There are many students from Tawau who are studying in top universities in the UK, among them Imperial College London, King’s College London and the University of Bristol, but very few apply to Cambridge, or even consider that as an option.
We aim to change that.
On the 15th of August 2012, the Cambridge Pun Boleh Bah campaign was initiated with a talk in Tawau, Sabah, by three of our Sabahan Cambridge undergraduates: Jinho Clement of Corpus Christi College, Ho Gen Nen of Robinson College and Lim Jia Wei of Sidney Sussex College. The talk, held in the spacious school hall of SM St. Patrick Tawau was attended by around 200 students from three schools: SM St. Patrick, SMK Tawau and the Institute of Science and Management Tawau.
The crowd of students listening intently at the talk.
The talk was kicked off with a light-hearted overview about the university — covering everything from the beautiful aged buildings in Cambridge to the descendant of Issac Newton’s apple tree being in our Botanical Gardens (and even something about how we don’t bother with university rankings as long as we beat Oxford!). The speakers also briefly talked about CUMaS and the Malaysian community there. Then, each of the three speakers presented their own version of life in Cambridge: what they did before entering university, why they chose their courses, what their courses are about, and the various fun bits of their life in Cambridge. A Q&A section, along with an optional section on personal statement writing and interview techniques capped off the two-hour long event.
Gen Nen and Jinho speaking to the audience.
Thankfully, there was quite a lot of buzz before and after the talk, and many students were noticeably interested to apply to Cambridge. The fact that one of the speakers is a true local, an ex-student of SM St. Patrick, Tawau, also helped cement the reality about Cambridge — that it is a place for the bright and brilliant, no matter where the student came from or whatever the circumstances.
One could declare the talk a success, but true success can only be measured by the admissions roll two to three years from now.
(From left to right) Jinho, Gen Nen, Jia Wei, with teachers Mr Tung, Ms Agnes, and Ms Angelina.
The Cambridge Pun Boleh Bah campaign is organised by the International Cambridge University Students Union (iCUSU) in conjunction with CUMaS. It aims to inform, inspire and encourage secondary school students in Sabah to apply to the University of Cambridge. The talk at Tawau is a precursor of a much larger event that will be held in Kota Kinabalu on the 1st of September. Check out the official Facebook page for up-to-date information about this event.