WOU will roll out 688 graduates at its eighth convocation ceremony to be held at the main campus from November 23rd to 25th.
The ceremony will also witness the conferment of the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree upon leading economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, 65, for his contributions to the academic community and to social development within and outside Malaysia.
At the press conference today, WOU Sdn Bhd chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap highlighted Jomo’s impressive academic and professional accomplishments as well as key leadership roles played by him throughout an illustrious career spanning over 40 years.
A graduate of Yale and Harvard universities and a Penangite, Dr Jomo now holds the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, and is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Khazanah Research Institute, Visiting Fellow at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, and an Adjunct Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. He was Assistant Director General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development, Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations, Rome from 2012 to 2015, and Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, from 2005 to 2012.
“He has authored and edited over a hundred books and translated 12 volumes besides writing many academic papers and media articles,” said Dato’ Seri Stephen, adding that Dr Jomo is on the editorial boards of several learned journals.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Ho Sinn Chye informed that two programmes are set to produce their first batch of graduates, with four students graduating from the full-time Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Banking & Finance programme, and five from the part-time Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Information Systems programme.
He elaborated that out of the total 688, 40 will come from the full time, on-campus learning (OCL) undergraduate programmes and 648 from the part-time, open distance learning (ODL) programmes. Out of the 648, 202 comprise ODL graduates at the postgraduate-level and 446 at the undergraduate-level. They are between 23 and 76 years, and they hold diverse occupations, including lecturer, engineer, project manager, teacher, technician and clerk.
Prof Ho also announced that the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes will be awarded to Grace Yeo Tang Peng from Johor Bahru. She is graduating with a Master of Education (MEd) degree. She was a practising lawyer for 14 years, but has since moved on and is now the owner of an online business.
The recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for top ODL graduate from the undergraduate programmes is Cheong Swee Kim of Ipoh, Perak. He works as a QA and Compliance Director in a medical device manufacturing MNC in Ipoh, and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Psychology.
The winner of the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for top OCL graduate is Melody Lim Chii Wen, 23, from Balik Pulau, Penang, who shall receive her Bachelor of Business (Hons) degree in Management. She is already gainfully employed as a Financial Analyst at an MNC in Bayan Lepas.
Prof Ho singled out hearing-impaired special needs ODL student Ngan Yoke Seong, 30, from Ipoh, for overcoming challenges to graduate with a degree in Banking & Finance this year, after having enrolled in January 2014.
WOU, with the 688 graduates this year, would have produced a total 3,097 graduates since its first convocation in 2010 until 2017.