Relay around the Penang main campus grounds

What better way for students and staff of WOU to release the stress of study and a long day of work than participating in a run around the main campus grounds, in the spirit of friendly competition.

The 4 x 400m relay in the main campus grounds.

The 4 x 400m relay in the main campus grounds.

Kudos to the On-Campus Learning (OCL) Student Council and their Advisor, Lecturer Kevin Tan Pooi Soo from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, for organising this 4 x 400m relay against the backdrop of the scenic campus today. Six teams participated, with four comprising the full-time students, mostly in their 20s, and the remaining two teams had the staff of WOU.  

The runners await the loud sound blast to start the race.

The runners await the loud sound blast to start the race.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye kicked off the race with the loud sound blast from a hailer. The runners started from the road just to the front of the Yeap Chor Ee statue that stands majestically outside the Homestead mansion. They had to circle the field, running past the fountain, Homestead, car park building and cafeteria, before heading back to the start to hand over the baton.

Assoc Prof Dr Balakrishnan from the School of Business & Administration seems to be floating on air.

Assoc Prof Dr Balakrishnan from the School of Business & Administration seems to be floating on air.

The staff participating, from the first to final runners, were Mohd Yusuf Hanafiah (Library), Xuenna Loh Sau Lai (PGRC), Assoc Prof Dr Balakrishnan Muniapan (SBA) and Assoc Prof Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma (ETP) in the team that came in fifth, while Kevin Tan, Ch’ng Lay Kee (ETP), Lim Peng Keat (SBA) and Choy Paik Lin (Library) took the last spot.

The winning teams (from right to left) for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

The winning teams (from right to left) for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Youth and vitality seemed to have won over age and wisdom in this sporting and stamina challenge. The champions were the team represented by OCL Student Council president Pan Bo Zhong, 24, Grace Gan, 19, Mohd Sanim Mohd Saad, 20, and Tan Rong Kang, 21.

Prof Ho presents the bronze medals to the four students for 3rd placing.

Prof Ho presents the bronze medals to the four students for 3rd placing.

Prof Ho was on hand to present the gold, silver and bronze medals to the respective winning teams, and then posed for photos with all the runners. Kevin Tan thanked staff and students for their participation in this first run, and informed that the student body aims to make it an annual event.

Prof Ho and the runners pose in front of the Yeap Chor Ee statue at the main campus in Penang

Prof Ho and the runners pose in front of the Yeap Chor Ee statue at the main campus in Penang

WOU: Capitalising on seafront campus for kayaking

The kayaking activity at the WOU campus seafront, now restricted to staff and students of the University and DISTED College, may be open to the public in the future for wider usage.

This was expressed by WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye when speaking at the official launch of the kayaking activity at the seafront today.

Prof Ho encourages the crowd to try kayaking.

Prof Ho encourages the crowd to try kayaking.

He said the University has created a subsidiary company, Essential Atlas, to take charge of the kayaking activity and make this activity safe for users. “Once a proper operating system is in place, then everyone can come anytime to enjoy the sporting facility.” He said they have to exercise caution as it involves public safety and insurance coverage, which comes with a cost.

He also gave the backdrop to how the idea of a kayak club and kayaking activities took root in the thinking of the WOU management. “We are one of the very few campuses in the country that is located so close to the sea. Our campus-by-the-sea is a selling factor as many students join WOU because they appreciate the ambience and environment. They feel very at home and relaxed studying here.”

A section of the crowd listening to Prof Ho expound on the benefits of kayaking.

A section of the crowd listening to Prof Ho expound on the benefits of kayaking.

Prof Ho added that the sport contributes to the co-curriculum activities of the University’s programme, and so encouraged the full-time students to take it up actively.

He also pointed out the many sporting advantages of kayaking, like building body muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness through regular paddling. He said paddlers however must always be mindful of their safety when kayaking out there in the sea.

He urged the crowd who had gathered for the launching ceremony, many of whom have not done kayaking, to start today and join the free kayaking sessions being offered after the launch, declaring, “Hopefully that will convert you into a long-term kayak user.”

Students of DISTED College signing up for free kayaking session.

Students of DISTED College signing up for free kayaking session.

