Professor Michael Kyrios speaking to the audience members as they pay close attention.
By: Dinesh George Lourdes
In the last 10 years there has been a significant increase in the number of students studying psychology in Malaysia. What exactly is psychology and what is its pulling power among students? Psychology is the science of behaviours, thoughts and feelings. In essence, psychology aims to understand how people behave, think and feel. This definition is well captured in the HELP Faculty of Behavioural Sciences motto: Understanding Minds, Empowering Lives.
HELP University’s Department of Psychology has one of the largest undergraduate psychology programs for a university in Southeast Asia. With over 1,300 full time students majoring in psychology, 60 staff members and 37 psychology academic staff who specialize in different areas of HELP’s Department of Psychology offers a vibrant student life with active psychology clubs, sporting events and psychology research colloquiums. Over 350 organizations offer employment and internships to HELP psychology graduates and there is a 100% employment rate.
Throughout 2016, HELP University’s Psychology Department has carried out various activities to help students succeed in life and to live a life of significance through education. In order to maintain HELP University’s reputation of having a strong culture of quality and leadership, lecturers and tutors very often focus on the talent development of students. Events are carried out on a regular basis to offer students a learning experience that enhances career development, lifetime values and personal fulfilment.
Earlier in November 2016, HELP University held the MAPSA – Malaysian Psychology Student Assembly 2016. This assembly was held in HELP University, Subang Bestari where more than a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate psychology students from around the country attended an inaugural Malaysian Psychology Student Assembly to present their research and to learn about the latest psychology ideas.
The theme for the conference was “Psychology Matters”, and the aim of the conference was to discuss whether psychology has made a significant impact in Malaysia, particularly in addressing prejudice, poverty, violence, crime, mental health, education, and many other national issues.
Among the distinguished speakers who delivered the keynote addresses, are Professor Michael Kyrios, President of the Australian Psychological Society, and Dean at the Australian National University; and Dr Oliver Chan, an alumnus of HELP University, and a current Assistant Professor of Criminology at City University Hong Kong.
“I am so impressed at the enthusiasm and the drive of all the students that I have seen at HELP University. It is apparent that HELP University produces brilliant students”, said Professor Michael Kyrios. He went on, “The number of students that attended this conference amazes me and it is nice to see such young and driven students produced by HELP”.
Another event that was held by the psychology department for the development of students was the first annual PSYC School Convention, held in June 2016, where over 1300 secondary school students participated.
The aim of the convention was to expose Malaysian secondary school students to the world of psychology. Throughout the course of the day, students had the opportunity to listen to plenary talks about the key aspects of psychology.
Students also had the opportunity to choose from 18 workshops covering different aspects relevant to teenagers such as managing exam stress, understanding teenage depression and so on. Students also had the opportunity to visit over 40 game/exhibition booths related to psychology.
During this event, the annual Psychology Challenge was also held, where students had the opportunity to test their knowledge on Psychology, with the opportunity to win scholarships, including a full scholarship to pursue the 1-year Foundation program and 3-year Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) program at HELP University.
HELP University’s Bachelor in Psychology programme is a three-year honours programme. Students are assessed not only through written examinations, but also through course work and assignments. The course is structured in a way that students gain a more hands-on approach of psychology through carrying out various events (as stated above).
HELP University is a pioneer in psychology among private institutions in Malaysia and was the first non-Australian university to attain the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accreditation for the joint HELP-Flinders Bachelor of Psychological Science and Bachelor of Psychology Science (Honours) undergraduate psychology programme.
HELP University has transfer arrangements with over 50 top universities in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Australia and New Zealand. Among HELP’s partner universities for its psychology programs are Cardiff University, Wales; University of Leeds; Sheffield University; Australian National University (ANU); Flinders University, Adelaide; University of Queensland, Brisbane and the University of Otago.
Alumnus of HELP University, John Emmanuel Kiat, who is currently completing his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln expressed how grateful he was that HELP’s degree is equivalent to a British bachelor’s degree.
“I was really pleased to have learnt that the British Psychological Society (BPS) considered my HELP Psychology degree as an equivalent to a British bachelor’s degree,” John said. He added that: “HELP’s degree was also strong enough to grant me the Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership which implies that HELP’s psychology programme is equal to the British Honours standard.
John is one of over 150 HELP Psychology graduates who are completing PhDs or Masters programmes in top universities around the world including Cambridge University and University College London.
For more information on the psychology programs offered at HELP University, please call the HELP Department of Psychology at 03-27112000, email the Dean, Dr Goh Chee Leong at email@example.com, or visit our university website at www.help.edu.my