Uncommon
Business Sense
CONTENTS
Newsletter & Insights
Congestion Charge: Pain or Gain? (Part 1)
Government developments i...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Dear Reader,
Uncommon Business Sense | June 2013
Welcome to the first edition of Prudenz Consult...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
or Gain ?
Congestion
Charge: Pain
> Congestion charge:
It worked really well for London.
The rise of global car population has inevitably presented a major yet
familiar dilemma ...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Pioneering adopters, Singapore introduced the Area
Licensing Scheme that charged drivers enterin...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Electronic Road Pricing (“ERP”) replaced ALS
in 1998 and Singapore led the way in electronic
roa...
Capital Cost: S$ 197M
Annual Operating Cost: S$ 16M
Annual Revenue: S$ 80M
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Capital Cost: £ 161.7...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Traffic in Kuala Lumpur
“What can be done about it?”
The wavering undertones of monologues withi...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
But for one to say that public transportation is the
sole cause of KL’s congestion should reasse...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Congestion Charge as an enabler to greater
public transport usage
As of now, there are many barr...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
www.prudenzconsulting.com
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE:
Mapping the Path to Success
[ Feature ]
SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Entrepreneurship and SME are recognised as
drivers for achieving economic growth and
expansion; ...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Mixing quality and experience
It is highly important that your
products have a rich cultured
bac...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
The entrepreneurial
dream
Juggling her duties as a mum and an
entrepreneur, Izreen handpicks her...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
“It’s not only the food, but it’s also the experience”,
quipped Izreen. “We put our heart and so...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
A Reflection or
Anticipation – Why I
chose what I’ve chosen
> A Reflection or Anticipation
www.prudenzconsulting.com
High school is finally over or was over and you are
immensely relieved by the years of pressure;...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Of all the Institutes of Higher
Education (IHE), there are 20
Public Universities, 36 Private
Un...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
funds and loans, but one should also consider the
amount of loans awaiting you the moment you
em...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Location shapes a person
So you have covered all aspects of the universities’
characteristics, c...
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Practising uncommon business sense
www.prudenzconsulting.com
Prudenz Consulting is an independent consulting firm, committed to helping organisations
to achi...
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Newsletter June - 2013

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Newsletter June - 2013

  1. 1. Uncommon Business Sense CONTENTS Newsletter & Insights Congestion Charge: Pain or Gain? (Part 1) Government developments in public transportation and elevating ridership - congestion charge as an option www.prudenzconsulting.com June2013 Uncommon Business Sense | June 2013 A Reflection or Anticipation Why I chose what I have chosen Rising To The Challenge Mapping the path to success
  2. 2. www.prudenzconsulting.com Dear Reader, Uncommon Business Sense | June 2013 Welcome to the first edition of Prudenz Consulting newsletter and insights, Uncommon Business Sense. Most business organisations utilise newsletters to educate and update readers on current matters; sliding in promotional contents to increasing brand awareness. Ask yourself this, how much time would you spend reading a newsletter? We’re here to make you spend just a little more time with us. When you hold this issue of “Uncommon Business Sense”, the aftershocks of Malaysia’s 13th General Election are still visible; with business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and everyone in the corporate world facing the need to adapt, change, and be decisive in their actions and decisions to continuously progress and excel. Our first article – ‘Congestion Charge: Pain or Gain?’ (Part 1) – explains the concept of congestion charging in Malaysia where congestion remains a long standing issue. Congestion charging was first brought to the limelight, back in 2007 and resurfaced in 2010; both times the proposal fell through due to the overwhelming negative response. We set out to connect the dots between the relevancy of congestion charge to ongoing public transportation developments, in particular, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). ‘Rising To The Challenge - Mapping the Path to Success’ was featured in SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine, Feb 2013 issue.Izreen Ismail & Syadid Zaharan, an “ ” Prudenz Consulting uncovers the driving factors behind students’ preference amidst the many opportunities which exist to extract better value from universities and colleges. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at ubs@prudenzconsulting.com, if you have any comments or questions. Enjoy the read! entrepreneurial couple, aspiring to establish the Crumb Cravings brand in the local food & beverage scene. In an interview these entrepreneurs share with us the importance in continuously developing and improvising their products and services to suit current market’s expectations, no matter how hostile the environment is. Some of the aspects they discuss include focusing on market positioning, market segmentation and committing to entrepreneurship. Dato’Azmi Mohd Ali Partner, Prudenz Consulting Kueh Joe Haur Partner, Prudenz Consulting
  3. 3. www.prudenzconsulting.com or Gain ? Congestion Charge: Pain > Congestion charge:
  4. 4. It worked really well for London. The rise of global car population has inevitably presented a major yet familiar dilemma across the world, traffic congestion. Emission, vehicle wear, fuel wastage, stress, and time, are some of traffic congestion’s negative effects and they have cause major problems, even in financial losses that results in billions of pounds lost per year for many major cities today. “The Congestion Charge means we have a consistency of traffic flow and a reliability that we know where the traffic’s going to be, and that’s important. It means we can get there on time and that’s worth £10 every day”, said an enthusiastic managing director of an office supplies firm that is located within central London, the heart of the city’s Congestion Charge operations. Congestion charge was seen as a radical step years ago in London, but has won over doubters with its effectiveness, and as evasive are many tax payers to new schemes, the Congestion Charge scheme might find its way to work in Kuala Lumpur, the beating heart of Malaysia’s urban landscape. The implementation of congestion charge was a provision in the Public Land Transportation Act 2010 that was proposed three years ago but the scheme would not be enforced until sufficient strength has been injected into the city’s infrastructure and its public transportation system. Congestion charge gaining traction – Singapore, first in the world Rigorous tinkering and analysis led strategists to formulate a scheme with means to benefit economical ends, and hence, the Congestion Charge was conceived. Under this scheme, surcharges are imposed upon drivers during peak periods with the key purposes of reducing congestion. The underlying principle is that road users should be forced to pay for their road usage in proportion to the negative effects that this usage creates. The value lies in predicating constant awareness among road users of their usage impact, thus, reducing unnecessary driving. Instead of increasing supply to build more roads, the scheme aimed at regulating and redistributing demand, where equilibrium price is charged rather than building more roads, which offers a short-term solution. Thus far, there are five cities in the world that have implemented the Congestion Pricing - Singapore, London, San Diego, Stockholm, and Milan – where Singapore and London were two of the first to introduce electronic urban congestion charging schemes, though London officials decidedly adopted a different underlying technology despite the obvious success seen in Singapore. www.prudenzconsulting.com Congestion charge was seen as a radical step has won over doubters with its effectivenes Singapore, London, San Diego, Stockholm and Milan are the five cities to implement Congestion Pricing Congestion charge <
  5. 5. www.prudenzconsulting.com Pioneering adopters, Singapore introduced the Area Licensing Scheme that charged drivers entering the Central Business District that was labeled as the “Restricted Zone.” The system soon changed to ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) in 1998 using CashCard instead of the previous paper license. SINGAPORE 1975 Although not technically following a congestion charge model, San Diego implemented Toll booths for the use of High- occupancy vehicle lanes for low or single occupancy vehicles in the Interstate 15 by allowing vehicles to avoid gridlock by using an express lane that runs parallel to the original highway. SAN DIEGO 1996 Initially started in Durhanm in 2002 before being expanded to London, the Congestion Charge uses the Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR) where cameras at entrances and exits around the zone will read the vehicle’s number plate. The Transport for London (TF) governs the ANPR system. LONDON 2003 The Stockholm congestion tax are levied on vehicles entering and exiting central Stockholm, Sweden. After a trial run in 2006, the charge was implemented using the ANPR system, where the number plates recorded will then be sent a bill to the owners at the end of each month. STOCKHOLM 2006 Initially started as an Ecopass system in 2008 to reduce traffic pollution, the system was shelved to make way for Area C, which is a congestion charge based on the same designated traffic restricted zone as the Ecopass. The Area C uses the ANPR technology, using video cameras to monitor traffic in over 43 gates. MILAN 2012 5countries adopted congestion pricing > Congestion charge: Source: thisbigcity.net
