Marlborough College Malaysia
Promoted by Marlborough College Malaysia

Marlborough College Malaysia: Great IB results, supportive boarding

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is known as the gold standard in preparing students for university and life. IB DP graduates have “significantly higher levels of critical thinking,” compared to their matched non-DP peers, one study in Australia, England and Norway found.

Compared to students with traditional high school diplomas in Ontario and British Columbia, DP students “earned higher university grades, were less likely to drop out of university and were more likely to graduate in a timely manner.” DP alumni at universities in Australia and East Asia reported higher capacities for a variety of 21st-century skills as well.

There are more benefits still and many can be seen in the students of Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM).

Oliver Wright has been part of MCM since he was in Year 5. He’s due to graduate in May 2023, ready for university thanks to his teachers and counsellors. They’ve provided many resources to help him understand the requirements of universities in Australia, where he plans to go.

“This was particularly true when I, unfortunately, discovered that I had selected the wrong type of IB Maths to study Economics at university,” he says. “The college was incredibly helpful in finding an alternate pathway to getting into the course I wanted.”

Although he’s excited for the next chapter in his life, he’ll miss the MCM community and routine the most. “I would say that MCM excels at providing pupils with a solid framework to structure their day and get things done,” he says. “When I joined MCM, I would have described myself as quite insecure. I would argue that the MCM community has played a big role in making me feel welcome.” Oliver has become a fantastic role model for other pupils at the College. This year he was appointed as one of the Senior Prefects of the College.

Located in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, and strategically placed at the border of Malaysia and Singapore, MCM has a shared heritage and close links with Marlborough UK, its sister school and is not a franchise.

Here, students aged three to 18 years old earn a passport to a global future. In Senior School, for Year 9 to Year 13 (age 13 to 18) students, students broadly follow the UK National Curriculum, before taking on the IGCSE and the IB.

A wide range of subjects, at both standard and higher levels, let students pursue a plethora of interests in academia. “The varied assessment techniques, long-term assignments and independent research in their Extended Essay and Internal Assessments, prepare them for further study at university and provide them with essential skills needed in the workplace,” says David Glynn, Head of Senior School.

“Pupils develop a wide range of skills throughout their higher education through the IB learner profiles and the specific Approaches to Teaching and Learning. Finally, the IB nurtures the whole student through the CAS element of the Diploma, promoting Creativity, Activity and Service.”

At Higher Level IB DP, Amelia Abdul Alim chose Mathematics Applications and Interpretation, Physics, and Economics. At Standard Level, she picked Computer Science, English Literature, and French B. These decisions were made with thought and guidance.

“Before making our choices, we were given short presentations on what each course would entail, and had talks with our tutors and housemasters as to which courses would most likely suit us in regards to our strengths and our future aspirations for study at university,” she says. “I had a one-on-one meeting with my English teacher at the time as to which English course would be best for me in terms of what I find interesting in English class.”

Pair “exceptionally large” IB subject offerings with a “truly customisable learning experience,” guided course choices, activities and games, as well as additional support beyond normal lessons, and students here have all they need to follow their chosen further education pathway.

“MCM provides extensive university guidance, including specific support for those applying to Oxbridge,” says a staff member of MCM. “We provide opportunities for mock interviews and offer expert support with the writing of personal statements and university applications.”

It runs Cambridge Admissions tests at MCM as well, to allow students to sit these entrance exams in a familiar environment.

The impact of such support is profound. Over 20% of MCM pupils achieve over 40 points at IB, opening the doors for many to access the best universities in the world to study what they wise.

Perhaps more impressive still is what they do with all the skills, knowledge and experience gained for their IBDP at MCM. In the academic year 2021-22, one senior prefect organised local shops to collect excess food and encourage customers to put food into food boxes by the till during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is so that food donations could be provided to support local communities in need.

Marlborough College Malaysia

Students have described MCM as lively, inspiring and genuine. Source: Marlborough College Malaysia

Justin Lavigne, a current student in year 13, is set to continue MCM’s streak of success. Armed with the top three skills gained here — collaboration, problem-solving and independent research — he hopes to study Economics with Mathematics/Statistics.

“Initially, I would have thought that I would want to study exclusively economics, but after having studied the IB HL Mathematics Applications and Interpretation course, I would like to continue studying mathematics with a focus on real-world applications,” he says.

Living here, amongst the beautiful landscape, impressive facilities, and bustling community, has been momentous for Justin.

His time here started on the right foot with the buddy system to help in settling in quickly and is now set to culminate with something he will remember as a “ lively, genuine, and inspiring” experience. He developed healthy and sustainable habits (such as waking up on time and getting to breakfast) thanks to the Resident House Staff. Fellow pupils, who come from all around the globe, exposed him to different experiences and perspectives.

“The teachers have dispensed unto me skills and knowledge that I will carry with me forever,” the Canadian and Indonesian student says. “For that, I am very grateful. And for my fellow pupils, it’s the small things (like conversations in the Brew Room over some toast) which amalgamate into this wonderful experience which I will definitely miss.”

Follow Marlborough College Malaysia on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.