Only 1 out of 5
secondary school students continue to pursue their tertiary education after completing their SPM.
"I wish my teachers in school or someone could have told me there were all these scholarships and programmes… No one has ever told me to aspire for more."
In 2016, we met a boy, S. In high school, he had been on the Math Olympiad team, and he went on to complete his Form 6 with an impressive CGPA of 3.75. S is a smart, self-aware young man who knew he wanted to go to university. He comes from a single-parent family and knew that getting a degree would really help his family’s circumstances in the longer term. But finances were tight, and when he did not get his top choices for the public universities, he didn’t know where else to look. He considered taking a gap year so he could work and save up, and then try applying again the next year.
We began to help S explore alternative options and scholarships he could apply for. He worked hard to improve his English and soft skills. By the end of 2016, S secured a full scholarship to pursue his undergraduate studies in finance and accounting at a local private university. Today, he is about to graduate from university and is on a very different life trajectory.
Access to higher education remains one of the most significant determinants for social mobility in Malaysia. We believe that quality university education and the aspirations to achieve that can drastically change the lives of students and their families.
The reality is that S’s story is not unique; you might know someone like him. Many students we speak with are often unaware of the different pathways to university, the scholarships that are available, or how to even apply for these opportunities.
This is why we exist-
To help bright, under-represented students navigate the complexities of the post-SPM landscape and help them get into universities. To see more students like S overcome the odds and fulfil their potential.
The Closing The Gap programme aims to empower high-potential, under-represented students with the knowledge, skills and mindset to enter universities and achieve their fullest potential. We do this via a two to three-year mentoring programme that combines enrichment workshops, university simulation Residential Camp and personalised mentoring by university graduates and young professionals.
In 2021, in order to support students across Malaysia with reaching university, we have adapted our core programme into a fully virtual ReachUni programme. Our 1-year fully virtual programme is targeted to support students in Form 4, 5 and 6 outside KL and Selangor through workshops, group mentoring, life skills and career guidance.
Since its establishment in 2016, CTG has impacted 175 Scholars across 4 cohorts. In our first four cohorts, Scholars have successfully unlocked about RM4.8 million worth in scholarships to pursue tertiary education both within Malaysia and internationally. For more information on CTG’s impact refer to the impact report summary below or take a look at our Annual Report here.
In line with our goal to shift the direction of scholarship providers to be more equitable, we were brought into Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman (YTAR), a non-governmental organisation that was established in 1966 to revamp and manage their Biasiswa Tunku Abdul Rahman (BTAR) scholarship. The BTAR scholarship empowers high-potential, deserving students to pursue higher education in public and private institutions locally. As part of the scholarship, recipients who are also known as Tunku Scholars undergo a 2-year leadership training to prepare them as young leaders equipped with the skills, mindsets and values to contribute to nation-building.