  6. 6. www.prudenzconsulting.com Electronic Road Pricing (“ERP”) replaced ALS in 1998 and Singapore led the way in electronic road toll collecting system for congestion pricing photo by National Geographic Walking down memory lane: Singapore vs. London The most prominent player of Congestion Charging Schemes would be Singapore, implementing the scheme way back in 1975 with its introduction of Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) which has come a long way through leaps and bounds to establish Singapore as the perennial powerhouse in regulating traffic congestion. The ALS started with drivers displaying daily or monthly windshield licenses when they entered the 2.0 square miles central Restricted Zone (RZ) during morning peak hours and the ALS had a workforce of 150 staffs to staff the ticket booths for all 34 gantries that surrounded the RZ. Heavy fines were also imposed to discourage violators. The impact was immediate as the flow of cars into RZ fell suddenly by 73% and by early 1980s, 69% of morning peak time travellers chose public transport compared to 33% in 1976. Despite large growths in RZ employment (up to 34% by 1983) and overall car population (up to 72% by 1988), the observed increase in traffic entering the RZ was just at 24%. Meanwhile, revenues continued to skyrocket as the ALS produced about S$6.2 million profit every year. After travelling extensively through the learning curve, in September 1998, Singapore upgraded the ALS into Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, which is completely automatic and allows vehicles passing the control gantries at normal speeds. London’s long awaited Congestion Charging was introduced into central London in February 2003. By February 2007, the original central London congestion charging zone that covers about 8.0 square miles was extended westwards in almost double the size, creating a single enlarged congestion charging zone. S$6.2million profit every year produced by ALS continued to skyrocket as the ALS produced about S$6.2 million profit every year Source: National University of Singapore The charging zone is enforced by over 1100 cameras, including 275 fixed detection points around the perimeter and 10 van-mounted mobile units. Within the first year, the number of vehicles entering the charging zone had fallen by 18% as traffic delays also fell to 25%. In particular, the usage of bus service had increased by 40%. By 2008, traffic entering the extension zone during charging hours was down by 14% while traffic circulating inside the extension zone reduced by 10%. The initial setup cost was about £161.7 million while yearly revenue rakes in at £250 million per year, but due to high operating costs, the annual net income is only at about £89 million. Congestion charge < Source: NUS, MIT
  7. 7. Capital Cost: S$ 197M Annual Operating Cost: S$ 16M Annual Revenue: S$ 80M www.prudenzconsulting.com Capital Cost: £ 161.7M Annual Operating Cost: £ 161M Annual Revenue: £250M  ERP system  Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) Technology  Payment made though CashCard inserted in the Invehicle Unit (IU)  Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System  Administered by Transport for London (TFL)  Payment made via Internet or kiosks as per monthly account 80 gantries ERP Operations 30 Maintenance 35 1,100 cameras Equal headcounts in Singapore and London within the charging zones Source: Harry Commin, Imperial College London Source: SIEMENS, UK > Congestion charge:
