2015 sees an exciting year for Foundation in Science (FiS) students, especially for those who enrolled into the programme in 2014, their year long journey in the programme has ended and many have successfully begun a new chapter of their life, right here in the familiar grounds of IMU! Since its launch in 2014, Foundation in Science IMU has opened its doors to more than 450 students over 6 intakes. Of these 450 students, 168 have completed the programme and 132 students have successfully enrolled into a degree programme of their choice, ranging from medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and the health sciences. Not only that, among these students who have started their degree courses in IMU, 6 of them received full and partial scholarships to pursue their degree courses in Chiropractic, Medical Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Psychology and Dietetics with Nutrition. Foundation in Science IMU aims to prepare students academically and holistically for their undergraduate studies in IMU. With that aim in mind, the teaching methodology and assessment methods employed in Foundation in Science are aligned to the methodologies used in the undergraduate programmes. Students benefit from these as it gives them early exposure and a head start to the undergraduate learning environment. In a recent conversation with Abu Bakar who has completed the Foundation in Science programme and currently pursuing his medical degree, Abu says, “FiS in IMU has been a life changing experience. It helped me transition from high school to university, and it gave me an opportunity to adapt, with the help of close friends from FiS. IMU has given me a platform to succeed.” The Foundation in Science in IMU is an important foundation year which aims to prepare students to be independent learners. Vicknesh, pursuing his degree in Medicine says “FiS has helped me to be self-directed in my learning.”
While students in the initial stages of Foundation in Science may find it a struggle for the lack of spoon feeding in the programme, they soon realize the importance and benefit of the teaching methodogy used in Foundation in Science that greatly benefitted and enhanced their learning during their tertiary studies.
Another added advantage of the Foundation in Science in IMU besides preparing students academically and holistically for independent learning, the programme also has a strong pastoral care system in place. Each FiS student is assigned to an academic mentor whom the students can seek help and guidance from regarding academic matters. Besides that, a designated Student Services Executive is engaged to look after students’ welfare on non-academic matters. April Zaw from Yangon, Myanmar, currently in Semester 2 of the FiS programme says, “I didn’t know what to expect from this programme. I was worried about how to cope in a foreign country. But to my delight, everyone here was very supportive. My classmates from Foundation in Science took very good care of me, knowing that I am younger than most of my classmates. My experience here thus far is expected than I expected.” Related Story: IMU welcomes pioneer batch of Foundation in Science students