Shaun Kwan Ka Junn
A Sporting Chance
Nilai U offers squash ace scholarship allowing him to fulfill aviation ambitions.
"Squash is in my blood," proclaims Shaun Kwan Ka Junn, who is pursuing a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University (Nilai U). "My father is a former national squash player (Steven Kwan) and he made my siblings and I train from a very early age. In fact, I started playing squash when I was just five!" All that early training has certainly brought dividends as Shaun and his two brothers have all gone on to represent Malaysia in the sport at various age groups. And it is Shaun's abilities in the squash court that has won him an Extra-Curricular Excellence Award from Nilai U. The award covering 100% of his tuition and accommodation fees, which Shaun is most grateful for.
The dashing 20-year-old had actually enrolled in another institution for a pre-university Foundation course with a view to doing a degree in mechatronicsl engineering. But then the call came from Nilai U to attend a scholarship interview and Shaun jumped at the chance. "My passion is in aviation and this was a chance for me to study a programme I am deeply interested in on a scholarship. I didn't have to think twice."
He is ecstatic at being offered the scholarship and has already started paying back some of the investment by starting a squash club at Nilai U. "I want more people to take up this sport and I also conduct training sessions. I also represent Nilai U in squash and am looking forward to the World University Games," he says.
When asked if he is finding it difficult juggling his sporting ambitions with his academic pursuits, Shaun says having been doing so since primary school, he is used to it. "Whilst my classmates were hanging out after school, I had to make sure all my homework and revision was done before getting down to the serious training required of a national athlete. I am just continuing what I have always done before," says the former SMK Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam student, believing the years of rigorous training has helped him become much more focussed with regards to academia and disciplined with his time management.
Shaun is full of praise for Nilai U, not just because he is a scholarship recipient, saying, "How many private institutions can boast of having two aircraft for students to work on?" He also points out that having highly experienced lecturers from military and aviation backgrounds certainly help students cope with the demanding syllabus, which prepares students for the all -important European Aviation Safety Agency B1 examinations. It is these internationally-recognised examinations which lead to students being eventually certified as aircraft maintenance engineers who can determine the airworthiness of an aircraft.
Apart from the top-class facilities and experienced lecturers, Shaun is also keen to point out that students in his programme can earn a UK degree with just an additional year's study. Students who successfully complete the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering can then complete the one-year top up programme which leads to a prestigious BSc (Hons) in Aircraft Engineering from Kingston University, UK. "In just three-and-a-half years, students can actually gain a Nilai U diploma, EASA certification, a degree form Kingston University, as well as completing six-months On-The-Job-Training (OJT) with one of the industry partners," he states.
Meanwhile, Shaun is completely focussed on ensuring his grades keep him in the top percentile of his class and also ensure his squash is good enough for him to continue donning the Jalur Gemilang. "Those of you who have a great sporting CV, do check out Nilai U as it rewards athletes with scholarships. In fact, everyone who has an interest in planes should check out Nilai U as it is certainly one of the best in the field."
Nilai U is located just 15-minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and students in the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme have the opportunity to do their OJT with industry partners such as Air Asia X, KLM, and Berjaya Air. For more information, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336.
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