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For sound advice on further studies 23 March 2010

Posted by admin in Akademik.

JM Education Counselling Centre (JMECC) has been in business since 20 years ago, at a time when advice on further study options was scarce.

“There were hardly any further education counselling back then. Furthermore, students had very limited options in terms of local institutions and programmes,” JMECC executive director Jean Monteiro said.

It was also a time when Australia and Britain were just beginning to open its higher education doors to international students as long as they could pay the fees.

Laying it all out: Monteiro (right) discussing further study possibilities with Ang Shin Yi, 20, at the Subang Jaya centre.

“They were looking for an agent to market themselves locally. At the start, we only represented three institutions but now we represent almost 100 institutions in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia,” Monteiro said, adding that each institution has been with them for between 10 and 20 years.

Herself a teacher for 15 years prior to starting the centre, Monteiro believes that theirs is the only centre utilising the psychometric career guidance test Career Interest Inventory & Differential Aptitude Tests (CII/DAT) that gives valuable insight into a student’s interest and aptitude.

“The assessment is very comprehensive. In the DAT segment alone, the assessment is done on verbal, numerical, abstract and mechanical reasoning as well as language usage, spelling, space relation and perceptual speed and accuracy,” she said.

Taking the four-hour test costs RM250 and results are given after a week.

“Our core service, however, is to provide advice on how to get the right kind of training, whether academic or vocational,” she said.

“Any student who walks into any of our centres will get a free one-on-one with a staff for about half an hour.

“We will go through their school, extracurricular and financial profile before giving advice,” Monteiro added.

She said that they were realistic when doing their work and that included giving out scholarship information.

Their usual visitors include school-leavers, parents with children who are completing or have completed their SPM, students looking to transfer or continue their studies after diploma or degree as well as working adults.

“We are busy throughout the year but the busiest time for us is between November and March,” she said.

She added that they currently have six centres located in Subang Jaya, Penang, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Singapore.

Currently, the most popular places to go overseas to study is Australia and United Kingdom, mainly because there is no language barrier, she said.

“Then comes New Zealand, Canada and the United States,” Monteiro said, adding that in the past five years there was also a growing trend of students going to East European countries like Russia and Ukraine to study medicine and health sciences.

“What most students look for in a university is the course offered, fees and degree recognition. Our service allows them to make objective, systematic and informed decisions on these,” Monteiro said.

For more information, visit www.jmecc.com.my

Source: The Star

by Choong Mek Zhin

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