Raffles Helps You Design Your Future

Raffles University

What comes to mind when you think of design? Is it bold colors? Or is it a colorful blend of space and shapes?

At Raffles University, students are guided by experienced lecturers on how to turn their creativity into a career.

Are you curious why students choose Raffles? We sat down with Raffles’ programme directors to find out why their design programmes are so popular.

‘Doing by Learning, Learning by Doing’

Raffles University offers foundation courses related to design.

The university applies the “learning while doing” concept as its teaching and learning pedagogy and combines it with small class sizes so that lecturers have more opportunities to interact with students.

Raffles is unique in its personalised learning approach, according to Alex Tan Wei Kian, the transnational coordinator and programme director for Bachelor of Multimedia Design (Honours).

In Multimedia Design programmes, nearly 97% of the assessment is through projects or continuous assessment method.

Students are given assignments where industry partners are part of the assessment panel and even participate in a real industry project.

In Interior Design programmes, the syllabus framework too is structured by the concept of “doing by learning, learning by doing”, said IDr. Mohd Khedzir Bin Khamis, programme director for Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours).

For Interior Design students, though most of the programme centers on hands-on learning, there are still exams to gauge their understanding in professional subjects like Project Management and Professional Practice.

Raffles’ Fashion Design programmes offer students traditional and computer-generated design techniques and knowledge on apparel construction, craftsmanship, marketing, and entrepreneurship, said Bachelor of Fashion Design (Honours) Programme Director Jennifer Kong.

Live projects play a major part for Fashion Design students as it counts as part of their collaboration assessment.

Close Partnership with Industry to Prepare Design Students for Employment

Raffles works closely with industry partners to get students ready for employment.

For Fashion Design students, their “learning while doing” experience comes from collaboration with partners from various industries on field trips, live projects, and internships.

Aside from field trips to the offices of industry partners YKK and ProUniform, students are tasked with designing the corporate uniforms as part of their live projects.

Students also showcased their designs at the semifinals and finals of the 2017 and 2018 Astro Asia singing competitions.

Such opportunities contribute to Raffles being the only university in Malaysia invited to the London Graduate Fashion Week in 2019.

As the sole university in the southern region to offer diploma and degree programmes in Interior Design, Raffles work closely with Johor Interior Designers’ Association and others on competitions and events to give students the opportunity to learn about industry trends and practices.

Professional attachment modules for resume, portfolio and mock-interview preparation are some of the ways Raffles helps Multimedia Design students prepare for their internships.

These partnerships contribute to 98% Raffles graduates being employed after graduation.

Embrace Technological Changes in Teaching Approach, Industry

Raffles programmes are updated with the latest industry trends and practices.

All 3 programme directors shared the same outlook that technology will continue to play a major part in the transformation of the design school and the industry in general.

It is crucial to transform in order to survive and grow within the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Alex said. He added that more cross-discipline collaboration  and life-long learning concepts can be made available to students.

For the fashion design industry, Jennifer said the introduction of new tech such as AI predicting style trends and VR redefining retail experiences have turned the industry into one of the most forward-looking besides tech.

Functional clothing and sustainability are two aspects that will continue to influence the industry, she added.

As for interior design, adapting to new technologies and producing more sustainable and inclusive designs are the way of the future.

This also includes adapting to a new teaching approach so that the design school is able to sustain and grow.

The university continues to offer students professional guidance in a comfortable learning environment. Raffles’ personalised learning approach, up-to-date syllabus, and partnership with industry leaders are the main reasons why its programmes are popular options for those interested in design.