Avinaash the only Malaysian accepted into Harvard and MIT

May 7th, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
 Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe by Email

From the Star:

AVINAASH Subramaniam is beaming with pride. He is the only Malaysian to have been accepted into Harvard University this autumn. This is not all — he has also managed to earn a place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both among the best universities in the United States (US).

However, the former SMK Damanasara Jaya student who is presently pursuing his A-Level studies at Help University College, is in a tough spot as he still cannot make up his mind on the university he wants to go to.

Avinaash has been awarded a full scholarship at Harvard University, and has until tomorrow to decide if he would prefer to do his undergraduate studies there.

While Harvard looks promising, so is MIT, where his sister Anushree is completing her undergraduate degree in Economics and Mathematics.

Anushree was one of the country’s top students in 2005 when she scored 14 A’s in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

Dr Goh (third from left) congratulates Ryan while Avinaash, Michael (second from right), Dr Coffman and Tan look on.

Avinaash who obtained 11A’s in the 2008 SPM, said he is also undecided about the courses he would like to pursue.

“The US system generally does not accept freshmen into any particular degree programme and we only need to declare our major(s) in the second or third year.

“We are encouraged to do a range of subjects and discover our interests before taking the plunge,” said Avinaash who has indicated an interest in Biology including Ecological and Environmental Sciences.

Dr Goh Cheng Teik, who sits on the interview panel that selects students for undergraduate admission into Harvard University, said that students applied directly to the university.

“Harvard will then shortlist the applicants from each country and send us the names of those to be interviewed,” he said at a recent press conference to announce the names of those selected for admission to Harvard University.

This year, there were four shortlisted applicants from Malaysia, but only three were successful. They include Avinaash and two American students Michael George and Ryan Marschang, who are currently studying and residing in Malaysia.

Both Michael and Ryan are students of the International School Kuala Lumpur.

Avinaash (left) getting to know Ryan (middle) and Michael after the announcement.

Michael said he was interested in studying International Relations and has received offers from other top US universities but has not made his decision yet.

“Harvard is definitely at the top of my list. I’m still torn between Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford,” he added.

Ryan, who moved to Kuala Lumpur with his family in 2004, said he has also received offers from the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley.

“I never imagined getting into Harvard when I was applying for entry into colleges, but I have not made up my mind yet,” he said, adding that he might opt for a double major in Developmental Economics and Engineering.

Another interviewer Nathaniel Tan, who is also an education and applications consultant, said applicants should have critical thinking skills, a passion and an interest in world affairs, apart from wanting to make an impact.

Dr Goh encouraged Malaysian students to apply for admission into Harvard University.

He said money would not be an issue should one successfully gain admission into Harvard.

“If parents are unable to pay the full cost, the university will provide financial aid,” he added.

Also present was Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (Macee) executive director Dr James Coffman, who said there had been a 20% increase in the number of Malaysian students going to the US compared to the previous year.

“There are over 4,000 higher education institutions in the US and our goal at Macee is to see many Malaysians studying there,” he said.



  1. MachanBro says:

    Proud to see an Indian make wave in education..

  2. onlime pearl says:

    between A-level and STPM,which one would be better to get into Harvard University?