University | News
AUW’s First Malaysian Student Featured by Marina Mahathir, Social Activist
Chittagong, Bangladesh
7, Aug, 2015

We are delighted to share with you a post that prominent social activist and daughter of former Malaysian Prime Minister, Marina Mahathir, shared about our first AUW student from Malaysia, Ashwinii Tamil Chelvan. Marina was among the earliest supporters of AUW.  In 2013, she was the Commencement speaker and now serves on AUW’s Board of Trustees.

Marina“Folks, let me introduce you to Ashwinii Tamil Chelvan, the first Malaysian student at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Ashwinii comes from Rawang and is now in her second year at AUW. She is the younger of two daughters; her father is a lorry driver and her mother is a homemaker.
In 2013 Maybank Foundation offered scholarships to one Malaysian girl per year to study at AUW for the full duration of five years. Ashwinii sat for the AUW entrance exams and then was successfully interviewed. AUW looks not just for academic achievement but also for leadership qualities.

“Before I went to AUW, I had never gone anywhere on my own. Previously I had rejected offers to go to boarding school in other states in Malaysia but when I was offered a place at AUW, I decided it was time for me to make a change in my life. I left for AUW in August 2013 on my 18th birthday.

“I really have no regrets. At AUW I am learning so much about so many things. My education is so well rounded. Although my interest is in bio-medical sciences, I am also taking many arts and social science courses and am enjoying them all. I really think it is helping me develop myself in a good way.”
When I first met Ashwinii two years ago, she was a very quiet shy person. Her parents had many doubts about her leaving home to go to university in Bangladesh but reluctantly came round when I met them and told them about what sort of education Ashwinii would get there. As some of you may know, I’ve been to AUW several times and each time I have returned inspired by the students there.
Today just two years later, Ashwinii has truly blossomed. She speaks with great confidence about her experience in Chittagong, about what she has learnt and the people she has met. She is awed by the standard of education offered there, by the generosity in knowledge-sharing and encouragement by the professors there and by the many friends she has made from all over Asia.

Marina and AshwiniiIn two years’ time, Ashwinii will graduate from AUW and then the whole world will open up to her. AUW graduates have gone on to do further degrees in many prestigious universities all over the world because they are sought after by everyone.

Ashwinii is a Maybook Foundation Scholar, thanks to Maybank Foundation’s generous commitment to sponsor the full scholarships of 10 students from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, I have to say that I’m personally really proud of Ashwinii. She took that brave step to go to AUW when no one else from Malaysia had ever gone before. I’m hoping that her experience will encourage other young girls to do the same.”


To view this post on Facebook, please click here.