  8. 8. www.prudenzconsulting.com Traffic in Kuala Lumpur “What can be done about it?” The wavering undertones of monologues within the administrative government to decisively implement the Congestion Charge in KL has been prolonged too long that the waiting process has been tiresome and dispiriting, however one thing is for sure, the eternal duress of road users in Kuala Lumpur must be answered. Despite its population of 1.627 million people, the population growth in the city of Kuala Lumpur continues to grow to about 2% per year until 2015, while some other outer areas are expected to grow 8% per year. Kuala Lumpur is 100% urbanized, where 24% of jobs are located in the central business district while 53% of jobs are located in the inner areas of the city. That’s not all, as of March 2013, the overall vehicle population in KL increased by 42% with number of cars alone amounted to a staggering 3 million, 80% of which used within the urban areas, leaving only 20% of other vehicle users resorting to public transportation. This leads to the improbable conclusion that Congestion Charge is the least feasible solution in KL given the KL-ites tendency to disregard public transportation. 85991 499401 708734 1065348 705961 810589 856279 942437 1363136 1898769 2213747 2363333 2923898 4963646 Perlis Terengganu Kelantan Kedah Melaka Negeri Sembilan Pahang Sabah Sarawak Perak Penang Selangor Johor WPKL VEHICLE POPULATION IN MALAYSIA AS OF 31ST DECEMBER, 2012 Rail Line General Rail Category - Route Length No. of Stations Peak Hour Headway Current Daily Ridership KTMB Komuter Suburban Rail 157 km 50 15 mins 95,000 Kelana Jaya (Putra) LRT1 Urban Rail/Metro 29 km 24 3 mins 160,000 Ampang (Star) LRT2 Urban Rail/Metro 27 km 25 3-6 mins 141,000 Monorail Urban Rail/Metro 8.6 km 11 5 mins 57, 500 KLIA Suburban Rail/ Airport Express 57 km 5 15 mins 11, 000 Total 278.6 km 115 464, 500 Source: Department of Statistics, Malaysia Source: SPAD - Daily Ridership on Rail Services as of 2011 shows current daily ridership of 464, 500 people travelling over 115 stations and over 278.6 km of route. Congestion charge <
  9. 9. www.prudenzconsulting.com But for one to say that public transportation is the sole cause of KL’s congestion should reassess their premature judgements, as little research should shed light that we have many companies in the industry offering variety of transport modes from buses, rails, and taxis. The rail system alone has the Star and Putra LRT rails, KTM Commuter, KL Monorail, and KLIA Express. Indeed, the real problem lies in the planning of public transportation, with the overcrowding, tardiness, and even overcharging of taxi fares has left many frustrated and contemplating that only through the purchase of a vehicle could solve their commuting woes. The principal concept of Congestion Charge is to limit supply and to regulate demand, hence, building more roads or buying more cars would not solve the traffic woes in KL, but, reinforcing her public transportation system, which ably complements the Congestion Charge principle is the first way to go. As an added ingredient to mix, the My Rapid Transit (MRT), a proposed 3-line mass rapid transit system in the Greater KL (part of Klang Valley Region), is being built to integrate the existing rail networks that could alleviate the severe traffic congestion in the Greater KL metropolitan area. The first line is expected to be completed in 2016, where the MRT is expected to travel from Sungai Buloh (terminus) to Kajang (terminus) passing through Kelana Jaya, Ampang, and Bukit Bintang Lines. The completion of the MRT’s first line is the first step in reassessing the implementation of Congestion Charge in KL, especially with the greater access to public transportation that could immediately relieve the traffic congestion in areas around and within KL. 2007Former KL mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan (2006 – 2008) was the first to express the benefit of congestion charge in KL Source: Halcrow Transport Analysis Toolkit; Analysis on benefits of MRT current Forecast PRIVATE TIMES TO CENTRAL KL Rise in usage with the combined network of MRT, LRT, KTM and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is expected to help push public transport usage 17% 50% > Congestion charge:
  10. 10. www.prudenzconsulting.com Congestion Charge as an enabler to greater public transport usage As of now, there are many barriers to implement the Congestion Charge scheme in Kuala Lumpur. Administrative and costs barriers, societal acceptance, and particularly the insufficiency of the city’s infrastructure and public transportation system are just a few of the stumbling blocks that would deter the implementation of the Congestion Charge in Kuala Lumpur. But the MRT project offers a beacon of hope among those travellers who are time and again caught in the ludicrous traffic conditions in KL, where upon its completion; the MRT can complement the Congestion Charging scheme, hence, providing more flexibility and access to the heart of KL for travellers without much stress of the traffic conditions. Forecasted daily ridership upon completion of MRT by 2020 is seen to increase ridership in rail services through reduced waiting time, improved reliability, and faster journey through establishing extended routes and number of stations. The additional capacity provided will be equivalent to 48,000 cars (or 12 lanes of traffic flow) during the peak hour by 2020 due to MRT1, MRT2, and MRT3 services. Malaysia also has the technology and the support system in place to administer, operate, and support the Congestion Charge scheme, as the current administrative government is continuing to assess the feasibility of implementing the Congestion Charge scheme as means to establish KL city as the marquee attraction centre of Malaysia, which would be free of congestion, pollution, and commuting woes. Source: SPAD 2,397,500 464,500 Daily ridership Forecast Daily Ridership Upon Completion of MRT (2020) Congestion charge <
