Home away from home

by Hanan Khalifa, 13 April 2018
We've been working with Malaysia so much that it's begun to feel like a home away from home for our Deputy Director of Partnerships, Projects and Policy, Hanan Khalifa.

Ever since we signed the five-year contract with the Ministry of Education in Malaysia, my colleagues have joked about me being there every few months and the thought crossing their minds to rent my desk in Cambridge. Joking aside, I thought it is about time to share with you a glimpse of what the latest series of events is all about.

Home away from Home Hanan Khalifa handshake image

We joined the Malaysian Examinations Council (MEC) in celebrating their success in completing stage 1 and 2 of aligning their examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). We have been supporting MEC on their alignment journey. The celebration was part of the MEC's announcement of Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) results.

The day was jam-packed with activities: Cambridge English speech; Minister’s speech; MEC Chairman speech; prizes to STPM high achievers; media interviews; TV interviews, and entertainment from Islamic high school for boys over a traditional Malaysian lunch (pictured below): Nasi Lamak, Beef rendang, Sambal udang, and more.

Home away from Home Hanan Khalifa hospitality image

The second event was an evening with the British Deputy High Commissioner, Paul Rennie OBE. The evening was attended by Vice Chancellors (VCs) from various Malaysian universities. The evening conversations were about global trends in higher education, about ROI, and what keeps VCs awake at night. The event was organized by Southeast Asian Pacific (SEAP) regional hub. Thanks to Hamidi, Justin, Jenny, Jo, and Cheng Pier, the event was engaging, serious and light-hearted at the same time and, dare I say, the place to be at on a Friday evening! 

Home away from Home Hanan Khalifa weather cloud image

Moving from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, we met with the Penang State Education Office on our way to Kedah which shares a common border with Thailand so you can have breakfast in Kedah and dinner in Phuket. In Kedah, we discussed an action plan with Universiti Utara Malaysia post working agreement signing. The picture above shows the view from Penang Hill with the famous haze about to start and, at the top of the page, the English language teaching and oral examiners cadre at the Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Hanan Khalifa 
Deputy Director of Partnerships, Projects and Policy, Cambridge Assessment English

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