Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grab Malaysia Launches GrabVarsity - Providing Students With More Transport Options And Other Value Added Services

Grab has officially launched its latest programme which targets primarily students from higher learning institutions. Grab, being Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s leading e-hailing transportation and mobile payments platform has designed something particularly engaging for students with GrabVarsity. This is a first-of- its-kind programme in Malaysia that addresses the transportation needs of students, and looks at providing lifestyle benefits and rewards for the student community while offering opportunities for students to garner some real-life work experience.

L to R - YBhg. Dato’ Professor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) from Universiti Malaya along with  Sean Goh, Country Head, Grab Malaysia and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, YB Datuk Dr. Mary Yap Kain Ching at the GrabVarsity launch 

YB Datuk MaryYap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister of Higher Education , who represented the Minister of higher education, Dato Idris Jusoh officially launched the programme and said a few words regarding the programme and the current standard of public universities here in Malaysia especially University Malaya where the launch event was held. Datuk Mary is also a UM alumni by the way. 

According to the Minister of Higher Education, for our young ones to survive and succeed in this fast changing global economy, it is imperative for them to develop time and financial management, and entrepreneurship skills. The Ministry is always supportive of initiatives from corporate companies that enable students to not only gain a degree, but also gain real-life experience that can help them carve a better future. The Ministry also hope that there will be more world class businesses such as home-grown Grab, who will take up this challenge and impact students in a very real and tangible manner.

Also present at the launch were  YBhg. Dato’ Professor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) from Universiti Malaya who represented the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya and Country Head, Grab Malaysia, Sean Goh, and Head of Business Development, Grab Malaysia, Tan Jiong Jian.

According to Sean Goh, Country Head of Grab Malaysia, Grad is aware of the role the company is playing in terms of  transport services and payments as well as developing the country’s young minds. Learning and innovation are central to Grab’s culture and they are always on the lookout for initiatives that allows them to solve local problems whilst giving back to our community. It seems to be a give and take situation for their business plan where the try to implement a programme that goes beyond ride hailing benefits. Now, Grab intends to bring some long-term impact to higher education students via economic opportunities to compliment their passion for learning.

GrabVarsity, which is accessible by the student community via the portal GrabVarsity.com, comprises of four pillars:
1. GrabVarsity Rewards: A university student-based reward programme with exclusive, curated benefits that are more relevant and interesting to them. These rewards include offerings from Shopee Malaysia, iflix, Photobook Worldwide, Honor, Digi and Pizza Hut. This is basically Grab partner these other companies offering value added services and products through the GrabVarsity portal.

2. Transport Partner: Grab is also trying to ease traffic congestion within and around the university by establishing designated pick-up and drop-off areas whilst providing exclusive promo codes for events such as convocations, sports day, or festivals.

3. Hands-on Learning Opportunities: Students (from partner universities) can apply for apprenticeship placements at Grab Malaysia and have the opportunity to work and learn from the best in developing their professional skills for the future.

4. Bridging Income Opportunities: Students (Malaysian citizens only) can participate in a special short-term, student-only Grab driver programme to earn supplemental income to help cover their education fees or student loans. Grab has stated that this driver programme will be subject to limited hours so that the part time work does not infringe on study time until the student does not concentrate on their coursework.

At the time of the launch today, GrabVarsity is now available in Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) and University Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP). Grab appreciates the opportunity given by these first implementer universities, and is working towards taking this student-centric programme to as many universities as possible in the coming months. They are approaching as many public and private institutions to sign up with GrabVarsity. We see that with the support of the Higher Education Ministry, it should be quite positive in the long run. 

“As one of the region’s leading educational institutions, we have always been among the forerunners in developing the next generation of Malaysian thinkers. A creative, safe and accessible learning space is critical for our students, faculty and staff, and GrabVarsity is definitely a catalyst for further growth of the university, our students, and the country as our alumni take their place in the world.” said, YBhg. Dato’ Ir. Abdul Rahim Hashim, Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, who was represented by YBhg. Dato’ Professor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International).

We also have to add that GrabVarsity gives students more mobility in and around the universities. Ride sharing is so welcome in these institutions of higher learning as the campuses are huge. UM is vast and not all students have the luxury of personal transport or even driving licences. There are now campus buses but these run on a fixed schedule and there are ride sharing like Grab these days. I also saw some ride share bicycles all over UM. These services actually help students get around town. 

Boy, I wish I had ride sharing when I was a student. I could have easily gone on many more dates when I was studying due to better transport options.

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