  11. 11. www.prudenzconsulting.com
  12. 12. www.prudenzconsulting.com RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: Mapping the Path to Success [ Feature ] SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine is Southeast Asia's best selling business magazine. Dedicated to business owners and entrepreneurs, SME Magazine, features current news and in-depth analysis, and practical articles and features in everyday language. Rising to the Challenge: Mapping the Path to Success <
  13. 13. www.prudenzconsulting.com Entrepreneurship and SME are recognised as drivers for achieving economic growth and expansion; hence the creation of job opportunities. The fundamental need of a strategy - to evaluate, re-evaluate, and implement strategies - remains the key driver in any market where the different types of services and products are almost impossible to distinguish respectively. Defining your firm’s competitiveness in the given industry, and most importantly winning the good fight by setting a clear direction and implementing high impact changes have proven to be imperative for all successful entrepreneurs. The Food and Beverage industry has witnessed a significant influx of independent brands over the years. Crumb Cravings, a husband and wife styled homemade bakers, is one such company. Founded by Izreen Ismail in 2007 after taking over her mother’s clientele, she took her passion for cooking and baking as a trade, supported ably by her husband, Syadid Zaharan, who manages the operational aspects of the business. The dynamic duo shared with Prudenz Consulting their most important strategies, as entrepreneurs, which they developed and are developing in order to sustain and succeed in their line of business. Marking your presence “We bring the café experience to our consumers’ homes”, explains Izreen. “At home, you can be comfortable, be whoever you want to be, and enjoy the meals that your standard lifestyle cafes can provide.” The home bakery industry focuses more on delicacies, but Crumb Cravings provides the whole range of a lifestyle café’s du jour, along with requests for customisation. “By customising our foods to customers’ wants, we get to know our customers and their passions, and by catering exclusively to their demands, we make them feel like a rock star”, added Izreen. By making customers feel special, there is value given to customers, which in return would increase their re- patronage intentions. …SMEs account for 90% of all businesses In the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region… 3Types of SMEs Micro Enterprise Small Enterprise Medium Enterprise Source: SMEcorp annual report 2011/2012 > Rising to the Challenge: Mapping the Path to Success
  14. 14. www.prudenzconsulting.com Mixing quality and experience It is highly important that your products have a rich cultured background where customers can relate to, as opposed to the generic brands out there, so as to allow entrepreneurs to leverage the products’ qualities to enhance the company’s credibility and image. “There is a bemusing need to localise western food here, that to a point it no longer becomes what it is, but some sort of a fusion blend that ends up tasting weird. The lasagne that we provide is rich in its sauce, with mixed veggies, and most importantly is pure authentic Italian recipe. By staying true to the origins, we provide what many home bakers don’t, authentic western taste for the eastern taste buds”, says Izreen. “When it comes to cooking, there is only so much you can do with the recipes, but it all comes down to the techniques that you have and use.” Engaging your customers Globalisation has resulted in an explosion of choices for all products in the market today. This has given rise to the “grasshopper effect” where customers are hopping from one product to another at an astoundingly high frequency. Active interactions with your customers help to build connection with them and by making those transparent adjustments it would help to make your customers feel connected, hence, increasing the perceived value of customers towards your brand. “My customers are my greatest critics”, grinned Izreen before adding that, “An open communication with the customers is important in gauging how well you are doing. I call them before proceeding with their orders to study their needs and always after purchases, I inquire their feedbacks. Most are good, some are not, but that’s where we learn about our strengths and weaknesses, and strive to make Crumb Cravings better than it was yesterday.” Managing costs “Of course there