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Vlad: Best IT student in 7 years

Dhanusha Gokulan / 17 July 2012

Exceptionally talented 19-year-old Ukrainian Vladyslav Kalinin’s information technology Professor Wayne Muller at Murdoch University said that only one among 10,000 students would be as dedicated as Vlad.

The young IT student came to the UAE at the age of 12 knowing very little English, but managed to complete high school on his own. “When I came to the UAE, my English was very poor. I tried attending some schools here, but the environment was not very pleasing to me. I was home-schooled and I wrote all my examinations externally,” said Vlad.

khaleej timesRakesh Wahi, co-founder, Murdoch University, and Professor John Grainger, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university in Dubai, presenting a computer to Vladyslav Kalinin.

Recognising his talent in the IT and computer field, Vlad was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence by the university. Vlad was also given a state-of-the-art computer.

Vlad has achieved a Higher Distinction in all but one of his units and secured a position in the top two per cent of students enrolled in a bachelor degree. Apart from his academics, Vlad helps his friends optimise a game server.

“I didn’t know much then because it was still a learning experience for me. I help upgrade the game server according to the likes of the player. Eventually, I want to create a proper game, but a team is required for the same,” he added.

Currently, Vlad is in his final semester in Murdoch University.

“Because I had a lot of time on my hands since I was being home schooled, I developed a keen interest in computer games and computer-related antics,” Vlad said. Vlad had some help from tutors in the early stages. “A tutor would come to me once a week and I managed to finish my A levels by the time I was 16. I had realised at a very early stage that I didn’t need a teacher to guide me on where I can source information. I knew I can find everything on the Internet,” he added.

He followed a few books prescribed by the British Council.

Vlad was gifted his first computer at the age of 14. “I was working on a second generation basic desktop before. It had a 2 GB RAM with a single core processor and a really poor graphic card. Playing games was very difficult. But in a way it was good that I had a simple desktop because I could explore and learn from it as well,” he added.

His new computer has an i5 processor with a 4 GB RAM. “I was really surprised and very pleased and I liked it a lot. It felt like all the hard work that I’d put has finally paid off,” he said. Before pursuing a career in IT and computers, he dreamt of a career in Astrophysics. “But later I figured out that IT is my first love,” added Vlad. 

Muller, Vlad’s IT lecturer at the university, has been teaching for the last 15 years. “I taught him several subjects like Networking, Basic Programming, Web Designing, and Java among others. Vlad is dedicated; he works hard and is very focused. Studying is his priority at the moment and has a very agile mind as well. He locks on to things very easily and is used to doing things on his own. He is a very self-motivated boy and studies for knowledge which is a driving factor for him. He enjoys what he does,” said Muller.

He added, “I have only met one student as dedicated as Vlad once before in my life. Students like him are one in 10,000.” Apart from spending hours in front of the computer, Vlad enjoys working out in gym as well.


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