Prof Ho also thanked the Yeap family, Yeap Leong Soon, who is a Director of the Wawasan Education Foundation, and Yeap Leong Gwan, for donating the eight kayaks and hoped to see greater usage of these facilities.

Accompanied by the iconic Hawaii Five-0 music soundtrack, Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff Isahak, Director of Academic Support and Continuing Professional Development, DISTED College, performed the ribbon-cutting to officially launch the kayaking activity at WOU.

Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff happily launch the kayaking event at WOU.

Prof Ho and Ahmad Taiff happily launch the kayaking event at WOU.

The launch was attended by staff and students of WOU and DISTED, plus students and teachers of the Methodist Boys School who were visiting WOU and hence took the opportunity to go kayaking that morning.

Ch'ng Lay Kee, a staff of Wawasan Open University, and guest venture out to sea in a kayak.

Ch'ng Lay Kee, a staff of Wawasan Open University, and guest venture out to sea in a kayak.

WOU hosts benchmarking visit from MEDIU

WOU provided a glimpse of its rigorous standard processes covering quality assurance, timetabling management, development of MOOCs and implementation of APEL (C) for credit transfer/course exemptions to the seven-member delegation from Al-Madinah International University (MEDIU) recently.

Prof Ho welcomes the delegation from Al-Madinah International University.

Prof Ho welcomes the delegation from Al-Madinah International University.

The visit to the WOU main campus today was led by Deputy CEO for Research and Development, Assoc Prof Dr Abdul Rahim Ismail, and comprised Assistant Prof Dr Bakare Kazeem Kayode, Dean of University Development and Quality; Assoc Prof Norhayati Ahmad, Head of Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) and two QAU staff; Jafar Batiha from Academic Administrative Department; and Syazwan Khalis from Examination and Record Department.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye,  Registrar cum Director of QA & External Relations Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi and a few senior management staff met with the delegation to talk on specified areas of interest.

Prof Ho talks about the University's open distance learning model for its part-time students.

Prof Ho talks about the University's open distance learning model for its part-time students.

Prof Ho briefed them about the QA protocols in WOU’s new programme and course development, delivery, assessment as well as learning support services, adding that QA is infused into all its planning and operations.

He spoke about the QA roles of the internal and external stakeholders involved in programme development, and also of the course development team in the development of every single course of the university. He stated that beside the statutory external auditors, WOU also appoints another team of external professional auditors to audit its internal operations and financial transactions on a regular basis.

On a different front, Prof Ho also informed the delegation that WOU is a leading advocate of OERs in Southeast Asia, and that all new courses are developed with OER in mind to enhance quality of the course materials, besides saving cost and time.

Dr Liew (facing camera, 2nd from right) elaborates on APEL (C).

Dr Liew (facing camera, 2nd from right) elaborates on APEL (C).

Dr Liew shared on the implementation of APEL (C) for credit transfer at WOU and mentioned the training provided by MQA on the submission of relevant documents and evidence. Senior Assistant Registrar Lim Swee Choo elaborated on issues related to teaching timetabling management.

The ensuing discussion further talked about WOU’s learner support services, tutorials and tutors, and digital bandwidth availability and stability for online delivery.

(From right) Dr Bakare, Norhayati and her two QAU staff, along with Jafar and Syazwan.

(From right) Dr Bakare, Norhayati and her two QAU staff, along with Jafar and Syazwan.

The delegation highlighted challenges confronting MEDIU, which has become a dual-mode institution this year to facilitate both full-time, on-campus learning and part-time, online learning. It has 500-600 online students, mostly international from 90 nationalities across Middle-East, Africa and Europe, and some 1,000 on-campus students, half of them locals. It has to manage different time zones for its proctored, computer-based exams at the selected examination centres while making sure the correct person takes the exam.

MEDIU has invested in facilities as it prepares to move from Shah Alam to Desa Petaling. Despite enjoying a dual-mode status, the PTPTN loan is only allowed for the online learning students. However one advantage seems to be that they can design new face-to-face programmes and courses, even though the new subjects have not been offered online.

