42KL: Rewriting the Rule Book of Tech Education
Sunway Education Group and Sunway iLabs are hoisting themselves ahead of the pack with the recent launch of 42KL, in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). This collaboration is a glowing testimony to Sunway’s efforts to heed digital transformation.
As the technological bubble continues to inflate, it has become almost impossible to dismiss that the educational landscape, too, is in need of some shifting and expansion.
While some parts of the world have yet to catch up with this reality, Sunway Education Group and Sunway iLabs are hoisting themselves ahead of the pack with the recent launch of 42KL, in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). This collaboration is a glowing testimony to Sunway’s efforts to heed digital transformation.
School From the Future
42KL is the Malaysian campus of 42, a coding school often described as “ground-breaking”. With a name derived from a 1979 sci-fi series “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” where 42 is the answer to “the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything”, it almost sounds like a school from the future. And in many way it is, thanks to its disruptive educational model.
To begin, the premise 42 touts – zero tuition fees, zero teachers and zero traditional classrooms – is intriguing. Focusing on project-based learning imitating real-world work, the school encourages students to learn time management and build conceptual frameworks that can be applied to industry challenges and problem statements. This is via peer-to-peer learning where students are responsible for their own success and the whole programme is gamified, where progress is accounted for using experience points through the completion of each project. It is safe to say that the kinds of perks and activities 42 introduces are unorthodox; a novelty in the contemporary education system.
New Vision of Education
But beyond innovation, institutions like 42 is offering a new vision of education by painting a portrait of how equality in the sphere should look like. Completely merit-based, it offers quality education opportunity to all, regardless of socioeconomic and educational background. The only requirement is that students must be above 18 years old. For one who does not fit into the typical assumptions about campus experience, it is notable to point out that 42 actually portrays what the Latin root of the word “university” tells us higher education should be: the entire, the whole.
The first 42 campus was established in Paris, France and the second in Silicon Valley, the U.S. With the demand for well-crafted alternatives to traditional educational system established, 42 is now expanding to other continents. The 42 campus in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur is one of the first such campuses in Southeast Asia.
42KL is situated within FutureX, an upcoming innovation hub located in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur. Besides leveraging the world-class smart sustainable city and its innovative ecosystem, 42KL receives the benefit of thriving in a living laboratory where innovative ideas are generated and incubated to address the challenges facing humanity.
Its innovative model is enabled by collaborative efforts between Sunway Education Group, Sunway iLabs and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), all while backed by a host of prominent anchor partners.
Opportunity for Digital Leap
Unsurprisingly, this programme has won plaudits from leaders across the spectrum. Minister of Multimedia and Communications Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah described 42KL as “a brilliant idea”. “We are now facing a very fast-changing geopolitical advancement in the world, but nothing can challenge the advancement of technology. Education has to move together with such advancements – that is why I take it that 42KL is moving in the right direction,” he explained during 42KL’s virtual launch.
MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri, too, shares the sentiment, believing that Malaysian talents have a great opportunity to make that digital leap with the establishment of 42KL. “42KL is a welcome addition to our vibrant digital talent development ecosystem as it will surely unearth more high potential Malaysian tech talents and groom them to become world-class developers and tech entrepreneurs.” she said.
Indeed, with such as revolutionary learning system at the forefront, 42KL may just provide all of us with a glimpse of where our higher education and the local digital playing field might be headed. And likely, it would be where all of us wish to be.
42KL is now open for applications and its first intake is tentatively slated for March 2021. Interested candidates will have to go through a 2-round admission process which includes an online admission test, as well as the “Piscine” or The Pool, an intensive 4-week bootcamp at 42KL. No prior coding or programming knowledge required. Sign up now at www.42KL.edu.my.
This article first appeared in Berita Sunway Issue 70