This week, the internet and social media were abuzz with Taylor’s Talent Scholarship. Netizens shared their thoughts about the legitimacy of one of the categories set by Taylor’s for this scholarship – specifically, social influencer. Most netizens confused the term with social media influencer or KOL.
A digital copy of the scholarship form was also circulated on the internet, which cited being a YouTuber as an example of social influencer.
Here’s the thing though - there are two scholarships offered by Taylor’s University and Taylor’s College to deserving students, the Merit Scholarship and Talent Scholarship.
The latter, a brand new scholarship, was launched in December 2017 to recognise exceptional candidates who possess an excellent academic record with talent in areas such as music, drama, sports and social advocacy. The Merit Scholarship, on the other hand, is offered to individuals who boast an outstanding academic achievement and possess leadership qualities.
Now you might be wondering why we made such decision. Is the university mad?
Actually, no. A social influencer, by definition, is a champion of social issues. Such individuals have a proven track record of organising communities to engage or solve pressing issues of our time. These people, to put it simply, are agents of change in improving the lives of others, making waves in enriching a community, and they do this out of pure passion. They are heroes, and we believe heroes too deserve to be recognised with a fully funded education at Taylor’s.
Our sole recipient for this category thus far is Daniel Devan, a social advocate whose social initiative WHEE (Where Holistic Experiences Empower) mitigates the effects of rural depopulation by facilitating entrepreneurial development in targeted communities. He has done impressive work in Bario, Sarawak and Kelantan in the past three years. Daniel is now a medical student in the MBBS programme.
Going back to the example of YouTuber being cited in the form, while it wasn’t made very clear, it was included to allow the social advocate (who also owns his/ her own social media platform) to showcase their efforts, which would be an added advantage to their application.
Taylor’s University and Taylor’s College welcomes candidates who demonstrate excellence in their studies and contribute real and meaningful change to society. To avoid possible confusion, we have changed the term “social influencer” to “social advocate”. We look forward to awarding such students in their education journey with us. Help us spread the word!