UCL students secure over 200 Monash Global Awards of Excellence

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 16 2021
Columns UCL students secure over 200 Monash Global Awards of Excellence

Universal College Lanka (UCL) holds the unique distinction of being the only transnational higher education institute in Sri Lanka which provides a guaranteed pathway to the prestigious Monash University through its exclusive partnership.

Monash University is a Top 100 University in the world and currently ranked 55th in the world (as per the QS University Rankings 2021). It also a Group of Eight University. Increasingly, students are beginning their Australian journey with the Monash Pathway Programs at UCL and complete their degrees in a university of their choice in Australia to achieve their dreams in life. 

UCL has produced over 200 Global Awards of Excellence recipients in the past five years. These World Toppers Awards are presented in two categories, Global Awards of Excellence and Diploma Global Awards. 

A Global Award of Excellence recognizes students who have obtained the highest marks in a particular subject, whilst a Diploma Global Award recognises the student who has obtained the highest marks at the course level across all Monash providers internationally. 

Let’s ask Thanura De Silva, winner of Monash Diploma Global Award of Excellence in the Science stream in 2020, about his Monash Journey which began at UCL. 

How would you describe yourself?

I was born in Nagasaki, Japan, but both my parents are Sri Lankan. Upon completing my secondary school education at Trinity College Kandy, I joined UCL to pursue my higher studies. 

If I were to describe myself, I would say I’m a very curious person. I would try to figure out whatever seems interesting or try new things. That’s what brought me into this field in the first place.

Tell us about the highlights in your journey with Monash at UCL?

I had the opportunity to meet with new friends. Although we were restricted to meet on campus due to the CoVID- 19 pandemic, we were always connected through social media. As a science student I got a chance to do different units at UCL which gave me the opportunity to meet other friends from IT, and Engineering fields as well. I remember, one time I was playing pool at the rooftop student lounge and some seniors came and challenged me for a game. So when I lost and was about to give them a treat they said “Oh we were just kidding, Welcome to UCL”. Later I found out they were basketball players at UCL. I am a huge NBA fan, but I didn’t get a chance to play at a competitive level as my priority was studies. Yet I am delighted that I did get a chance to play with them just before the lockdown. Overall, I had a great student experience at UCL. Having joined the inaugural batch of the MCD Science program at UCL, I am proud to be its very first winner of the Monash Global Award of Excellence at Program Level in MCD Science. 

How has the guidance provided by UCL affected your life today?

It helped me a lot to get where I am today. Believe it or not I was an introvert back in my school days. I was good at writing answers on paper because there is no interaction at all. However lecturers at UCL- Monash College often advised us to be interactive, and trained us on how to present ourselves and how to give an answer. They always said it’s ok to make mistakes, with that my confidence gradually started building up until I was comfortable to speak up and it helped me a lot. 

Tell us about MCD Science

MCD Science stands for Monash College Diploma of Science. It is awarded by Monash College Australia, and is equivalent to the 1st year of the Bachelor of Science Degree at Monash University. This is the only guaranteed pathway in Sri Lanka that allows you to enter Monash University Australia or Malaysia for the 2nd year of the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Food Science & Technology, Bachelor of Medical Bioscience degrees etc. Also, there are so many majors to choose from, including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Medicinal Chemistry etc. Monash College Diploma is around 8 months with 2 semesters having 4 units in each semester. You get core units which are prerequisites in your second year at Monash and other elective units that gain credits. I did my local AL but due to personal reasons it was not the best year for me. But I see it as a blessing in disguise as I found this pathway program. 

What are the challenges you faced in your journey and how did you overcome them?

The CoVID- 19 pandemic definitely affected a lot as a student. We are used to classroom learning, but CoVID compelled us to switch to online learning and virtual classrooms. Like I said before I started asking questions and being really interactive in class. It helped me a lot. Being at home also had its benefits as I am used to the environment. I am glad this pandemic could not hold us back, as UCL quickly switched to online lectures, and we were able to complete our studies right on time!

Who are the people you are thankful for helping you achieve this prestigious title?

I am very thankful to my parents. My sisters and all my relatives looked after me whenever my parents were busy. And all the teachers from school who taught me from grade 1 to 13. Then the highly qualified lecturers at UCL- Monash College who gave their best and prepared me to excel at a world- class Monash University in the future. Not forgetting all my school friends, Danuka and Hansala who supported me to choose this pathway, and all my friends from UCL - David, Nishellie, Lishini, Sadani to name a few. People whom I associated made me who I am now and I wouldn’t have become this person I am today if it wasn’t for them. 

So you have completed your Diploma, what are your future plans?

For me this is just the beginning of a long journey. My next goal is to do my best at the university and have fun while doing it. I always set my dreams and aspirations high, no matter how long it takes to achieve it. As long as I don’t stop, eventually I will get there. I hope someday I can win a Nobel Prize related to genetics. It may take a long time, but I want my existence to be beneficial for humanity.

As the Monash Global Award of Excellence winner what advice would you give to students?

Take decisions that make you happy. You need to have the courage to follow your ambition. You need to make sure you don’t regret it in the future. Whatever you are doing, make sure you enjoy it.

For more information, contact UCL on 0774 777 000, log on to www.ucl.lk or visit Facebook and Instagram pages – Monash at UCL. Visit UCL at #503, Sri Jayewardenepura Mawatha, Sri Jayewardenepura. Registrations are now open for February 2021 intake!

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 16 2021

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