Before I share my story, allow me to provide a brief introduction of myself. My name is Nurul Amalina Binti Che Ariffin, aged 22 and am currently reading law in International Islamic University Malaysia. I will be entering fourth year in the next semester and I thought that it would be great if I was given some input on different scholarships when I was searching for mine after my foundation studies.
Like many other school leavers in pursuit of a scholarship to help fund for their studies, I was at loss. Had I been given the chance to express some acknowledgement, I was very grateful for Google for exposing me to so many options in the comfort of my own home.There were so many scholarships offered with so many different requirements, not to mention the competition. I was feeling rather overwhelmed. However, since I was going to be taking up law, I thought it would be better to find a scholarship which caters to specifically my field of studies. Of course I had not known the existence of my current scholarship. Hence my search began with endless tabs on my browser and going through so many sites and pages for many days started to drive me up the wall and had me considering to give up searching especially due to the fact that I sat for the Cambridge iGCSEs and not SPM, making my search more difficult.
Application and Interview
And then it found me. One way or another, I stumbled across the site. I clicked “Yayasan Tun Suffian” with great curiosity. Canon de Pachebel started playing in the background, emotions started rushing and my heart swelled up for some apparent reason. Maybe I was intoxicated by the music, or it the impressive words I read on the site, but I was certain that this was the scholarship that I wanted to pursue. The foundation was named after a prominent former Lord President who has made contributions to the Malaysian judiciary through his publications and judgments, it would be an honour to be a scholar under his foundation.
When I applied in 2010, there were 11 spots offered if my memory has served me correctly. There were 6 financial-based scholarships, and another 5 is merit-based. In order for us to apply for the scholarship, we were required to provide the foundation with three documents, namely a completed application form, a 500 word essay stating why they would like to pursue the course, as well as a letter from a referee. The application form must be submitted through the dean’s office of the respective universities. I could not remember the minimum CGPA needed to apply but if I was not mistaken, it was 3.5.
The foundation provides financial aid to its scholars, RM 1,000 for books and miscellaneous allowance, and another RM 9,000 for annual living expenses which are provided in half-yearly instalments. Although the application procedure is rather stringent where reference letters and essays were needed, the applicants do not have to go through any interviews or other assessments in order to be selected for the award of the scholarship. Ergo we do not have the horrors of being held under scrutiny like many other scholarship applicants.
I tried not to get my hopes up too high, I was sure that there were many more credible and deserving students who wanted the scholarship as much as me. A few months later I got a call from the foundation stating that I have selected to be awarded with the scholarship. I couldn’t help myself but I broke into a dance and was skipping for the rest of that day, knowing that I am a scholar of a prestigious foundation. I expected to go through many procedures after I was accepted to be a scholar, such as contract signing or attending ceremonies or be expected to be bound to any institution for a period of time like many other scholars so I was delightfully surprised that I only had to sign the acceptance form, send in my financial statement for the semester. The only conditions stipulated were that I have to maintain my CGPA for at least 2.7 and above, that I was not receiving any scholarship or monetary grant from other bodies, and if I obtained any other scholarship in the future, I would have my scholarship withdrawn. The conditions provided were fairly simple and achievable terms, I am grateful that I was awarded with this scholarship.
For the year 2014, I saw that only 4 LLB scholarships would be awarded to students studying at Malaysian public universities. The competition would definitely be greater among students. There are a few things to note with regards to the Yayasan Tun Suffian Scholarship, among which is that the scholarship would be rewarded for law students studying LLB in Malaysian public universities only (they also have one LLM and three PhDscholarships). The scholarship would only be rewarded once you are going to pursue your undergraduate studies, not during foundation studies or diploma. My advice would be to find a referee who is able to observe your academic performance whom you trust would place you in high regards considering that you would not be able to read the referral letter. For more information you may refer to the Yayasan Tun Suffian’s website at www.tunsuffianfoundation.org
For those who are reading this, all the best in your future endeavours and I hope my testimony has been somewhat helpful in helping you to come to your decision.
Taken from: http://scholarst.com/project/tun-suffian-foundation-amalina-ariffin