St Joe takes pride in three ex-students going to Cambridge

(From left) School Principal Fr Francis Lim, SJ, Aw, Lau, and Ho in a photo-call

KUCHING: St Joseph’s Private School here is proud of its three former students, who have gained entry into University of Cambridge in England.

Zachary Aw Zheng Quan and Lau Sau Jee, both aged 20, will be pursuing undergraduate studies in English Literature and Electrical Power Engineering, respectively, while Marcus Ho Hao Xiang, 19, will be studying Applied Medicine.

Lau and Ho took their A-Levels at Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur after completing their studies here in 2016 and 2017 respectively, while Aw completed his A-Levels at Methodist College Kuala Lumpur.

In a recent interview, Aw said he was surprised to be accepted into Cambridge due to the long process in the online application, called the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA), and also the interview.

“Cambridge has always been a dream for me because since I was a kid. Initially, it was not a solid plan – more like a dream,” he added.

Similarly, Lau expressed his disbelief at being accepted into Cambridge.

“At first, it seemed unbelievable but after that, you started to question: ‘What’s next? What would you have to do to prepare yourself to be there?” said Lau, who had to secure a scholarship to finance his study, which he did receive from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to pursue his undergraduate programme.

Ho expressed his excitement at being able to further his studies at the university, considering that the admission process was known to be very tedious and competitive – it is said that Cambridge only accepts 20 students from around the world for its Applied Medicine programme.

“Before my final exam in A-Levels, I had to complete my Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to apply for universities in the UK. I had to sit for two different admissions because I applied to two different universities there,” said Ho, adding that he would settle in first before looking for financial assistance.

“It is true that Cambridge is one of the top universities in the world. But at the end of the day, the state government could aid 10, perhaps 20 other undergraduates studying locally who are a lot less-fortunate, instead of providing the fund for me to study Medicine in Cambridge,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aw added: “In our search for sponsorships and financial aid, we have written to the state government and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. We have also met with the Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and applied for many other scholarships (from organisations) based in Peninsular Malaysia.”

The Borneo Post, September 29, 2019