Prof Ho (right) presents the University's coffee table book, depicting the Homestead building and the main campus, to Dr Abdul Rahim,

Prof Ho (right) presents the University's coffee table book, depicting the Homestead building and the main campus, to Dr Abdul Rahim,

The meeting concluded with a suggestion of signing a MoU to facilitate areas of collaboration between both institutions.

Strengthening relationships with Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering

Reflection and forgiving others while seeking forgiveness for one’s own wrongdoings will help to further strengthen relationships among colleagues at the workplace.

Director of Human Resources, Surrayya Shuib, welcomes staff to the lunch.

Director of Human Resources, Surrayya Shuib, welcomes staff to the lunch.

This was the underlying message by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye at WOU’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri lunch organised by the Muslim staff, led by Registry and the Educational Technology & Publishing Unit, at the main campus today.

Prof Ho extends his festive greetings.

Prof Ho extends his festive greetings.

In his informal address, he conveyed his festive greetings, declaring, “It is a time of circumspect, to look inwards, to see how one can improve oneself and then continue in life to perform better with good deeds, and so on.”

He stated that the Hari Raya celebration is also about “atonement”. “Three meaningful words, Maaf, zahir dan batin, are said in prayers and in greetings basically to seek forgiveness and to forgive others for any wrongdoings we have done to others or others have done to us.”

Prof Ho calls forreflection, seeking of forgiveness and strengthening of bondsin the workplace.

Prof Ho calls forreflection, seeking of forgiveness and strengthening of bondsin the workplace.

He added that this noble Hari Raya practice is also observed by other religions and cultures as well in Malaysia to a certain extent. “This is one trait we as colleagues should cultivate and perpetuate even at our work place,” Prof Ho stressed.

“The best part about celebrating Hari Raya is the renewing of family ties and bonds. This can be extended even to us in WOU. As colleagues, we are all members of the WOU family. At times due to work pressure we are challenged, emotionally, and we lose ourselves, regrettably, due to flashes of anger or emotional outbursts. Events like this give us a chance to make things right and to start over, thereby further strengthening good work relationships between us,” he remarked.

Staff were entertained by the melodious voice of Ahmad Sharidwan (seated, left) in a prerecorded video of his duet performance.

Staff were entertained by the melodious voice of Ahmad Sharidwan (seated, left) in a prerecorded video of his duet performance.

The event then continued with showcasing the hidden talents of staff and full-time students, as revealed by two pre-recorded videos. Library Assistant Ahmad Sharidwan Ahmad Nasruddin and ETP Executive Norliza Mhd Rodzi regaled the crowd with their duet, Seloka Hari Raya, made famous by the popular 1970s duo of Hail Amir and Uji Rashid.  Next, Suasana Hari Raya by the late Sharifah Aini, was sung by an eight-member choir comprising staff and students.  

Staff are greeted with a beautifully-wrapped chocolate gift.

Staff are greeted with a beautifully-wrapped chocolate gift.

Staff of different ethnicity came dressed in baju kurung, baju kebaya and baju Melayu. Green and yellow-coloured plastic ketupat decorations overhanging the door entrances and adorning the walls offered a welcoming, attractive sight. Every table had servings of assorted Hari Raya cookies.

Everyone feasted on tomato rice and dhall gravy with dishes like curry chicken, cucumber-pineapple salad, and egg sambal, complemented by ketupat, pulut hitam, chocolate cake, water melon and oranges.

Happy feasting and mingling by staff.

Happy feasting and mingling by staff.

All in all, it was an enjoyable event.

New students embark on ODL challenge in July 2017 intake

WOU welcomed some 500 new students who took up the challenge to pursue part-time, open distance learning (ODL) to further their academic dreams while they work. WOU makes this is possible because of its flexibility, affordability and accessibility to quality learning.

Students registering for orientation at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre.

Students registering for orientation at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre.

The Penang Regional Centre (PGRC) registered the highest number of new students, followed by the Regional Centres in Kuala Lumpur (KLRC), Johor Bahru (JBRC), Kuching and Ipoh.

Senior academics from the main campus represented WOU at the orientation simultaneously organised by the five Regional Centres today. They were Dean of the School of Education, Languages and Communications, Prof Santhiram Raman (PGRC), Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Assoc Prof Dr Nagarajan Subramaniam (JBRC), Dean of School of Science and Technology, Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei (KCRC), and Dean of the School of Business and Administration, Assoc Prof Dr Intan Osman (IPRC), along with Deputy Dean Prakash Arumugam (KLRC).

