After graduating from junior college, 23-year-old Leong Zhen Ren took a gap year before enrolling at a local private institute.
She spent two years there, but decided that she was ill-suited for the educational system there and sought a programme that could be completed in a shorter time.
Her search led her to Curtin Singapore, the second offshore campus of Curtin University, the largest university in Western Australia. Their other campus is in Sarawak, Malaysia.
It gives local and international students the opportunity to receive an Australian university education in Singapore. Curtin has delivered its programmes here since 1986, and inaugurated its new campus at Jalan Rajah, near Balestier, in 2008.
Miss Leong is now pursuing a Diploma of Commerce at Curtin Singapore. After completing the diploma programme, she can enrol directly into the second year of the Bachelor of Commerce. She plans to pursue a double major in Finance and Marketing.
"A big draw for me was the fact that at Curtin, I can get my degree in two years, including the time spent in the diploma programme," she said.
Miss Leong also appreciates the fact that she receives greater personal attention from her lecturers.
"Classes here are smaller, with between 20 and 40 students each. The teachers pay more attention to individual students, as opposed to the classes at my previous school, where you can have more than a 100 people crowding each lecture," she said.
"There was not much interaction between the lecturers and students. It's nice that here, we can actually build relationships with our lecturers."
Curtin Singapore also offers flexible schedules, good news for students with important commitments outside school. Miss Leong has a full-time job as an administrative staff member at a Korean language centre.
"I elected to attend all my classes in the morning, from 9am to 1pm, so I could work in the afternoon," she said.
"My lecturers are accommodating. If the timing of a test clashes with my work hours, I can arrange to take the test at a different time."
"As an 'A-level holder, I didn't want to go through a diploma programme when most of my peers were going straight for their degrees. Now I think it's better this way. The diploma programme doesn't take long to complete and it gives me a stronger foundation to build on when I go on to do my degree."
AT A GLANCE
The Diploma of Commerce is equivalent to the Bachelor of Commerce first year curriculum.
It is for students who did not meet Curtin University's undergraduate minimum entry requirements. On completion, students can enrol in the second year of the Bachelor of Commerce programme and choose majors.
Miss Leong plans to choose a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Marketing double major) programme.
Students will gain a broad understanding of financial management and develop skills on organising and controlling marketing activities efficiently.
The course can help students become:
- Credit analysts
- Events coordinators
- Financial dealer and brokers
- Financial planners
- Insurance brokers
- Investment bankers
- Marketing officers
- Market researchers
- Personal wealth managers
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