are always issues with your suppliers, but they sell the raw materials that I need, so if I have to, I prefer not to be too fussy. Instead we focus on manpower, utilities, logistics, and other human costs that we can save, because these are costs that are within our control”, observed Izreen. There is no one-size-fits all approach to managing costs, most entrepreneurs do what they must to reduce costs, but in smaller businesses, entrepreneurs must be brave enough to sacrifice what is considered redundant to smoothen the inventory process and in turn, improve profits. Tapping into your customers’ emotion “Building emotional ties with customers help to reinforce a strong brand identification that in turn strengthens customers’ loyalty towards your brand. Hence, new competitors would find it hard to persuade customers to switch because of customer’s resistance and preference to the brand that they are emotionally connected to. Rising to the Challenge: Mapping the Path to Success <
  15. 15. www.prudenzconsulting.com The entrepreneurial dream Juggling her duties as a mum and an entrepreneur, Izreen handpicks her ingredients whilst spending quality time with her son. “There is a bemusing need to localise western food here, that to a point it no longer becomes what it is, but some sort of a fusion blend that ends up tasting weird – Izreen Ismail > Rising to the Challenge: Mapping the Path to Success
  16. 16. www.prudenzconsulting.com “It’s not only the food, but it’s also the experience”, quipped Izreen. “We put our heart and souls into the food that we prepare, whether it’s for a function or a party. This one time we had a customer who fondly remembered her daughter’s birthday party because of the food we served, and it’s great to know that we were part of that memory. Customers who would respond favourably would then introduce their friends and families to us, and the relationship grows inkto a more affectionate one, because now you actually care for your customers like they are part of your own family. It makes us feel like we are doing something right”, she added. Successful entrepreneurs display 3 distinct traits: agility, innovation and adaptability. Products alone will not guarantee success, but entrepreneurs must make the right choice of business strategy that can only be done by deeply understanding the market and the customers, assessing internal capabilities and capacities, implementing short-term measures for quick victories and formulating a long-term plan to succeed in the industry. The market is promisingly volatile, hence, nothing is for certain, but managing the uncertainty provides your business with the survival kit for sustainability. As Izreen concludes, “There are doubts at times, especially after a big order and when I’m shorthanded. But persevere and when you put that sifter to the side to answer a call especially from a loyal customer, it feels great!” Rising to the Challenge: Mapping the Path to Success <
  17. 17. www.prudenzconsulting.com A Reflection or Anticipation – Why I chose what I’ve chosen > A Reflection or Anticipation
  18. 18. www.prudenzconsulting.com High school is finally over or was over and you are immensely relieved by the years of pressure; societal and parental, to drag yourself to the study desk furnished by an insipid lamp that ironically so has illuminated your schooling years with wishful grades and negotiated presents. “We can study until old age, and still not finish” quips an old Chinese proverb, synonymous to the undertones of your parents’ murmurs as you laze around the house for a month or so, before stern gazing and sarcastic quotes are being passed around until you finally arrive into that inevitable decision, “Guys, I’m thinking of furthering my studies.” As the euphoric hugs, high five-ings, pat-in-the-backs and calling the relatives reaches its fatigued end, it would finally dawn on you how a simple quote could lead to a monumental decision. For many, the choice of choosing the right university or college is a paramountal decision, one that could lend to employability factors and lead to a steady career. While parental influences do play a part, it is the students who would make the vital decision, hence, understanding what drives students in choosing a university or college is highly pertinent in making the right decision. Malaysia as an educational hub As Malaysians, we have that inclination towards admiring international brands. Fact check: Malaysia is a prominent international education brand - ranked 11th largest exporter of educational services with over 90,000 international students from over 100 nations studying at its schools, colleges, university colleges, and universities. The private education in Malaysia alone was valued at RM 27.1 billion and is set to lead the charge to catapult the total gross income of the education sector to RM 60.7 billion by 2020 from the current RM 27.1 billion. So assured of its growth and invention, plans of developing Malaysia into a regional education hub with 200,000 international students’ enrolment by 2020 is already underway. Source: Pemandu NKEA “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” ― Leonardo da Vinci RM 27.1 billion RM 60.7 billion Year 2020 A Reflection of Anticipation <
