September 11, 2023, by Communications

Your higher education journey starts with a solid foundation

High-school leavers, congratulations on completing your latest milestone! This marks the beginning of an exciting step into pre-university life. 

So, what’s the best pathway to your field of interest and career goals? The answer is in understanding your passion and learning style. A good understanding of your preferences will help determine your next step in building a strong foundation for a seamless transition to undergraduate studies. 

Foundation in Humanities or STEM? 

First, determine if you excel at and are drawn to either humanities-related subjects or science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related (STEM) subjects.  

Humanities is a multidisciplinary field, with transferrable knowledge and skills across different fields like business, education, history, philosophy, foreign languages, arts, and film, to name a few. Alternatively, STEM is a gateway into evolving career opportunities with the emergence of technological advancements in healthcare, food, transportation, and manufacturing fields. It’s worth noting, science learners also have the flexibility to opt for the arts and business-based discipline, if a change is desired further down the line.  

The University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) offers four pathways namely, Foundation in Arts and Education, Foundation in Business and Management, Foundation in Engineering, and Foundation in Science. 

Pick the best environment for a solid foundation 

Next, pick the best environment to support your learning style. Consider the location, cost, and reputation of the institution offering your foundation course of choice. Research the curriculum, teaching styles, and extracurricular opportunities available and how they match your optimal learning style. 

The University of Nottingham Malaysia offers foundation programmes that are tailor-made to prepare students for a direct and seamless transition into its undergraduate programmes. The university’s global reputation, ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by QS World University rankings 2024, is reflected in its high academic standards, top-notch facilities, and experienced faculty who are experts in their fields.  

Students benefit from personalised attention with small class sizes, and a diverse and inclusive campus environment which fosters cultural awareness and global perspectives with an international student body from over 70 countries. Students are assessed via a combination of coursework and exams and can use the foundation year to explore their field of interest through modules designed to help the transition to undergraduate study. 

Furthermore, access to over 80 clubs and societies at UNM offers an ideal environment to nurture resilient and well-rounded learners who are passionate about making a difference in the world. UNM also provides a host of scholarships to support students such as the High Achievers’ Scholarship and Sports and Arts Scholarships, among others.

What to expect as a learner 

The perception that your foundation is a ‘honeymoon year’ is a misconception. UNM Centre for English Language and Foundation Education Head, Ms Saleha Abdul Rahman, advises, “This is the period that students should be most resourceful and take the opportunity to learn about themselves and their learning habits, in preparation for undergraduate life. Focus on effective time management, note-taking skills, and study techniques, including critical-thinking. Once a strong foundation is established, the rest of the academic journey should be easier to navigate.” 

Ms Saleha Abdul Rahman, Head, Centre for English Language and Foundation Education, UNM

“Two important skills students must develop to survive the transition from school to pre-university are independent learning and information literacy, which is knowing where to find information, and how to digest that information. At UNM, learners experience a hands-on approach from chemistry and biology lab work to computer science programming and psychology experiments. Students also benefit from UNM’s evidence-based teaching approach, backed by research. Finally, learners are given the opportunity to be involved in student-led community service projects to develop soft skills in real-world, high-impact initiatives,” explains UNM, Foundation in Science Head, Dr Jaya Kumar Karunagharan. 

Dr Jaya Kumar Karunagharan, Head, Foundation in Science, UNM

Explore your interests today and start charting your education journey at University of Nottingham Malaysia. Learn more at 

Posted in Campus news