Prof Santhiram elaborates on the open distance learning model to freshmen at the main campus in Penang.

Prof Santhiram elaborates on the open distance learning model to freshmen at the main campus in Penang.

The freshmen viewed and listened to a recording of the Vice Chancellor’s speech exhorting them to persevere in their studies until they graduate. The orientation also recognised the high achievers from the ODL July 2016 semester, with a total 76 students named to the Dean’s List.  This comprised 35 from PGRC, 19 KLRC, 10 JBRC, and 6 each from IPRC and KCRC.

At Menara PGRM in Cheras, Acting KLRC Head Roshini Jesselyn Ramesh Chandru greeted about 85 new students – including those from the Bandar Utama and Klang Regional Support Centres - who turned up for orientation.  Every student received a goodies bag, and among the items was a book on distance learning skills, which is likely to prove rather handy indeed.

Acting Head Roshini Jesselyn welcomes the new students during the orientation at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre.

Acting Head Roshini Jesselyn welcomes the new students during the orientation at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre.

KLRC staff Deva Guru Kurupatham, who is pursuing his Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) in WOU, shared on the quality learning experience that the freshmen can expect. This was followed by the oath-taking ceremony led by new student, Teh Zairul Izwan Zainal Ariffin, who had enrolled for CeMBA.

Prakash presented certificates to the Dean’s List award recipients, and briefed them on the University’s ODL study model. There was a treasure hunt to familiarise the students with the layout of KLRC.

New CeMBA student Teh Zairul Izwan leads in the oath-taking at KLRC.

New CeMBA student Teh Zairul Izwan leads in the oath-taking at KLRC.

At IPRC, Director Ching Huey Ling together with her team and visiting academic Dr Intan interacted with about 25 new students who attended. Freshman Loges Waran Jagadeesan, newly enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Mechatronics programme, led in reciting the students’ pledge. IPRC staff and WOU alumni Robert Ooi Teik Leng, who graduated in Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology last year, shared about his study experience.

Dr Nagarajan with Dr Ng Peng Long (5th and 6th from right) and the new students at the orientation organised by the Johor Bahru Regional Centre.

Dr Nagarajan with Dr Ng Peng Long (5th and 6th from right) and the new students at the orientation organised by the Johor Bahru Regional Centre.

At the JBRC orientation held once again in Southern University College, Director Dr Ng Peng Long greeted the students and acquainted them with WOU and its learning support facilities.

All new WOU students who attended the orientation held nationwide truly benefited from the briefings as well as the hands-on guidance on navigating the student portal, learning management system, digital library and other ITS facilities.

Showing freshmen how to access the student portal.

Showing freshmen how to access the student portal.

Students hold simple Hari Raya open house

The newly-elected full-time, on-campus learning (OCL) Student Council of WOU hosted their first open house at the main campus, in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

The modest event held at the ground floor foyer of the Albukhary Building today saw students and invited guests from among the WOU academic staff mingling, interacting with the students, and feasting on delicious food.

Rendering a Malay song.

Rendering a Malay song.

The celebration kicked off with a Malay song presentation bya trio followed by a few more songs, watched by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Deputy Dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences Jasmine Emmanuel, along with invited staff and fellow students.

Staff and students watch a few song presentations. Seated front row (from left) - Jasmine, Prof Ho and Pan Bo Zhong.

Staff and students watch a few song presentations. Seated front row (from left) - Jasmine, Prof Ho and Pan Bo Zhong.

The OCL Student Council president Pan Bo Zhong, in his brief address, welcomed the students and guests before inviting them to enjoy the food laid out.

The students served up satay, chicken murtabak, fried mee hoon, white rice with chicken gravy, karipap, cakes and cookies for the occasion.

Yummy food at the Open House.

Yummy food at the Open House.

Students also enjoyed themselves playing congkak and spinning the gasing, bringing focus to these Malay traditional games that have gone on the back burner in the face of online games and apps.

Kudos to the Student Council for their effort to promote harmony and to revive interest in the traditional games of the past!

Staff and students enjoy good company and good food by the sea.

Staff and students enjoy good company and good food by the sea.

Full-time students showcase talent and unity with fest

It was really a perfect coming together of the different ethnicities and cultures during the vibrant and colourful mini Malaysian Food and Cultural Fest staged by a group of full-time on-campus learning (OCL) students of Wawasan Open University.

Peranakan (foreground) and China Street booths at the fest.

Peranakan (foreground) and China Street booths at the fest.

The event today was a roaring success as evidenced by the crowd of satisfied staff, armed with loads of foods purchased for lunch and as take-away snacks. The ground floor foyer of the Albukhary Building was creatively transformed into hawker-style stalls, complete with posters depicting the cultural history of foods and offering narratives of the Peranakan culture and various festivals, including Deepavali, Vaisakhi, Holi, Dragon Boat Festival and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The fest is part of the assessment for the students who are taking the Comparative Religions or the Cross Cultural Intelligence courses. The proceeds from the sale will go towards activities organised by the OCL Student Council. About 60 full-time students are currently pursuing either of the two courses in this semester.

Christmas cookies and cakes add to the diversity of the occasion.

Christmas cookies and cakes add to the diversity of the occasion.

In his address, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye was full of praise for the exquisitely decorated booths and the students who came beautifully clad in traditional attires.  “One word comes to mind immediately, and that is DIVERSITY… diversity in food, diversity in culture. This truly reflects ethnic diversity, something we should all treasure,” he stressed.

“Diversity is Malaysia’s greatest strength and asset. Our diverse languages, food, music, the clothes we wear, and our festivals. This uniqueness is to be celebrated and enjoyed together by all segments of our society. It is our way of saying that we value the differences in our people, whether languages, religions, cultures, skills, attitudes or experiences,” Prof Ho remarked.

Prof Ho extols diversity in his remarks before launching the fest.

Prof Ho extols diversity in his remarks before launching the fest.

He said that the fest is a good reminder of “the beauty of living in a multi-ethnic country” and highlighted the need to maintain this unity in diversity, of accepting, respecting and celebrating our differences. He declared that with diversity, Malaysians have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the diverse range of foods and the rich culture.

He elaborated that the two WOU courses allow the students to gain a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of our country’s diversity and social cultural heritage. “Studying together enables them to learn from their course mates of different ethnic backgrounds,” he said, adding that the experience of organising the fest is good training for the students, as the lessons learned will prepare them for work and life in the real world after graduation.

OCL Student Council president Pan Bo Zhong (in vesti and greeN jippA) helps out as staff throng to buy a variety of Indian foods and snacks.

OCL Student Council president Pan Bo Zhong (in vesti and greeN jippA) helps out as staff throng to buy a variety of Indian foods and snacks.

Prof Ho congratulated the Deputy Dean/Senior Lecturer of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jasmine Emmanuel, for initiating and mentoring the students in this project. In his short speech, event coordinator Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad attributed the success of the festive event to good teamwork.

Staff buy satay from the Malay booth as Farid (centre, facing camera) looks on.

Staff buy satay from the Malay booth as Farid (centre, facing camera) looks on.

Following a simple ribbon-cutting ceremony by Prof Ho to launch the fest, the booths were opened for business. Among the foods sold were char mee hoon, pandan cake, kuih bauhulu, cecodok, nyonya kuih, satay, briyani rice, capati, Indian snacks, herbal jelly, chicken rice dumpling, red bean soup, sandwich, and Christmas cookies.

WOU sets forth service excellence to complement quality learning

Service delivery that meets student expectations and offers an enriching learning experience is important if WOU does not want to lose existing and prospective students to competitors.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye said that the University’s quality courseware must be complemented by excellent service delivery to tackle the challenges of declining student recruitment and retention.

Prof Ho stresses the importance of enriching students' learning experience at WOU.

Prof Ho stresses the importance of enriching students' learning experience at WOU.

“How we engage and interact with students is important. WOU wants to be recognised as a quality provider in the Education Services Industry,” he declared during the townhall session today, adding, “We want quality services to be our differentiator, making WOU to be the preferred destination for prospective students. We also want to provide dedicated service to enrich the learning experience of our existing students.”