  19. 19. www.prudenzconsulting.com Of all the Institutes of Higher Education (IHE), there are 20 Public Universities, 36 Private Universities exclusive of another 4 Branch Campus of Foreign Universities, 15 University Colleges and about 302 private colleges scattered all over Malaysia. It seems that when choosing an institution of higher education, Malaysians are spoilt for choice, but the questions on everyone’s minds are “What do I want?”, “Where to look at” and ultimately “Am I entering the ideal university?” promoting understanding and cooperation between students. Most importantly, IHEs help you to nurture your values for the future; hence, it’s important to surround yourself with people who also take the liberty of sparing just a little bit of time to care about the things that you care. Whether it is diversity, volunteering to the poor, or faith, choose the IHE that is most known by the reflection of your own personal needs. Curiosity is key in making sense of theories hence, it is imperative during our evaluation of an IHE if such practical courses such industrial trainings and internship programmes are present in the curriculum. UCSI University takes pride in their “The Co-Operative programme” which integrates classroom learning with workplace training in co-operative employer organisations. Each co- operative module is worth three credits units and students are graded based on a written assignment and employers’ evaluation upon completion of each co-operative module. Costs is the predetermining factor – make it count The cost of education is in fact serves as a primary element for many when it comes to choosing the ideal IHE. When it comes to cost, the first thing you can do is be practical. There is no point in choosing an IHE that is out of yours or your family’s financial range, however, knowledge is the same regardless of its price tag, and if you strive to your very best, success is a guarantee. Depending on yours or your family’s financial ability, financial aids can be an option. Students can seek private and government institutions to endorse your education through My priority comes first Just like everything else that you own and choose, personal characteristics should be given preference when choosing the ideal IHE. Your self-image, values, tolerance, background, lifestyle and other aspects of yourself are important components when choosing the IHE. IHEs that blend both values and prestige tend to be either extremely small or extremely selective. While researching on the IHE, observe the demographics of the students and evaluate their level of integration. Social dynamics of the IHE can ascertain the level of value and tolerance between differing cultures, races, and background Practical meets theory A career path sets the direction you want your career to take, the job skills and knowledge you will need, and how you can get them. It is important to take note that although many universities offer courses with similar course names, the specific content can differ as certain courses may be headed towards a specialisation. The traditional way of assessing the credibility of an IHE and the programmes offered is by visiting the IHE of interest and enquire with the programme consultants regarding the course and how the course could shape your career. In this day and age, theoretical knowledge without any practical exposure limits the appreciation of the subject and inhibits intellectual growth, > A Reflection or Anticipation
  20. 20. www.prudenzconsulting.com funds and loans, but one should also consider the amount of loans awaiting you the moment you embark on your career. Consider the costs of accommodation, travel, food, pocket money, and even the flexibility of fee payment. Forking a hefty sum for further education is no easy choice, but essentially education is an investment not an expense. It allows you to gain a foothold in this compact economical times, and again depending on your own personal drive, the return of your investment is definite if not imminent. The Public vs. Private IHEs debate The age old question for many students intending to join a university would be to decide between joining a public or private university. There are quite a number of differences, where the public universities are known for affordable tuition fees, limited numbers of admissions, payable student debt loan and a healthy social scene, the private universities are known for its diversity, prestige by reputation, and some would argue higher job prospects. According to a 2012 report based on number of student enrolment done by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), a