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Students’ continuing personal development (S-CPD) - a scheme to promote student engagement in extra-curricular activities

Pei Cheng Ooi (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Semenyih, Malaysia)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 11 September 2020

Issue publication date: 17 June 2021




This paper presents an overview of a lifelong learning scheme. It outlines the design of the scheme that was initially targeted for electrical and electronic engineering students and later students across the faculty of engineering in the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM). The scheme named “Students’ Continuing Personal Development (S-CPD)” is developed to improve student participation in extra-curricular activities and at the same time, to create awareness among students of the importance of lifelong learning and to facilitate the development of such skills.


The scheme involves creating and developing more than 30 categories of activities together with a well-structured information technology infrastructure. Various strategies, such as offering awards, are applied to promote student engagement. In 2015 the pilot scheme was rolled out in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and adopted by all departments in the faculty of engineering in the subsequent year.


S-CPD scheme is aligned to the importance institutions of engineers in the world places on continuing professional development and also to the importance industry and employer places on transferable skills. The scheme provides students with a structured way to plan, participate and record their participation in extra-curricular activities that is relevant to their future careers as engineers in a holistic way. S-CPD scheme not only provides a good platform for students to hone particular “soft” skills and they are also aware of the importance and engaging in lifelong learning to make the most out of their university and also life experience.

Research limitations/implications

This research could lead to many other studies including the factors that affect students' engagement in extra-curricular activities, short-term and long-term impacts of S-CPD scheme, and also involve psychology research such as psychological factors influencing students' engagement in the scheme.

Practical implications

This scheme could be repeated in worldwide university programmes.


The S-CPD scheme can be viewed as having a two-pronged growth strategy. The first is to engage students in extra-curricular activities that enhance and improve their learning and personal experiences. The second prong of the growth strategy is to inculcate the growth mindset for lifelong learning, hence adapting well when their profession involves fulfilling CPD requirements.



Declarations: Ethics approval has been granted by the University of Nottingham Malaysia Research Ethics Committee with application identification number BO080915. Informed consent has also been obtained from the participants of the study.


Ooi, P.C. (2021), "Students’ continuing personal development (S-CPD) - a scheme to promote student engagement in extra-curricular activities", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 672-682.



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