as a City of education, learning and knowledge exchange and is an important contributor to UK exports.”

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