Interdisciplinary Learning at BERJAYA UC Liberal Arts Education for Creative Thinkers
Kuala Lumpur: A premiere service-oriented university college, BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) has grown and expanded beyond its well-known programmes in culinary arts and hospitality management into Diploma in Public Relations (DPR) and Bachelor of Communication (Hons).
It’s a most timely development for BERJAYA UC that is now in its 10th year of providing education excellence. Economic forecasts for the next few years indicate that the services sector is expected to contribute at least 60% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product, with professional communication services taking up a key part.
The two-year DPR programme prepares students to be ready to join the public relations industry and/or pursue their education at the degree level. It is about presenting and promoting clients–corporations or famous personalities in entertainment, sports and politics–to gain public trust and support.
“This, in turn, empowers students to use the knowledge and skills to present and promote themselves confidently and effectively for their own future success,” according to the head of DPR and BCom Dr Wong Kok Keong.
BERJAYA UC’s BCom (Hons) comes with four specialisations of which students are to pick one: Advertising and Brand Management, Public Relations and Persuasion, Organizational and Corporate Communication, and Integrated Marketing Communication. It aims to develop students to be gainfully employed in any field and to enrich their life-long interactions with family, friends and others.
“To begin with, what makes our specialisations stand out is that each has a much-needed added value,” said Dr Wong, who had his higher education in journalism and communication in the U.S. and spent another 20 years of teaching and doing research there, before returning to Malaysia.
BERJAYA UC does not just offer advertising subjects. It also enriches the specialisation by explicitly tying advertising to branding to reflect developments in advertising in the corporate world today.
Public Relations is just one part of persuasion. Others include propaganda and public opinion. BERJAYA UC students, therefore, are trained to make the necessary connections. This widens their career horizon and options.
Corporate communication refers only to organisational set-ups in the corporate world. But there are also other kinds of set-ups. In Malaysia, we also have the GLCs, or government-linked corporations, that are not identical to corporations. Then, there are the non-governmental, non-profit organizations (e.g., World Wildlife Fund / WWF, Save the Rainforest, Human Rights Organizations, etc.). BERJAYA UC students are educated to these different organisational structures and practices as well, thereby widening their career horizon and options.
BERJAYA UC is ahead of many other private universities in Malaysia by offering Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) as a specialisation. It is a relatively new academic discipline but the corporate world has actively pursued it because of newer opportunities for advertising, promotion, marketing and sales as an integrated mix due to convergence of communication technologies and content in this digital world and the popularity of social media.
“Our added value in IMC is that our students specialising in it will have a leg up on other graduates competing in the job market,” Dr Wong added.
While BERJAYA UC graduates in BCom are prepared for careers in the communication industry, it is also important that they can also take up jobs or careers in the non-communication sector, such as marketing and counselling. The BCom curriculum also offers subjects like Public Speaking and Intercultural Communication that are much needed in just about any profession today.
Just as importantly, BERJAYA UC’s BCom has also been carefully developed to enrich graduates with life-long meaningful interactions with family, friends and others.
“Communication study is not just for making money through jobs and careers,” said Dr Wong. “It is also about how well we live our lives through the way we communicate with others.”
BCom courses like Understanding Human Communication, Intercultural Communication and Interpersonal Communication invite students to explore human interactions not just among people in the corporate world but also in their everyday lives with family, friends and acquaintances.
Students after taking their SPM may consider BERJAYA UC’s BCom by enrolling in the dynamic Foundation in Arts and Social Science (FASS) programme. This one-year programme has been carefully designed to prepare students academically, mentally and emotionally for their future degree programme of study.
FASS students will also be taught how to think rationally, separating facts from opinions; why theories are key to human progress; why academic research is important; how to read for and write short research papers; how to present and promote oneself in public confidently and successfully; etc.
Through it all, they will be exposed to different ideas and views from fellow students, lecturers and authors they read for their classes. The exposure widens their horizons, inviting them to discuss and debate with others, as they begin the life-long process of independent learning and discovery.
For more information on BERJAYA UC and its programmes, visit http://www.berjaya.edu.my. Ask about scholarships and bursaries for September 2019 intake.