An international partnership to prepare students for diverse real-world industry demands

 31 May 2017 – Kolej Dika Malaysia, a specialist in Early Childhood Education signed a Collaboration Agreement with Trine University, United States (US) to partner on a 3 + 1 bachelor degree programme. The unique partnership between Kolej Dika and Trine University is based on the shared vision of both institutions to diversify and internationalise education.

Held at Kolej Dika in Puchong, the Collaboration Agreement Signing Ceremony was inked by Dr. Sim Quan Seng, Director of Kolej Dika and Michael Bock, Senior Vice President of Trine University. The signing was witnessed by Dr. Stephen Sim, Vice President for International Affairs of Trine University, Chee Ling Pua, CEO of Kolej Dika, Low Lay Har, President of CNS Group, Yow Kien Yoong, Manager of Institutional Relations, Mohan Dallumal, Senior Lecturer and Venus Lim Ee Chiew, Lecturer and Course Coordinator for Diploma in Special Education (Early Years) of Kolej Dika.

This collaboration is a first-of-its-kind for an Early Childhood and Special Needs Educational institution in Malaysia, which creates the pathway for students to not only earn a globally-recognised qualification but also attain a guaranteed internship placement in the United States of America.The introduction of this degree programme by Kolej Dika is a great opportunity for students who are keen on gleaning the considerable benefits of pursuing an education abroad minus the major dent to their finances.

Students who enrol for this 3+1 bachelor degree programme, a Dual Licensure Major in Elementary Education and Special Education / Mild Intervention, will need to complete the first 3 years in Kolej Dika pursuing either a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Diploma in Special Education (Early Years). They are also required to acquire 30 credits of General Education before progressing to their final year at Trine University. Upon graduation, the students will be placed on a one-year fully paid internship at selected elementary schools in the United States. The 3+1 degree programme is slated to begin in June 2017.

This partnership underscores Kolej Dika’s commitment to widen its focus towards establishing industrial collaborations with international partners that will equally benefit the college as well as the industry. According to Chee Ling Pua, Kolej Dika’s faculty is constantly keeping itself updated with new developments in the industry including the current needs and demands.

“We understand that the market requires educators with industrial experience and it is one of the key pillars of talent development. It is imperative for students to evolve and remain relevant,” she said.

Dr. Stephen Sim, Vice President for International Affairs of Trine University said that the partnership with Kolej Dika in Malaysia signifies an important milestone for Trine University in the sector of ECE and Special Education on a global front. Kolej Dika is Trine University’s first international partner in ECE. “Our shared vision in ensuring our graduates are employable with real-world industry insights is aligned. At Trine University, we continue to chart high employment rate. 99.3% of 2016 Trine University graduates are employed or continuing their education within six-months of graduation. Through this arrangement, Kolej Dika students will benefit from the guaranteed internship placements in elementary schools in the United States. Kolej Dika students can be assured of support to explore their options and are ready to progress into a rewarding career“

Through its academic partnerships with leading universities, Kolej Dika aims to provide students with the opportunity to gain from knowledge transfer and practical experience in the field of Early Childhood Education and Special Education. This is to empower its students with a well-rounded education that will set the path for them to be at the forefront of innovation, creativity and employability on the international front. With specially designed modules and integrated learning method, 90% of Kolej Dika graduates have job secured even before graduation*.

Chee Ling Pua has a great vision for the early childhood and special education field. At the helm of one of the thriving early childhood education (ECE) institutions in the country, she is focused on shaping and raising the standards of future early childhood educators in the country.

“We are committed to engage highly qualified lecturers and providing industry relevant academic programmes. This collaborative initiative with Trine University signifies this commitment. It is very important to me that we prepare our students to thrive in the industry. We facilitate this outcome through our Diploma and Degree programmes. Our comprehensive academic programmes, which emphasises on practical placement is specially designed to promote our students’ professional development. We also constantly review our academic programmes to ensure its relevance to industry.”

To date, Kolej Dika has forged strategic partnerships with leading institutions in New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore in order to provide its students the necessary advantage in the competitive international market. Through its degree programmes, students are given the opportunity to study with an international partner in order to gain knowledge and experience of teaching trends at the international level.


* Based on 2016 Graduates survey