The third convocation ceremony of WOU held at the main campus over two days produced a total of 365 graduates.
They comprised 100 graduates at the postgraduate-level and 265 at the undergraduate-level. For the postgraduate, 84 are from the Commonwealth Executive MBA, three from the Commonwealth Executive Master of Public Administration, and 13 the pioneer graduates from the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programmes,
At the first session,CeMBA studentPoh Boon Fong, 33, an audiologist with Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre, Penang received the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate at the postgraduate-level from the Chancellor. She has had a string of celebrations – married last year, promoted to Senior Manager in Business Support last November, and delivering her first child on December 1st, a mere two weeks after completing her studies in WOU.
“I chose WOU because it is more flexible and very lively here. The tutors have a good working background, and they share their working environment and their working issues with us.”
Prashanth Balakrishnan 27, made his taxi-driver father and homemaker mother proud with his CeMBA degree. “With an electrical and electronic engineering degree, I pursed this MBA basically because I want to go up in the management ladder,” he said.
A business process analyst at Dyson Manufacturing Bhd, Johor Bahru for five years, he believes the MBA will help him get recognised for management positions in his company. Moreover, as the eldest, he hopes to “to set a benchmark” in higher education and inspire his two younger siblings.
Pharmacist Lim Si Wei, 29, who just got married on November 18th, was elated to receive her CeMBA less than a week later. “I am interested in business and this would help with my future job progression. “ She and her doctor husband, whom she’s known since secondary days in Penang, both work at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore.
Among the pioneer batch of graduates from PGDE are Dr Mah Kin Kheong and wife, Lee Kiam Fong, both 52. Dr Mah, a consultant anaesthetist, is a Senior Lecturer in Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine, Perak, while his wife teaches pharmacy at the College.
They took PGDE to be a “good teacher” and “for the benefit of the students and ourselves” as the programme is very useful. Dr Mah remarked, “It gives a different perspective on education. You can see the students’ opinion, how to do effective teaching, effective learning, methods of assessment.”
WOU Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon conferred the PGDE and the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) degrees, and also presented the Chancellor’s Gold Medal to Chan Chu Aik, for emerging the best graduate at the undergraduate level, during the second session of the convocation.
Chan,42, a Materials Engineer, employed at Agilent Technologies, Penang for over 20 years, graduated with a Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in ICT. It was a double joy for Chan as his only child, Yan Juo, 12, just scored all 7 As in the UPSR results released the Monday before.
There were 81 graduates from the five Bachelor of Technology (Hons) programmes, including the first batches in Computing and Intelligent Systems and in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Among them were nine friends from Agilent Technologies Penang who graduated with BTech (Hons) in Electronics.
Shahidan Hanafi, 44, an associate product test engineer at Agilent, said, “My knowledge in electronics, communication and in other areas has improved since I took this course. It’s a great opportunity for advancement as I can apply some of the knowledge to my job. Anybody can do it as long as they have the determination to be successful in their life. A few years back, a diploma qualification is good enough to progress in your career, but as time goes by, a lot more people with degrees and Master’s, so it’s good, especially for working adults, to upgrade themselves to the highest level that they can.”
On the second day of the convocation, the remaining 184 graduates from six Bachelor of Business (Hons) programmes received their degrees from Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye.