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The Most Awaited Return; MSU is back alive!

The entire world has seen a substantial withdrawal from many necessitating aspects and the educational field – nevertheless – is non-exceptional in this case. The country is now heading towards a consequential transition from pandemic to endemic. Educational institutions all over Malaysia operated in hybrid mode, given the severity inflicted by the unseen enemy for the past two years. Management and Science University (MSU) has also never failed to relentlessly conquer several waves of lockdowns, leaving no stone unturned.

MSU is now gearing up to welcome its new and existing students back to campus after a huge hiatus, which seemed to last forever. Hosted by Students’ and Career Development (SCD), MSU embraced its new semester by welcoming freshly registered and progressing students with absolute warmth through the very first orientation of the year. This intake undoubtedly witnessed students from various racial, cultural, and social backgrounds, and having all these diversities in one place was absolutely wholesome and a treat to the eyes of the beholder.

Excitement, bewilderment, uncertainty, doubt, and many mixed emotions could be discerned through the eyes of our future graduates. The fear was still lingering somewhere around the corner of their eyes despite adhering to the detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) outlined by the orientation committees from time-to-time. It was only a matter of time before everyone found their happy place. It was truly a remarkable moment to witness the occasion, which was once a recurring tradition held close to the hearts of MSUrians. Notwithstanding having virtual orientations and adapting to the new normal seemed to have taken a strong grip on our lives, it was rather refreshing to be back to basics, a much anticipated one.

After about two years of hybrid learning, the campus is now completely accessible to the regulars. Students, staff, and the public can now use all the facilities, amenities, and services face-to-face without any restrictions, unlike in the past. To curb the spread, the administration has adopted relevant and strict SOPs, and anyone identified of having had close contact with COVID-19 patients is strongly advised from not visiting the campus premises and encouraged to get tested immediately. After a lengthy period of quietude, the campus has regained its breath. The comeback is gradual but steady, and MSU is gathering steam to climb even higher and further.

This sentimentality, apparently, is not only shared by the management alone. It seemed like a feasible idea to acquire the students’ perspective, and similar impressions were seen on the orientation students as well. The students, indeed, were looking forward to returning to campus to attend face-to-face classes.

Pursuing a Diploma in Multimedia from the Faculty of Information Sciences & Engineering (FISE) is the well-known Sabahan-Philiphino TikTok content creator, Kee Sen Yao, or fondly known as cloutykee through his prominent social media handles. As a keen content creator, with over 4.6 million followers on his TikTok profile, he aspires to extend his forte in the relevant field. Hence, the course chosen to further hone his multimedia skills, for it has been one of the major study pathways he has always wanted to pursue and MSU had also been topping his list of preferences.

"To be honest, it was one of the few choices I made in high school, and my friends had a significant influence on my decision to attend this university, and this is a place where I believe I will feel at ease".

Sports-related courses are now getting the recognition they deserve, and many people are now acknowledging the implications of it.

"MSU is among the very few universities that offer sports-based programmes and that caught my attention since I am a tennis player and am passionate about studying sports. I do have several seniors and friends here who have given me good feedback regarding this university, such as the mentoring system and facilities.” Deanna Kaur Kaulsay, a burgeoning tennis player and sports aficionado, has enrolled in a Diploma in Sport Science from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (FHLS).

"Upon completing my diploma, I would like to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical education."

This 17-year-old MBPJ district level representative has been playing tennis for 7 years now. Deanna revealed that having face-to-face classes after spending a significant amount of time in virtual classes during her secondary school experience was certainly overwhelming throughout her orientation experience.

“Culture shock is one thing because we have students from various countries and places, but it is also very interesting as you get to discover about every one of them, and the multiplicity is significant, and it is exciting to witness in person, unlike in schools earlier."

Although this orientation has witnessed many fresh students, there is nothing more fulfilling than welcoming back the advancing students. Progressing from Diploma in Education (TESL) to Bachelor in Education – TESL (Hons) from the School of Education and Social Sciences (SESS) is Exmalya Elyda Bt Kamarul Exmal.

She is content to have returned to campus and believes it will be a positive transition.

"I had attended virtual classes earlier, and that was certainly an uncomfortable process at the beginning. My internship was also performed virtually, but over time I manoeuvred accordingly. I believe the same applies to face-to-face classes now as well. The earlier transition has always been manageable, and I am sure I can find reassurance in this transition soon."

Having graduated with a Diploma in Management in 2018 from the Faculty of Business Management and Professional Studies (FBMP), is a dynamic persona, Anuar Alief bin Nasrun. He is all set to pursue a Bachelor in Human Capital Management from the same faculty. "I preferred to seek experience before embarking on my bachelor’s degree. "I found it feasible to seek exposure as a means of preparation for the labour force later on, hence the few years of gap. Now that we are recovering from the pandemic, this will be an excellent opportunity for us to develop and apply our soft skills in addition to achieving good grades.”

Anuar is also aiming to pursue his double degree in counselling and guidance because he feels the need to serve society by giving them the guidance and assistance needed whenever the younger generation nowadays are susceptible to unhealthy habits that would end up ruining their lives and future.

Aiman Hakimi Bin Zainudin, hailing from Terengganu and soon to be pursuing a Bachelor in International Business (Hons), is also the orientation groupmate of Anuar. "At first, I was rather fearful of meeting new people, but as soon as I started mingling more with Anuar and the rest of my groupmates, I easily felt connected, and it feels as though we have known each other for the past few years."

Aiman, too, prefers face-to-face classes over virtual ones. "It is quite nice to be coming back to campus. Engagement with peers can easily be achieved, and lectures can be better understood in face-to-face classes. I gained more soft skills through in-person internship encounters. Real work experience was easily obtained by physically carrying out tasks rather than working from home via screens.

Socialisation does not come off easily for anyone after a long sabbatical, especially for Gen Z nowadays. In this industrially revolutionised era, hands-on learning tops the list, come what may. The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has now allowed the students to return to their respective campuses beginning March 1. Bearing the repercussions and accumulated lessons of the past two years in mind, we hope the teaching and learning practices will resume smoothly and more efficiently in the upcoming days.