How to Best Educate Generation Z

Inspiring students’ learning is an age-old conundrum. It has grown to be a greater challenge now as higher learning educators adapt to Generation Z, a generation bred in the age of technology with 24/7 access to information and who are largely active learners. According to a study conducted in 2017 by Barnes and Noble College, present students expect to be fully engaged and part of the learning process themselves. From the survey, it was found that 51% of the students learn best by doing and 28% by seeing, while only 12% learn through listening. This proves that the traditional teaching method may not be suitable for this generation. And therefore, there lies a need to innovate and create activities that may attract these students’ interest in learning.

Having had this in mind, Assistant Professor Natasya Saat, Programme Director of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s Foundation in Business, asserts the importance of branching out in methods of teaching.

Hence, at the beginning of each semester, she tells her students: “Here, you can expect various kinds of activities which will enhance your learning.”

According to Assistant Professor Natasya, the Foundation in Business students at the Heriot-Watt University do not only gain detailed and comprehensive foundational knowledge, they also experience learning through thought-stimulating and skill-enhancing activities.

A method well-received by students, video-oriented learning, is utilised to deepen students’ understanding and clarity on certain concepts. According to a Pearson Study conducted in 2018, nearly 60 percent of people aged 14 to 23 prefer YouTube as a learning tool, while 47 percent prefer printed books. Fifty-five percent of them added that YouTube has contributed to their education. This is in line with the feedback received from some of the university’s Foundation in Business students, who said that watching the videos helped them to better comprehend the subjects at hand. One of them is Anatta Ng Qian Yan who said that the videos incorporated in the lessons enable him to visualise concepts and capture information better.

Another activity beloved by students is Explorace, which involves students partaking in a series of challenging tasks related to what they’ve learned. Business and Science students are mixed in teams, with lecturers conducting the activities.

Besides these, Heriot-Watt’s Foundation in Business educators also incorporate games which do not involve technology during tutorials. Games such as Tag Team Challenge, Bingo and Hot Potato foster collaboration and accountability, and are enjoyed by all. Muhammad Shukri appreciates the opportunity to interact and socialise with his classmates, while Tengku Irdina finds the tech-free games to be fun and lively.

“I was able to gain scientific knowledge from my teammates in the Foundation in Science programme whilst being tested both in my physical and intellectual ability,” revealed Wong Bao Ying. Another Foundation in Business student, Zoe Faith Nesamalar, commented, “We took time off from books and gave our bodies the fun they needed. It was also interesting to see our lecturers joining us for some fun and laughter.”

Heriot-Watt University’s Foundation in Business programme leads to degrees in Accounting and Finance, Business, Actuarial Science, Quantity Surveying, Psychology and more.

For more information on Heriot-Watt’s Foundation in Business programme as well as other programmes or scholarships offered, visit its campus in Putrajaya on its Open Days  or during visitation hours from 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, log on to or call +603 8894 3888/e-mail

Heriot-Watt University’s Foundation in Business leads to various undergraduate programmes, such as its famous ACCA Accelerate programme.

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