At UNITAR, we pride ourselves on being the first Virtual University in Southeast Asia. We established this in 1997 when the university was founded. As recent as March 2020, we were also the first University in Asia to be awarded a 5-star QS rating for Online Learning.
Based on the effects of COVID-19, the whole world has gone virtual. Companies have advised their employees to minimise contact and work from home where possible. In Malaysia, the Movement Control Order set by the government made this a ruling, rather than a suggestion. Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of going virtual. The local shops and eateries have suffered, especially if their stores were not available on online delivery services such as GrabFood or Foodpanda.
When it comes to the education field, you will notice that the only option to further studies was to do it online. Many universities are new to the virtual platform, but not UNITAR! We understand that many students enjoy the traditional classroom setting where they are surrounded by their peers and appreciate the engagement with the lecturers. However, we must acknowledge that even through a global pandemic, the learning does not have to stop.
Thankfully, the virtual classroom allows lecturers to continue with their classes, just through a different mode. It can be a hurdle for some students at first, but many have found that the virtual classroom is actually beneficial to their learning. They tend to be more focused and driven when attending online classes – but of course, they still miss hanging out with their friends before and after classes! We must also acknowledge that the virtual classroom can be a challenge for some lecturers who are used to being in front of 25 students, instead of being in front of their laptop screen. At the end of the day, the most important factor is that the learning process can continue, and our students can learn from the comfort of their own homes with less distractions.
Moving forward, we are glad to offer our students the option to learn on a virtual platform, but we still look forward to the day when we can invite our students back to our campuses to further enjoy their education journey at UNITAR!