Malaysian

No Fees, No Teachers, No Classrooms—How Does This New Coding School In Sunway Work?

42 (or Ecole 42), the famous school of coding that was first launched in Paris, France, has made its way to Malaysia through a virtual launch by the Minister of Multimedia and Communications Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah.

Called 42 KL here, it is the result of a partnership agreement between Sunway Education Group and 42, and is one of the first such schools in Southeast Asia.

The defining difference between 42 KL and other coding schools in Malaysia is its disruptive education model, which most notably has zero tuition fees, along with no teachers or traditional classrooms.

Overturning Traditional Education

42 KL’s system revolves around:

  • Project-based learning that isn’t constrained by time limits, allowing them to learn skills like time management and problem-solving;
  • Peer-to-peer learning, where students validate each others’ projects;
  • And gamification through which progress is accounted for using experience points earned with the completion of each project. 

How 42 in Paris is able to offer education for zero tuition fees is because it’s personally funded by French entrepreneur and founder of the school Xavier Niel. Here, it’s funded by the Sunway Group. 

The only requirement for students who wish to apply is that they must be above the age of 18.

No grades, GPA, recommendations, SPM test scores, transcripts, and such will be asked for upon enrolling.

From Online Test To Employment

The enrolling process is fairly straightforward. 42 KL will accept 3,000 applicants who will first take part in a test.

Out of this number, 450 of them would be selected to continue by taking part in a 4-week on-site bootcamp called “The Pool” (or La Piscine as it’s called in France).

From there, 150 students will be chosen to take the first 7 levels for the core curriculum, which will last about 12 months.

After they finish Level 7, they’re placed in the industry for 3-6 months, working with any one of 42 KL’s partner companies.

Among some of the anchor partner companies students could be working with include:

  • Sunway,
  • DHL,
  • CIMB,
  • Roland Berger,
  • Carsome,
  • Huawei.
Image Credit: 42 KL

After the 3-6 month period, students are faced with a choice: to seek employment or continue their education, taking on Level 8 to 21, which would take another 2 years to complete.

42KL has now opened its doors for applications, and the first intake is to be expected for November 1, 2020. 

Coding Malaysia’s Digital Economy

According to Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, founder and chairman of Sunway Group, 42 KL will be playing an integral role in laying the foundation for Malaysia to become the leading digital economy in ASEAN.

He said during the launch, “IR4.0 demands a skillset that is aligned with the information-age economy. The jobs of the future will blend the creativity of humans with the precision of algorithms.”

As such, we will need people not just with technical abilities, but with problem-solving skills. We will need people who can work together effectively in teams, rather than operating in individual silos.

Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, founder and chairman of Sunway Group

In his own speech, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Multimedia and Communications said, “We have to face new types of jobs, environments and technologies. Education has to move together with such advancements—that is why I take it that 42KL is moving in the right direction.”

“We currently have 2 groups of partners: anchor partners and community partners,” said Matt van Leeuwen, the director of Sunway iLabs and the Group Chief Innovation Officer of Sunway.

Anchor partners pay a sponsorship fee to the school, and in return 42KL will grant them access to talents seeking industry placement or a direct recruitment.

On the other hand, community partners will be involved in several on-campus activities, such as extracurricular talks, hackathons, and workshops.

  • Learn more about 42 KL on their website.
  • You can read about other startups we’ve written about here.

Featured Image Credit: Sunway Group

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