He continued, "If an open distance learning institution wants to be recognised as a quality provider in the education services industry, it needs to focus on three selling points: (i) courseware quality, (ii) learner experience, and (iii) service delivery. Of the three, the most discerning hence demanding is to constantly provide engaging learning support services that meet learner expectations. This calls for dedicated team efforts within the institution and at its regional centres.”

Teamwork is critical in excellent service delivery.

Teamwork is critical in excellent service delivery.

He stressed that WOU’s Client Charter is to be understood as a pledge by all categories of staff (academic, administrative, technical) to provide excellent services to our learners especially. “We want to achieve customer satisfaction, be there when needed, create value for customer, enrich customer experience and exceed customer expectations.”

He remarked that to make this work, WOU has to put in place the necessary infrastructure, staff training, standard processes and technology support. “We want to build a culture of providing effective service and working efficiently. This should reinforce our expressed ‘Values’ of upholding high institutional standards; celebrating the diversity of our students; recognising our employees; valuing citizens and the community; and instilling academic freedom and fairness.”

Yeong expounds on the components of the Client Charter.

Yeong expounds on the components of the Client Charter.

Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, in explaining the Client Charter, said, “Education is a service-oriented industry. We have to make sure our products are industry-relevant and supported by excellent service standards which differentiates us, since we are one of over 600 higher learning institutions in the country, and we all offer almost similar programmes. What is not similar is how we deliver these products.”

The Client Charter represents ‘The WOU Promise’ which states: “We pledge to deliver excellent service to you in every aspect of your undertakings with WOU. We commit to serve you with promptness, accuracy and respect.”

Elaborating on what Respect, Prompt and Accurate entails.

Elaborating on what Respect, Prompt and Accurate entails.

Yeong stressed that WOU commits to give prompt responses, updates and suggestions along with accurate information and solutions, and these are girded by respect towards students in all interactions and delivery of services.

He shared that the University will kickstart this culture of service excellence with staff training, enhancing of academic/technical/admin support desks, and adopting the reward, recognition and reproach system. “We want to assimilate this culture throughout the value chain. We want to ensure it is supported by infrastructure. We will let the service provider decide what the key performance index is in all their services. We will evaluate, monitor and review this Client Charter.”

Staff pose questions to better grasp the dos and don'ts when it comes to meeting learner expectations.

Staff pose questions to better grasp the dos and don'ts when it comes to meeting learner expectations.

During Q&A on how this Client Charter will differentiate WOU uniquely as a premier academic provider, Yeong replied that the Charter is a promise that students will receive a pleasant learning experience. In highlighting the power of the word of mouth in attracting students, he said that the Charter will make WOU stand out not only as a provider of quality courseware but also of service excellence.

WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap joined staff for the townhall session at the main campus. It was streamed via video conferencing to all regional centres.

Dr Koh wraps up the session by offering his perspective on the Client Charter.

Dr Koh wraps up the session by offering his perspective on the Client Charter.

VC tells OCL student body to take leadership role seriously

With the increasing number of full-time students at WOU, the on-campus learning (OCL) student body has the onerous task to actively bring together the undergraduates from different intakes and who are pursuing various programmes.

Full-time students register their attendance for the annual general meeting held at the main campus.

Full-time students register their attendance for the annual general meeting held at the main campus.

This responsibility now falls on the shoulder of the new President of the OCL Student Council, Pan Bo Zhong (4th semester), who takes over from Chow Bai Quan (final semester). Pan and his 13-member team were duly elected into the 2017/18 Student Council during the Annual General Meeting held today. They will undertake to represent the interests of the over 220 full-time students currently studying at the main campus in Penang.

Outgoing president Chow Bai Quan (left) oversees the election process.

Outgoing president Chow Bai Quan (left) oversees the election process.

The full list of the Student Council is provided below:

President:                          Pan Bo Zhong

Vice Presidents:                 Teoh Ewe Mun
                                          Yeap Mun Keat

Secretary:                          Chong Jia Lie
Assistant Secretary:           Muhammad Nihmathullah Abdul Jaffar

Treasurer:                          Mohamad Sanim Mohamad Saad
Assistant Treasurer:           Shirley Santhru

Public Relation:                  Kent Lai Yao Cong and Mitra Vani Sinnadurai

Committee Members:         Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad
                                          Siveraj Katereasian
                                         
Pranaven Pratapan
                                          Samantha Lianna Geronimo
                                          Sheela Saravanan

Pan (4th from right) with the new Student Council committee members.

