Sunway and Oxbridge Seek to Future-Proof Students
~ Prizes worth more than RM 220,000 to be won for Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition~
Sunway City, 22 March – The Sunway Group and the Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia have announced their fifth consecutive Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition, in continuing their mission to future-proof secondary school students.
As the longest running essay competition in the nation, and the only competition to offer higher education bursaries, the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2018 invites secondary school students to submit original essays in English on Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50), the nation’s next development vision post Vision 2020. Participants of the Competition will be in the running for Sunway Bursaries worth RM190,000, cash prizes worth RM28,000, and 260,000 Sunway PALS points. The school with the most submissions also stand to win a special prize.
Fully supported by the Ministry of Education, and aligned with the aims of Malaysian Education Blueprint, the Sunway-Oxbridge Competition generated close to 10,000 entries from students nationwide in the past four years.
According to Dr Elizabeth Lee, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group and Sunway University, one of the essay competition’s key aims is to prepare secondary school students for their tertiary education and eventual employment through cultivating English proficiency and other soft skills necessary to thrive in the future job market.
Bank Negara’s report, in 2016, had reported that the youth unemployment rate in Malaysia has spiked up to 10.7%, thrice the national unemployment rate which is 3.1%. On the back of the report, online recruitment platform Jobstreet Malaysia had named the poor command of English (59%) as one of the top reasons why the unemployment rate among fresh graduates is rising. Last year, several agencies including Talentcorp and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), had highlighted that the poor command of English is an impediment to employment.
“Besides addressing the dire need for improved English proficiency, the competition will cultivate the skills needed as outlined in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report. Of the top 10 skills that are relevant for the future, the essay competition will promote the usage of five – judgement and decision-making, complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence,” said Dr Lee.
“It has been predicted that narrow technical skills such as programming and equipment operation will be eliminated through automation, but overall social skills and content skills – such as persuasion, ICT literacy, and process skills such as critical thinking, will be a growing part of the core skills requirements for many industries. These are some of the skills we will be promoting through the competition,” she added.
Submissions will begin 26 March 2018 to 24 April 2018 (1.00 pm). Divided into two categories, participants in Category A (Form 1 to Form 3 students) are invited to pen an essay from 200 to 350 words on “How would you like to see your city, town or village change by 2050?” whereas participants in Category B (Form 4 to Form 5 students) are invited to share their ideas in a 500 to 650-word essay on the topic of “What is your vision for Malaysia in 2050? What is your role to achieve it?”
Essays are to be submitted online through the Sunway Oxbridge Competition website, and only one essay per student is accepted. Once submissions are closed, the judges will select eligible students for the next stage in the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition. This final stage requires selected students to be available for the onsite essay writing on 9 June 2018 at various locations nationwide.
The first prize winner of both categories will stand a chance to win a cash prize of RM5,000 and a Sunway bursary valued up to RM26,000 each. The second prize winner of both categories will each take home RM3,000 cash and a Sunway bursary valued at RM15,000. The third prize winner of Categories A and B will each take home RM1,000 cash and a Sunway bursary worth RM10,000 each. Each category will have ten consolation prizes, comprising a cash prize of RM500 and Sunway bursary of RM5,000. The winners’ results will be announced on 18 June 2018 via the website and email.
Form 1 to Form 5 students in government and independent schools using the Malaysian education syllabus are invited to submit their best essay for the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2018 at http://sunway.com.my/essay/.
The Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is organised by the Sunway Group, The Oxford & Cambridge Society Malaysia, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Sunway University and Monash University Malaysia with support from Sunway PALS.