Singapore-based PSB Academy (PSB) plans to tap on its transnational network of colleges and partners in Southeast Asia, China, South Korea and India to offer its students more direct pathways to quality international degree qualifications and build up the capabilities of graduates regionally.
On March 12, the institution announced the launch of its new School of Foundation Studies (previously known as the School of English and Education), which will offer an expanded range of programmes designed for students across the region with GCE N-Levels, Year 8 or similar qualifications to build up their proficiencies in English, Science or Business Studies.
Graduates from these programmes may use these qualifications as a bridge to PSB's certificate and diploma courses and subsequently pursue degree programmes offered by the Academy's UK and Australia university partners.
English lecturer Ana Isabel (third from left) at one of PSB Academy's English proficiency classes.
Pathways to international degree qualifications
The launch was planned in anticipation of the region's growing demand for quality foundation programmes that would offer aspiring students pathways to advancement in subject specialisations ranging from accounting and finance, business and management to computing and technology, engineering and the life sciences.
"We're building on a strong momentum of regional growth from last year and want to offer more students the opportunity to take full advantage of our transnational education network, to gain international perspectives, transferrable skills and reputable qualifications to prepare them for the next phase of Asean's growth. We've always been proud of our track record of producing employable graduates and hope that our new programmes in the School of Foundation Studies will provide our students the exposure to an industry-ready curriculum and give them the boost they need to advance in their studies, to eventually make a positive impact in either their home countries or beyond," said Vijyah Shunmugam, Head, School of Foundation Studies, PSB Academy.
Quality education forged in multiculturalism and practical exposure
In addition to the Academy's focus on quality teaching, students at the School of Foundation Studies will be challenged to actively participate in practical lessons and extra-curricular activities to help them gain relevant exposure to practical learning environments. The school's English proficiency courses, for example, focus on helping students improve their conversational skills, active perception of the language and pronunciation through active participation in simulated environments to encourage social interaction in the classroom and real-world practice in working environments outside the classroom.
"Our school has a fantastic teaching environment, and I see my role as not only in the here and now but how it contributes to my students becoming good citizens, parents, employers and employees. In short, I see my role in PSB in the broader context of their lives and their futures. They all come from different cultural backgrounds and that gives me a unique opportunity to bring them together and become a great melting pot of ideas and expressions, as I help them move on to their diploma or degree to have promising careers as future makers," said Ana Isabel, English Lecturer, School of Foundation Studies.
Scholarships for students with a social mission
Most recently, the School of Foundation Studies forged a partnership with Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE), UK, to offer preparatory courses for different Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) qualifications in English, Chinese, Mathematics, Business Studies and Science. Upon successful completion of this programme, students can enter PSB's range of certificate and diploma courses in Business Management, InfoComm Technology, Engineering, Hospitality, Life Sciences or Sports Sciences.
As part of the Academy's renewed focus on cultivating change makers for the region, interested students are encouraged to apply for the PSBA Future Makers ASEAN Scholarship to gain partial subsidy for their course - as a key criterion in the scholarship's selection process, a candidate must express the ways in which he/she hopes to contribute to the community as a positive change-maker for their home country and Asean.