An international partnership between Sunderland College and a Malaysian company has reached an important milestone.
The college works with Kuala Lumpur-based Enliten to offer accredited IT courses to students in South East Asia.
And now, the first Enliten student to make the 6,500-mile journey from his home country to Wearside has completed his studies at Sunderland College with flying colours.
Twenty-year-old Tao Khoo has achieved an HND in Computing and Systems Development, which he undertook as an intensive one-year programme at the college.
He said: “It is quite an honour to be the first Enliten student to study at Sunderland College. My college experience has been amazing, and I’ve learnt and experienced so much in a short period of time. I’ve really enjoyed the classes and I’ve received a lot of support from my lecturers.
“The whole experience of living in Sunderland has been very enjoyable – I’ve felt welcomed and at home here. I’ve met lots of friends, learnt so much about a culture that is different to my own and living in a different country is a big responsibility so it has given me the independence to grow.”
Tao, from Kuala Lumpur, is now looking forward to taking up a place at the University of Sunderland this month where he will be studying a one-year top-up degree in network systems, and once he graduates he hopes to become a teacher in the UK.
He said: “Being a teacher is quite a challenge but I think it will be very worthwhile as I can pass on my knowledge and help students, like I’ve been helped.”
Sunderland College has been working in partnership with Enliten since 2014 to offer this digital programme which is part of the college’s expanding international portfolio.
Enliten provides professional and technical IT skills training – with an emphasis on practical learning – from its training centres near the Malaysian capital. It gives students a direct progression route to study in the UK, allowing them to complete an HND and then a top-up year to gain an honours degree.
Jane Reed, Sunderland College’s faculty director for digital, creative and business, said: “The success of our bourgeoning partnership with Enliten is evident through the achievements of Jack, who has demonstrated an excellent work ethic and he should be very proud of what he has accomplished so far.
“We are working closely with our partners at Enliten to offer a clear pathway for students to access higher education in the UK. This will help to broaden their educational and career opportunities, which is something we are keen to invest in with our international partners, and will ensure our provision is making a real difference to the students. We are keen to see many more people follow in the footsteps of Jack.”