Achieving Academic Excellence at the Defence University: No Challenges Are a Real Challenge?
Keywords:academic excellence, classroom learning, learning enviroment, teaching and learning, technology
After 11 years of inception, the National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM) has produced about 3,000 graduates inclusive of military cadets and civilians. A very small number indeed, given its status as a boutique university. The questions addressed in this paper are twofold. First, how do the students perceive their learning environment, and second, what are the biggest challenges for the students to excel academically. These questions arise from the disturbing trends in the number of students who are not able to perform in their examinations as well as their behaviours illustrated during classroom learning. Therefore, this paper examines the challenges that are faced by the Defence University students and ultimately, outlines two (2) suggestions for more effective teaching and learning for the university. This paper adopts a quantitative approach to research where the data are obtained from a survey conducted on the students. The quantitative data are then analysed using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 24. Preliminary findings suggest that students are mostly positive about their learning environment; nonetheless, there are two (2) aspects that must be further investigated and addressed immediately to ensure more engaged and meaningful learning at the NDUM.