When it comes to choosing the right university, students tend to put the repute of a university above other factors.

In a 2017 International Student Survey conducted by Hobsons, a global education service company, the top criteria students consider when selecting a university include “offers high-quality teaching”, “well-ranked”, “welcoming to international students” and “has a prestigious brand”.

The Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU) at Sims Drive has a team of academic staff who are experienced and highly qualified. All full-time lecturers have at least a PhD qualification and are based in Singapore.

As most of the lecturers are involved in research, students can benefit from their valuable insights gained from active participation in the field.

Prestigious accreditations

In 2015, JCU was the first organisation to be awarded the highest level of accreditation in Singapore for private education providers, the EduTrust Star.

The EduTrust Star is Singapore’s highest pinnacle of quality for private education. It is awarded to educational institutions that display the highest possible standards in their academic programs, the manner in which they operate, and the quality of their student experience.

Ms Tamlyn Richards, a Catholic Junior College graduate, considered these top priorities before deciding to pursue her Bachelor of Psychological Science at JCU after her A levels.

She took three months to weigh her options between local universities and JCU. Ultimately, she chose JCU for its impressive accreditations and awards garnered for research.

She is currently in her second trimester of her degree program.

She says: “The fact that JCU is a recognised university that was granted the EduTrust Star Award influenced my decision to study there, as it gave me the confidence to enrol in the university.

“To me, its accreditations were of the utmost importance as they are essential for attaining a good foothold in the working world.”

Receiving an education in a top-ranking university is one of the main reasons students like Ms Richards make JCU their first choice.

JCU is ranked in the top 2 per cent of universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2017.

Career mobility

Psychology students like Ms Richards find JCU’s psychology degree course appealing because it grants them the flexibility to study in Australia and even work there after graduation.

This is especially important for her as the psychology course offered by JCU is accredited in both  Australia and Singapore.

James Cook University provides the opportunity for students to study in Singapore and in Australia and yet still remain as Singapore-based students paying their fees in Singapore currency.

This option particularly impressed Ms Richards, as it is a value-added option that allows her to enjoy an immersive learning experience by being exposed to a different social and teaching culture abroad.

Trimester system

JCU’s Bachelor of Psychological Science program provides a pathway towards specialist careers in organisational, educational and developmental psychology.

The university employs a trimester system for its programs, in which each academic year is divided into three study periods.

The first trimester commences in March, ending in June, while the second commences in July and ends in October. The third trimester commences in November and ends in February.

This trimester-based program enables students to complete the Bachelor of Psychological Science in two years, allowing students to enter the workforce sooner.

Ms Nurul believes that JCU’s diverse student population allows her to interact with people from all walks of life, which is a boon to her field of study. PHOTO: JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY

Diverse student population

For Ms Nurul Hannah Binte Hathemi, who is currently a Bachelor of Psychological Science student in JCU, its campus culture was why she chose to study there.

JCU’s multi-racial environment celebrates diversity, and encourages both students and staff to participate in and learn from the many cultures on campus.

Ms Nurul applied to several local universities, but chose JCU because its diverse student population allows her to interact with people from all walks of life, which is a boon to her field of study.

She says: “Due to the diversity of people on campus, I am able to appreciate different cultural backgrounds and practices. This is an especially important learning experience that prepares me for the workplace and reduces potential disputes due to misunderstandings.”

“JCU also teaches us to widen our social circle. This helps me to form connections for the future, which I feel is rather useful.”

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