UCSI Accounting Student Overcomes Illness and Excels in his Studies

Tiew Kee Yee is no stranger to adversity. And he is also no stranger to success. His stellar academic and co-curricular

Tiew Kee Yee, recipient of the Chancellor's Gold Medal Award at UCSI University's Convocation Ceremony
Tiew Kee Yee, recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal Award at UCSI University’s Convocation Ceremony

achievements stem from an ironclad determination to achieve, regardless of the obstacles in his way.

Diagnosed with Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy disease, which causes the weakening of muscles, Tiew depends on a wheelchair to get around. Nonetheless, he did not let that stop his pursuit of an education. He states matter-of-factly that his condition will not improve.

“Knowledge is my only choice to ensure I have a competitive advantage,” he says with a smile without a hint of self-pity.

His resolve to earn a degree saw him enrolling in UCSI University’s BA (Hons) Accounting degree under the Faculty of Business and Information Sciences (FoBIS). His years at UCSI from foundation to degree are marked with achievement after achievement. In 2009, he was awarded the MERIT Scholarship Award, and he was on the Dean’s List for two years in a row for 2011 and 2012.

To cap it off, during UCSI University’s 27th Convocation ceremony held in early August this year, he was announced as the recipient of the inaugural Chancellor’s Gold Medal Award – an honour on par with that of the valedictorian.

When asked how he feels winning the award, he flashes a grin and said “surprised”. Slightly hesitant, he adds it also gave him a sense of “peace and contentment” knowing that his efforts are recognised by others.

Balancing his studies with his aspiration to carve his own place in the world, Tiew made a conscious effort to step out of his comfort zone as much as possible. This saw him setting up the Accounting and Finance Student Association as the founding president and participating in various competitions and forums organised by the Faculty.

Recalling his time at UCSI with much pride and fondness, Tiew is thankful that his experience has helped him evolve from a boy who had difficulty expressing himself confidently in school to a young man who speaks animatedly to anyone about his passion – tax.

“I’m glad for my time at UCSI. It showed me that my presence means something.”

UCSI University Provides Excellent Finance Degree Courses

To ensure its students like Tiew are equipped with a competitive edge for the working world, UCSI University periodically

Tiew Kee Yee with his brother and mother at UCSI University's graduation
Tiew Kee Yee with his brother and mother at UCSI University’s graduation

reviews its programmes. Going to the source of student employment, the academic staff members touched base with industry practitioners and realised that all of them had the same request.

“The industry leaders we spoke with said that they needed graduates with financial knowledge,” reveals Melissa Migin, the dean.

Interestingly enough, the industry feedback is not that it needs graduates of finance degrees; it needs graduates with knowledge of finance in addition to a conventional business degree.

Migin credits this demand for finance expertise on top of a traditional business degree to the flexibility such a degree provides. Both the student and employing company have the option of utilising either skill depending on the career opportunities and department needs.

Industry feedback coupled with the fact the financial services sector is targeted to raise the country’s Gross National Income by a staggering RM121.5 billion by 2020, led Migin and her team to realise that the time is now to equip their students with financial knowledge.

Thus, UCSI University has designed a new range of degree programs that incorporates the trusted business degree with the growing finance potential. The degree programs offered are

This foresight by the Faculty also means that UCSI is one of the few private tertiary education institutions offering these degrees.

Internship Opportunities at UCSI Universities Enhances Students’ Experience and Job Future

To ensure its students excel academically as well as in the working world later on, UCSI University emphasises hands-on learning.

During my Co-Op at Ogilvy and Mathers, I gained great work experience and insight into what working is like. UCSI University has about 1000 companies partnered with them where I can choose to do my Co-Op.
Paul Kong, UCSI Graduate

This is in line with UCSI’s Praxis University® approach that advocates the application of theory to practice.

While its two-month Co-Op attachments for every study year send students to intern with some of the best names in the industry, FoBIS also brings the industry to the students.

It does this through the presence of adjunct professors – industry professionals who deliver lectures to students on the ins and outs of the industry. Additionally, the Faculty also organises forums, seminars, workshops, and talks by key industrial partners such as the Securities Commission, Apple and Tricor.

As a testament to its esteem, FoBIS also has an excellent relationship with accrediting and professional bodies like the

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
  • Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) Australia
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM)

This has resulted in professional papers exemptions for many of its business degrees. All this is done to give its graduates the competitive edge for a successful future.

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