'International Open College' Is New Name For OUM's Rebranded College
Open University Malaysia (OUM) President/ Vice Chancellor Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali during a press conference to announce the name change of OUM's pioneer full time college, Granada International College (GIC) to International Open College effective Monday. Pic: Nurul Aida Norizan
By Nabilah Saleh
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- Open University Malaysia (OUM), pioneered Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Malaysia 12 years ago.
OUM also has a full time college, Granada International College (GIC), providing pre-university to diploma level courses and has been operating in Bandar Baru Bangi since 2010.
Now, after almost two years, OUM has decided to rebrand the college to complement OUM's needs and serve as an intermediate institution for OUM.
Therefore, effective 19 Nov, the college is to be called International Open College (IOC).
According to OUM's President/Emeritus Chancellor Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, the rebranding is not only meant to provide a local touch to the name of the college, but also to connect IOC with OUM.
EDUCATION OF QUALITY
Unlike OUM, which is synonymous with a flexible education concept tailor-made for students who work part or full-time, IOC offers education modules designed for school leavers.
Anuwar emphasised that IOC adds value to OUM, which has graduated more than 40,000 students and registered up to 120,000 students.
"Like IOC, there are about 5,000 colleges throughout the nation offering diploma courses. Yet, we believe the quality education that we offer is what makes us stand out from the rest.
"The fact that the courses are recognised by the Public Services Department (PSD) and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), stands testimony to the college's emphasis on quality education," Anuwar noted.
Like OUM, IOC also capitalizes on the power of the cyber realm - the Internet and ICT implements - in delivering classroom studies to its students.
Anuwar noted that OUM has vast experience and know-how in ODL oriented education and foresees no problem in extending this experience to the students of OIC.
"As Gen-Y represents the students of IOC, e-Learning makes it easier for them to optimally learn and use the computer facilities," he said.
He added that the IT savvy generation could also use information technology facilities to interact with their lecturers.
"Interacting through emails, forums and special portals for students, namely the MyVLE (The Virtual Learning Environment), allows students to learn from anywhere, anytime.
"In fact, this way the education process will be an enriching experience, apart from what they learn in class," explained Anuwar, who has been at the helm since OUM's inception in 2004.
STUDENTS ARE THE PRIORITY
IOC began operating with four diploma courses - Management, Human Resource Management, Mass Communications and Accounting - apart from several pre-university courses.
Anuwar added that course offerings are to be increased based upon the demand from students.
"The student needs are always given priority. Our programmes are oriented to students' requirements, and this is something different that we want to highlight.
With the cooperation of OUM, we are also planning to have a full time bachelor's degree programme at IOC and other programs that suit the existing students and future students," he said.
Anuwar pointed out that the opportunity for IOC students to further their studies after entering the workforce were wide open, as they can choose OUM as their choice.
"At present, many of the youngsters prefer to work first and get a feel of the working life. But this does not stop them from learning, and OUM's doors are always open in helping them to realise their dreams.
"Through such mechanisms, students' wishes are fulfilled and this is what we will continue to deliver through our comprehensive education programme," added Anuwar.
For Lee Kwan Yee, 20, IOC provided him a different perspective as soon as he began studying at the institution early this year.
The mass communications student noted that though IOC is relatively new, it has the required facilities and an interesting learning environment.
"I had previously taken diploma courses at two institutions of higher learning. However, the education culture there is unlike here and at IOC the lecturers are always ready to help anytime," he explained.
Kwan Yee said he was previously disappointed since he could not continue with his education in his field of interest, but IOC provided him a second chance to pursue his dreams.
"I'm keen in media and chose IOC to study mass communications. I will take advantage of this opportunity," explained Kwan Yee, who hopes to receive a first degree at IOC.
Syamina Azra Saharudin, 19, who enrolled at IOC during the May 2012 intake, pointed out that IOC has not only been a conducive and comfortable place to study, but also charges reasonable tuition fees.
"I knew of IOC because it is located close to my home in Bangi. Since joining IOC I have been very satisfied. There is a good rapport between students and lecturers here that has helped me better understand the subjects," noted Syamina, also a mass communications student who plans to continue her studies at OUM in the future.
THE NEW NAME
Referring to the rebranding of the school, Muhammad Marsalee Zainal Abidin, 22, said initially it was quite difficult for him and his friends to explain why the name 'Granada' was included in the college's name.
"Whenever we hear Granada, people link the name to a place in Spain. Therefore, the change to IOC helped to overcome this and resonates with OUM," explained Muhammad.
"It is my hope to see IOC further develop and offer quality education," he said.
IOC plans to continue to serve as another avenue for those students keen to earn a scroll and improve their chances in moving up the career ladder.