WOU celebrates a year of accomplishments

The year ended with a bang for Wawasan Open University as staff celebrated the close of another successful year with a ‘Hula Beach Party’ at the main campus.

Choy Paik Lim from Library does the hula dance. She won first prize in the fancy dress competition.

Choy Paik Lim from Library does the hula dance. She won first prize in the fancy dress competition.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng set the celebratory tone for the year-end gathering as he paid tribute to the staff who received promotions and those who had graduated with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree during the year.

Prof Wong thanks the organising committee (standing to his right).

Prof Wong thanks the organising committee (standing to his right).

He also mentioned the various accomplishments of WOU. These included the hosting of the AAOU Annual Conference and grabbing top awards for papers presented, full accreditation for 11 degree programmes and CeMPA, with recognition from the Public Service Department (JPA) to follow, the provisional accreditation for 13 new programmes, launch of the OER Asia web portal, and setting up of the WOU Board of Governors.

“The recognition and accreditation will now enable us to franchise these programmes to other colleges, both locally and overseas. So, in terms of branding we have established ourselves as a provider of quality education,” said Prof Wong.

 “Last week we received an invitation from MQA to serve as the Centre for the Conduct of their Aptitude Test, as part of a new system for the certification of prior exponential learning,” he added. At operational level, he shared that the total student number rose by 21%, the new student growth by 27.8%, and total revenue by 20% in 2011.

Dato' Seri Stephen Yeap congratulates Ishan (right) for winning the Vice Chancellor's award of excellence for outstanding staff.

Dato' Seri Stephen Yeap congratulates Ishan (right) for winning the Vice Chancellor's award of excellence for outstanding staff.

Prof Wong used the platform to announce the annual Vice Chancellor‘s award of excellence for staff who show a truly exemplary performance sustained throughout the year. The inaugural awards went to QA Manager Dr Andy Liew and School of Science and Technology senior lecturer Ishan Abeywardena. They each received a certificate, plaque and RM2,000 sponsorship to attend workhops or conferences.

The fancy dress competition that followed saw Choy Paik Lin (Library) walking away with RM150 cash prize, while Foong Weng Hong (Registry) came in second and Kellie Ong (Penang Regional Office) third.

The university also recognised long-serving staff of five years or more with a certificate and a crystal gift; a total 43 from the main campus and the ROs qualified this time around.

ETP staff participate in the frozen t-shirt game.

ETP staff participate in the frozen t-shirt game.

Staff had fun playing Explorace and the ‘frozen t-shirt’ game which required the teams to ‘de-frost’ and get a member to wear the t-shirt in the shortest time. The winning team for the t-shirt game was Ladybirds comprising Audrey, Valerie, Chrisvie and Yin Ling, all from the Edcuational Technology and Publishing (ETP) Unit.

The heads of department had their turn as they hilariously twisted their bodies to place a pencil tied with string to the front of their waist into a plastic bottle. The winner was Grace Lau, the director of ETP.

The night ended with lucky draws for the main prizes. Linda Tang (Prof Menon’s office) won the flatscreen TV, while second prize of a i-Pad 2 went to Seow Peak Lean (Registry), and third, a Sony Ericcson smartphone, to K Ranjini (School of Foundation and Liberal Studies).