Published by Afterschool.my on Apr 19, 2018, 11:41 am
So you want a UK degree, but you’re not sure where to start. Should you go to the straight to the UK? Should you do a twinning programme? What about branch campuses in Malaysia? With so many options, you might have questions about them all. What’s the difference? What will you get out of either of them?
We at Afterschool.my have the answers to your questions. Whether you want to do a twinning programme or enrol in a branch campus here in Malaysia, we can help you understand the basics, the similarities and differences, and all that jazz.
A UK branch campus is essentially a university in the UK that has established campuses in countries outside its region, in hopes of delivering the same quality of education—not limited to syllabus and teaching methods—as received by students in the UK.
There are currently five UK branch campuses in Malaysia: University of Southampton in Johor, University of Nottingham in Semenyih, University of Reading in Johor, Newcastle University Medicine in Johor, and Heriot-Watt University in Putrajaya.
A UK twinning programme on the other hand is offered by a local private university that has formed a partnership with a UK university, thereby allowing you to complete your degree in one country or both, depending on the chosen programme. At the end of your degree, you will be conferred a degree from that UK university.
There are various institutions in Malaysia that offer twinning programmes, such as Brickfields Asia College (BAC), SEGi Universities and Colleges and Taylor’s University.
While they are two separate entities, it’s not surprising that UK branch campuses and UK twinning programmes have many similarities. Here are some of the things they have in common:
1. You will get a UK degree by the end of it
The most evident similarity between UK branch campuses and UK twinning programmes is the degree that you will get upon completion. As both branch campuses and twinning programmes are linked with a UK university, the qualifications you obtain at the end of your degree are recognised by the UK university.
2. You will be able to transfer to the UK for a portion of your studies
Both UK branch campuses and UK twinning programmes allow you to transfer to the UK for your studies. In UK branch campuses, they offer exchange programmes where you can go to the UK for a semester or a year during your degree, as well as transfer programmes that allow you to complete your final year in the UK. UK twinning programmes work in the same vein with their 2+1 or 1+2 programmes. After studying in Malaysia for one or two years, you can complete the rest of your degree in the UK.
3. Both are significantly more affordable than doing your entire degree in the UK
Many students opt to go to a UK branch campus or do a UK twinning programme because it is considerably cheaper than going to the UK from the beginning of your degree. The average cost of studying in a world-renowned UK university is about RM150,000 per year, while studying in a branch campus is around RM100,000 for the total cost of three years. Twinning programmes here in Malaysia are also at an average of RM50,000 for the whole degree!
Of course, there are differences between UK branch campuses and UK twinning programmes. Reading through them below can help you make your choice:
1. The institution in which you will be studying
UK branch campuses are extensions of their main campus in the UK; therefore, the branch campus is directly functioning under the UK campus. The syllabuses are brought over directly from the UK, typically without any changes except for adding subjects pertaining to the Ministry of Higher Education. The faculty and staff are also commonly brought over from the UK university, sometimes travelling back and forth between campuses. This is to keep to the aim of branch campuses in maintaining the same quality of their UK education. In a way, you will be recognised as a student of the UK university, and obtaining a place in the UK campus for transfer programmes or postgraduate studies will be easier compared to applying for them as fresh students.
UK twinning programmes are conducted in local private universities that form partnerships with UK universities. Take Brickfields Asia College (BAC) for example, which offers BA (Hons) Business Economics 2+1 twinning programme with the University of Hull. While you will be conferred a degree from the University of Hull at the end of it, the first two years of your studies will be conducted in BAC in Malaysia. The syllabus during your time in Malaysia has been determined by BAC, and the faculty and staff are mostly local.
2. The choice of UK university that you will be transferring to
One of the perks of studying in a UK branch campus in Malaysia is that you will be able to transfer your credits to most other universities in the UK. As the syllabuses in your first and second year are brought over directly from the UK university, it would be recognised by most universities in the UK. For example, if you are studying in the University of Nottingham branch campus in Malaysia, you will be able to transfer to most other universities across the UK as well as select universities in Europe for your final year.
A UK twinning programme would entail you to choose the UK university that you want to go to during your transfer right at the beginning of the programme. This is because the local private university has already formed a partnership with the UK university, and thus you cannot opt to go to a different university when transferring to the UK. For example, if you are studying the BA (Hons) Business Economics 2+1 twinning programme with the University of Hull in BAC, you are bound to go to the University of Hull when in the UK as that is your chosen university from the beginning of the programme.
3. The cost of studying (both here + there!)
While both options are cheaper than completing your entire degree in the UK, one does ‘out-cost’ the other. In keeping the aim of importing the syllabus, staff and overall quality of a UK university, UK branch campuses are typically more expensive than UK twinning programmes. Studying in the University of Nottingham Malaysia, for instance, costs around RM37,000 per year while a UK twinning programme in BAC costs about RM20,000 per year, almost half the cost.
Also, though transferring to the UK from a UK branch campus will be easier, you will have to bear the cost of living and personal expenses on your own. That will add more to the total cost of studying.