Pan (4th from right) with the new Student Council committee members.

The new Council members were given a brief overview of their roles, responsibilities and the challenges they might face throughout their term of office by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye. 

Prof Ho said that the Student Council (SC) is a platform for representing and voicing students' views, as well as academic and co-curricular interests. Their views and proposals can then be escalated to the University management for follow-up dialogue. He told them to consider the SC as a mini Parliament, adding that it gives “good training ground to speak one’s mind, debate issues, and along the way pick up social and public relation skills, to build character and other leadership attributes. All these will place you in good stead to face your working life in the foreseeable future.”

Prof Ho expounds on the responsibilities of the Student Council.

Prof Ho expounds on the responsibilities of the Student Council.

His advice to the new members helming the student body: “As elected members, you have to play an active role and provide good service. Help the University enrich the life and experience of the undergraduates in the campus by coming out with interesting activities, both academic and non-academic.”

Part of the students at the annual general meeting.

Part of the students at the annual general meeting.

In his speech at the AGM, he also thanked the outgoing SC members for their valuable contributions during their term of office.

Become successful employable graduates, new full-time students told

Students should use the opportunity of full-time study in Wawasan Open University to pick up valuable soft skills and make it their goal to become successful employable graduates. 

Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, in his welcoming remarks during the orientation at the main campus today, advised the full-time students to ask themselves from now until graduation on how they can each groom themselves to become a successful employable graduate of WOU and stand out among the sea of graduates produced in the country each year.

WOU senior management staff and freshmen at the orientation ceremony.

WOU senior management staff and freshmen at the orientation ceremony.

“We want to equip you with future-proof skills, so that you become readily employable in the job market. Most employers are looking out for such skills during job interviews. How well can you think, how well can you analyse? You learn these not from your courses alone but from other academic activities along the way,” he elaborated.

Prof Ho challenged the freshmen to open up their minds and groom themselves to become proficient in those traits that are sought-after by employers, namely critical thinking, analytical thinking, and the ability to work with others.

Prof Ho challenges the students to succeed as employable graduates from WOU.

Prof Ho challenges the students to succeed as employable graduates from WOU.

He told the freshmen to brush up on their English because English is the language of business and global communication. He informed that WOU is a good training ground to master their command of the language, adding, “The way you talk to a lecturer, the way you ask questions in class, in exam, and the chats you have with your classmates in the cafeteria are all opportunities to train and improve your language skills. Prospective employers look out for all these things in interviews.”

He called on the students to be focused on their set goals from the very start of their academic journey in WOU. He said this commitment will motivate them to improve and to get ready for the job market, declaring, “Your mission is to graduate as an employable graduate of WOU.”

Prof Ho also urged them to familiarise themselves with the learning management system in WOU, to get to know their Academic Advisors well, and to know exactly what they want to achieve, adding that these three steps will help them become a successful graduate.

Sharvintheraan Ravi leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

Sharvintheraan Ravi leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

The freshmen were subsequently led in their oath-taking by Sharvintheraan Ravi, who newly enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management for the May 2017 intake. About 25 new students participated in the orientation.

Prof Ho also presented awards to six Dean’s List recipients who attended, out of the total 16 students named to the List for their excellent results in the September 2016 semester.

Clockwise, back row, from left: Dean's List recipients Teoh Ewe Mun, Yuven Yeoh Yew Mu, Tan Ken Lin, Ng Xin Pei, Lee Pei Fong and Melissa Wan.

Clockwise, back row, from left: Dean's List recipients Teoh Ewe Mun, Yuven Yeoh Yew Mu, Tan Ken Lin, Ng Xin Pei, Lee Pei Fong and Melissa Wan.

The other attendees at the orientation were Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, Deans, Academic Advisors and Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow and his team.

The freshmen were later briefed on MPU courses, WOU regulations and procedures, ITS facilities, Wawasan2u and the library services.