SEGi: Lack of time, prior qualifications, major ‘roadblocks’ for working adults

The pursuit of higher education should not be a burden on top of one’s daily obligations but an investment in a future career.
“Reskilling and upskilling are the only future-proof solutions to safeguarding your employment and saving yourself from the chopping block,” said SEGi University & Colleges managing director Stella Lau.

Being a leading group of higher education institutions in Malaysia with 46 years of achieving excellence, SEGi has witnessed an evolution in the job market due to globalisation and digitalisation, more so in the present-day “economic recovery” phase post-COVID-19.

The job market is even more competitive now; the Department of Statistics Malaysia recently highlighted that the country’s unemployment rate has increased from 4.8% in 2021 to 5.4% in 2022.

While this has decreased slightly to 4.9% in the first quarter of 2023, many in the current workforce struggle to keep their jobs.

“Programmes for adult learners are more than just designing an academic course with flexible learning modes and affordable fees,” Lau said.

“These programmes must be made truly accessible so these working adults can study at their own pace, have flexible entry requirements, and be relevant enough to be applied in their respective jobs.

“We discovered that many working adults have given up on furthering their studies due to two major ‘roadblocks’: lack of time and insufficient prior qualifications. SEGi saw an opportunity to offer programmes that are truly accessible to adult learners through APEL.”

The Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) was rolled out by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in 2011, recognising prior learning and working experiences as an alternative means to obtain higher education qualifications.

APEL can help working adults bridge the experience-qualifications gap in the job market as it comes in three formats, each packed with flexibility, convenience, and other benefits, so they do not need to start their studies from scratch.

APEL.A provides access for those who did not meet the traditional entry requirement to a programme.

For example, working adults with only a diploma can use their prior experience to skip undergraduate studies and directly enrol in a postgraduate programme.

In addition to saving costs, APEL.A reduces redundancy in their learning process to obtain a Master’s degree of their choice.

APEL.C suits busy working adults who cannot commit to a full-fledged degree programme as it enables them to use prior work experience to enter a specific course or module relevant to their career.

By streamlining their studies – upskilling in critical areas and trimming away any redundancy – these working adults can complete the programme in a shorter period of time without needing to sacrifice their work or personal commitments.

Meanwhile, APEL.Q is another APEL route offered at SEGi. It enables kindergarten teachers to use their work experience to convert it into a Diploma in Early Childhood Education or a Degree in Education.

This allows them to formalise their work experience and gain the necessary qualifications to advance their careers.

“SEGi always explores various pathways to continuously deliver affordable, quality education for students and natural talents,” Lau remarked.

“APEL has carved a new, stronger-than-ever avenue where we cater specifically to working adults’ academic needs – designing programmes that are flexible in terms of time, finances and access so they can bring out ‘The Best In You, Made Possible’.

“I am proud to share that we offer all three APELs via the newly launched SEGi APEL Centre,” said Lau.

Further, APEL has inspired the expansion of SEGi’s Adult Learning Programme, which covers various fields of study including Business, Engineering, IT, Hospitality and Education.

“SEGi’s adult learners will have the opportunity to be mentored by academics who are industry experts. You can fully optimise your learning experience, #ReachHigher in your KPIs, deliverables, and business objectives,” Lau added.

For more information about all the programmes available at SEGi, visit

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