Wawasan Open Unviersity (WOU) hosted a convocation celebration dinner in the evening for the Commonwealth Executive MBA graduates at The Gurney Hotel in Penang, attended by about 180 people, including guests and WOU staff.
WOU Council chairman Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik was in his element as he regaled and entertained the crowd with his witty remarks, jabs and observations. He remarked that during the convocation ceremony, he did not have to tickle his brain as everything was laid out for him to do. He joked, “All I had to remember was that I was the last person going in, and the first person coming out.” Declaring that now he can say what was in mind, he commented, “I tell you the best of Keng Yaik is yet to come.”
He recollected his bygone days as a medical student in Northern Ireland, braving the cold, damp wintry mornings to wake up and go to college, unlike now when students get education at the click of the mouse. He said that during his time, many smart students could not pursue higher education due to limited places in the local universities and because they could not afford to go overseas.
“Now you can study wherever and whenever you can and however you want. You can also get teaching from whoever you want,” he said, adding in jest that they can choose to listen to another lecturer if they don’t like a particular person.
In a more serious tone, he urged, “I ask one thing, that you do not compromise on the quality of teaching and quality of degree. There must be no shortcuts.” And to the graduates he said, “It is up to you to build up the WOU brand and the WOU Alumni or fraternity. You are the ambassadors since you are out there in the workplace.”
As to the learning experience at WOU, he requested the graduates to “tell your friends, colleagues about how good it is; don’t tell them how easy it is. At WOU, it is ‘easy in, difficult out’ as we don’t compromise on the teaching.” He also asked them to provide feedback and let the university know if they receive a promotion at their workplace or are grabbed by another company.
Tun Dr Lim remarked that “in 40 years, you can be the number one university in Malaysia. It is something that is possible since OUUK is now the No. 5 university in the UK.”
He later presented ties to the two honorary graduands while the CeMBA graduates were given ties and scarves in goodie bags.
Dato’ Seri Goh Eng Toon, who received the Honorary Doctor of Laws at the convocation ceremony, in his speech at the dinner told the graduates, “You should constantly hold in mind that learning doesn’t end in university and what you learned must be used and applied in your workplace.”
His advice: “Work hard and have integrity in what you do. Be honest, upright and honourable. This allows you to hold your head high, sleep good every night and your conscience is clear.”
WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng later toasted the CeMBA graduates and took group photos with graduates and directors from the different regional offices.