Saturday August 11, 2012
Students at Leeds taught thinking skills
By VIJENTHI NAIR
Photo By AZHAR MAHFOF
BESIDES the weather, one of the biggest challenges faced by Malaysian students studying in the United Kingdom is adapting to the teaching technique.
Leeds Metropolitan University director Andrew Disbury said it is common for most universities to expect even a first-year undergraduate to amplify the lectures they attend with their own independent reading and thinking about what they have been taught.
“This can be a big difference for students coming from many countries, who are more accustomed to attending classes, listening to lecturers speaking, and learning what the lecturer taught them to reproduce this content in an examination or other assessment. If that happens, they would not get very high marks because we encourage them to incorporate what they have independently read.
“We do not teach our students what to think. We develop in our students the skill of how to think. This way our students become mature, independent learners who are able to think for themselves,” he said.
Disbury said there are about 30,000 students currently studying at Leeds Metropolitan University, of which 2,000 are international students and another 2,000 are enrolled in their overseas programme back in their home countries.
“From the number, 42 are Malaysians studying at Leeds Metropolitan and another 12 will be joining them in the September intake,” he said after giving pre-departure briefing to their future students at G Tower, Kuala Lumpur.
“Our graduates are also highly employable. Statistic shows that 92% of last year’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating.
“In every subject across our very wide range of courses, our academic faculty works closely with related employers and national agencies or professional bodies to ensure the course content is relevant to the contemporary world of work.
“We are well known for the comprehensive range of courses on offer at our university. Some examples would be Events Management, which is a subject that began at our university, and also our Hospitality and Tourism courses.
“We are also known for our Sports courses, including Sports Sciences allied to medicine. As well as having Sports as an academic discipline, we also have excellent sporting facilities for our athletes and students,” he said.
He further explained some of their recent involvements and achievements.
“Our university will be hosting the Chinese Olympic Training Camp. We have student athletes competing in Team Great Britain, coaches working with Team Great Britain, researchers involved in policy development for London 2012 and 100 student interns working at the Games as assistant venue managers.
“In terms of achievements, one of our public relations graduates recently won regional and national awards for being an outstanding young communicator in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards 2012, and a PhD graduate of our university, who is also a psychology consultant to the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has launched a new iPhone app to coach golfers in the mental aspect of their game called Pre-Shot,” he explained.
Leeds Metropolitan University (strategic development) deputy vice-chancellor Dr Paul Smith said besides what the university has to offer academically, the attraction that leads many to study there is also due to its strategic location.
“Leeds is one of the most popular students destinations given its location in the centre of the United Kingdom.
“It is also located just two-and-a-half-hours away from London by train, has good transportation links to explore Yorkshire, the United Kingdom and Europe.
“The beautiful Yorkshire Dales and three other national parks are just within a one-hour drive from the city.
“Besides, both our campuses are also located in nice locations. Our city campus is located in the city centre and is the base for our award winning buildings — the Rose Bowl and Broadcasting place. Meanwhile, our Headingly Campus is set in a beautiful parkland with historic buildings dating from 1752,” he said.