number of 188, 766 students have enrolled in public universities while 59,399 students have enrolled in private universities in 2011. Some students still prefer to base their choice on university rankings. In Malaysia, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the quality assurance practices and accreditation of national higher education. The MQA accurately rates the quality of the universities into categories which is from Tier 1 to Tier 6, Tier 1 being weak while Tier 6 being outstanding, but there aren’t any universities as of now that are ranked in Tier 6. Whether it is the type of course, university rankings, reputation of the university or other selective criteria, do acknowledge that your chances of being hired as per the career of your choice are higher the minute you graduate from the chosen university. Emphasis must be given to your studying method; whether a preference in research based work, attending large lecture seminars, or one-on-one attention with your lecturers, your studying method must then match with the university’s type of teaching. … A Reflection of Anticipation <
  21. 21. www.prudenzconsulting.com Location shapes a person So you have covered all aspects of the universities’ characteristics, can you finally make a decision based on academics? The truth is your university or college life is not all about studies, sometimes you just need to unwind. The location of the IHE often details the social aspects of your life in the next few years. Important location elements such as the facilities, accessibility, and affordability would greatly help you to feel that you belong, easing the assimilation process into the social context within the place of your institution. Balancing your social life along with education is an integral part of your varsity life, as often the case, it will be the memories you cherish forever, therefore choose a location that gives you maximum exposure. The cost of living must again be considered as city centres could leave a hole in your pocket, hence, prepare a budget based on your needs that will include your socialising activities and choose your IHE’s location wisely. College for many is a time for exploration, where introspection comes in place, revamping your life into a much richer context, hence, do not resist the cultural significance of the location and embrace the exposure with an open mind, and hopefully, it will transform you into a better, more worldly wise person. Make the best choice – No regrets. Never doubt the fact that you actually have options when it comes to selecting the IHE of your choice. This will be one of your first few choices as a young adult, and it will be a decision that will have a tremendous impact on you. Stay neutral and refrain from the prejudices, hearsays, and negative criticisms of IHEs from casual conversations -list down your options and take your time in assessing each IHE that will yield the most benefits. Engage in conversations with your parents, mentors, and programme consultants and be sure of what you want to take away from the IHE of your choice. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, quotes an old ancient proverb, and as such, when you are ready to commit yourself to the IHE of your choice, be assured that things will fall into place. Location Public vs. Private Priority Practical + Theory Costs > A Reflection or Anticipation
  22. 22. www.prudenzconsulting.com Practising uncommon business sense
  23. 23. www.prudenzconsulting.com Prudenz Consulting is an independent consulting firm, committed to helping organisations to achieve breakthrough improvements in overall performance. Our professionals have a wide and varied range of industry experience and we worked closely with our clients to ensure that their expectations and concerns are addressed. We cut across multiple disciplines in an organisation – we search for risks which are less apparent but impact greatly on efficiency. Simply put - we solutionise and provide realistic recommendations and not single liners. We exercise creativity in providing commercially viable solutions to enhance the control environment and mitigate any risks. For more information, please visit www.prudenzconsulting.com © Prudenz Consulting Sdn Bhd, 2013. All rights reserved. The analyses in this report are based on public data and forecasts that have not been verified by Prudenz Consulting and on assumptions that they are subject to uncertainty and change. The analyses are intended only for general comparisons across companies and industries and should not be used to support any individual investment decision. For information or permission to reprint, please contact: Email: ubs@prudenzconsulting.com Fax: +60–3–2118 5117 Mail: Prudenz Consulting Sdn Bhd 6.03C, 6th Floor, Menara Keck Seng 203, Jalan Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur 55100 Malaysia

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