Malaysian partners welcome new Head of School to Kuala Lumpur
8 December 2022
This November, Professor Warren Barr, Head of the School of Law and Politics, travelled to Malaysia to visit the Law department’s many Malaysian partners. Professor Barr, who joined the school in September 2022, brings a wealth of international knowledge to his role, having been on international recruitment visits for over 20 years. He is also co-Chair of the UK Transfer Programme Consortium for Brickfields Asia College (BAC), one of the major partners.
The Consortium deals with QA processes, including engaging external examiners, and adds value to BAC by staff development activities, co-ordinated between members. A transfer programme allows eligible students studying an LLB programme at a partner institution to transfer to Cardiff University to complete their studies.
Our international students are incredibly important to us. Forging and maintaining our relationships with them and the partner universities where they have been studying was something Professor Barr was excited to re-establish as move to a period of coping with COVID-19 and return to on-campus experiences. Here he writes about his experiences in the region.
"This November 2022, I travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to visit the Law department’s many Malaysian partners. Over the years, the School of Law and Politics has developed really strong relationships with a number of partner institutions in the region so I was keen to meet contacts in my new capacity as Head of School and promote all we have to offer to the students and staff I would get to meet.
Consortium meeting and consortium staff development event
One of our partners, BAC hosted a UK Transfer Consortium meeting, which I co-chaired with Penny Carey, Dean, Hertfordshire Law School. Matters discussed included new developments at BAC, the Consortium External Examiners’ reports on quality and standards and the excellent attainment and engagement of BAC students both last year and this.
This was followed by a Consortium Staff Development session, where external examiners, Professors Martin Dixon and Sally Wheeler shared sage advice on the purpose and content of assessment, chaired by Penny Carey. I chaired the final session of the day which was a series of lightning talks and a Q&A on elements of good practice from members of the Consortium.
BAC Graduation convocation
BAC held a Graduation convocation at their new, purpose-built facility, Menara BAC, on the Petaling Jala campus on Saturday 26 November 2022. I joined Professors Sally Wheeler and Martin Dixon, Consortium External Examiners, Penny Carey and Mr Raja Singham, Managing Director, BAC on the stage for the ceremony.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to say a few words by way of congratulations to graduates, emphasizing the importance of kindness in all dealings and looking after one’s own mental wellbeing. I reminded students to keep in touch, as we are always delighted to hear of the continued success of our Alumni community. I also had the important job of presenting in-person certificates to graduates who had been unable to graduate at the Cardiff ceremony in July 2022.
BAC Consortium dinner
Following the Graduation convocation, BAC treated consortium members to dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. This experience was really positive and gave me an opportunity to reconnect with consortium contacts.
I would like to extend my thanks to all members of the BAC staff, many of whom attended, and to my fellow Consortium members, for a very lovely evening.
BAC UK Education Fair
On Monday 28 November 2022, BAC held its annual UK Education Recruitment Fair, in person for the first time since October 2019. There was considerable interest for law programmes at Cardiff University to the point we ran out of our promotional materials! I also gave a subject talk, highlighting why students should chose us as their UK Transfer partner.
Taylors University staff development session
On Tuesday 29 November I visited Taylor’s University Law School and delivered a workshop on assessment for Law School staff on ‘Crafting Object Based Assessments’. Even the rain could not dampen spirits, as it was so good to be back together face to face. This was my first appointment as Adjunct Professor at Taylor’s University, a role which lasts for two years and will involve closer working with Law Staff at Taylors on educational and research issues.
HELP University visit
One of the longest established members of the Law UK Transfer programme is HELP University, and Cardiff has been working with HELP Law for many years. The Law School at HELP recently relocated to Ground Floor, Wisma CL, 5, and is now very close to the University Registry building. Facilities have been greatly improved for staff and students, and, alongside meeting Katheleen Marie Nunis, the new Head of Law, I also gave a Land Law lecture to Year 2 students, on ‘Co-Ownership and the Trust’. I love teaching HELP students as they’re always so engaged, friendly and polite
Advanced Tertiary College (ATC) visit
ATC is one of the oldest private colleges in Kuala Lumpur and has been involved in running the popular London External LLB Programme since the 1980s. Under the directorship of Daniel Abishegam, Academic Director, ATC launched a UK Transfer Programme in 2019. This is a provisional programme, as the approval process under the Malaysian Education Ministry is that the programme must successfully run for one complete cohort before it can be re-evaluated and full approval given. Alongside Alpa Shah, Malaysia Partnerships Development Manager for Cardiff University I gave a presentation about ATC provision on the UK Transfer Programme and a tour of the impressive new facilities, in Jalan Ampang in the heart of the commercial district. I also had the opportunity to teach the first cohort of students who have moved into Year 2 of UK Transfer Programme. Again, the topic was Land Law, but this time it was about ‘Co-Ownership and Severance’. I would particularly like to thank Daniel for surrendering his lecture slot, so that this was more than a guest lecture but part of the actual provision of content on the students’ module.
UKEC Law Fair
My final event of the trip was to attend the United Kingdom and Eire (Ireland) Council (UKEC) for Malaysian Students Education Fair. I had been invited to give one of the presentations, this time entitled ‘Why Do the Bar at Cardiff?’. There were lots of enquiries on the stand, and I was also interviewed by UKEC colleagues on video about my impressions of the Education Fair and the value of such events to Malaysian student seeking to study in the UK. Thank you to my colleague Yin Yin Cheong, who set up the stand and handled the majority of the enquiries.
It was simply fantastic to be back in Malaysia, re-connecting with partners and seeing potential students. It was an even greater pleasure to inform students and their support networks of why they would enjoy coming to the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, and I’m hopeful that I will get to meet with many of those people when they start with us in September 2023. Despite travelling to Malaysia over many years, this was my first visit around the festive season, and it was lovely to see decorations everywhere."