The introduction of three more full-time degree programmes and lowering barriers to admission with offer of grants and scholarships saw 82 students registering for full-time study at WOU during the September 2018 intake.
The three new programmes are Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology (BAPS), Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology (BMPS), and Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons) (BSEG), to make it a total of 9 programmes offered for September.
Four new students were awarded the 5th anniversary grant of 100% tuition fee waiver for their studies, while the rest received 50% rebate on their total tuition fees, all funded by the Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF).
The recipients of the WEF scholarship were Previnan Ravindran, who enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management, Haida Baharuddin and Siti Khadijah Azizan in BMPS, and Hariharan Daventhern in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (BBLC).
The orientation for the new students was held at the WOU main campus today, during which they were welcomed by Penang Regional Centre director Ching Huey Ling and Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas.
The oath-taking was led by Yim Zhen Xian, 20, who is pursuing his Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks (BTSN).
Among those present were Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Outreach) Prof David Ngo Chek Ling, Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, and Deans/Deputy Deans of the four Schools.
Four students share their testimony
*Previnan Ravindran, 20, from Gelugor, Penang, enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management (BBMG), after having completed his STPM at Kolej Tingkatan Enam Haji Zainul Abidin.
“My counselling teacher told me about WOU when I went for advice and he mentioned a few institutions. When I did my own survey for comparison, going personally to a few of them, I found WOU to offer the most competitive cost, which I could afford.
“I chose BBMG because I love business and management. I plan to pursue my MBA and this degree would serve as a good foundation for that. I want to become a manager of a big company, and if time allows, I want to develop my own business. So I need some knowledge.”
His father works as a security guard while his mother is a production operator in Bayan Lepas. He has a younger sister in Year Six.
Previnan is thankful for the 100% scholarship given by WEF for his studies. “My family and I are really grateful. We thought, with WOU’s flexibility of paying by instalments, we could manage but we were not sure whether we could pay on time or throughout. So when I was told about the scholarship offer, I was very happy and will do my best to score a GPA of above 2.75 every semester to qualify.”
“With God’s grace, I want to thank everybody who helped me in getting this scholarship. After my STPM, I had worked part-time for around 9 months at a medical appliance store, and saved enough for the first semester, and wasn’t too sure about how I was going to manage my second semester. With this full scholarship, I can now just concentrate on my studies.”
*Siti Khadijah Azizan, 20, from Bukit Mertajam, enrolled in Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology, after completing her STPM in Bukit Mertajam High School.
Her parents are traders selling nasi lemak at an evening market. She is the third of four children, with her elder sister married and an elder brother working at a factory in Prai, while a younger sibling is in Form Six.
“My school counsellor told me that WOU is offering full-time study. I checked and found it had a programme I am interested in, which is Management with Psychology. I love psychology, but I did not want to just take psychology since I also love management, so the BMPS suited me perfectly as it incorporates both fields. The University is also located not that far away.
“I was successful in my scholarship application, with the recommendation of my counsellor. I am really happy with the financial aid as I now don’t have to trouble my parents in paying my fees, especially since we are not that well off.
“My ambition is to become a counselling teacher in a school setting, or if not, in any management or private sector. I like to guide others in overcoming their problems and in other areas of their life. So I hope to learn psychology skills, including how to understand people and counsel them, how to listen, and so forth at WOU.”
*Solomon Lee Wei, 26, from Tanjung Tokong, enrolled in Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology. He completed his A-levels in DISTED College, Penang.
“My father told me about WOU, as he is a part-time MBA student here, with just his final year project left to complete. He currently works as an electronics engineer, previously at Intel, and now at AMD in Texas. My parents along with my two younger brothers moved to US last September.
“Through this programme, I hope to learn skills to enable me interact with people better so that I am able to gauge and understand their inner thoughts a bit more. It has been a criticism levelled at me from family members that I could be a bit blunt sometimes.
“I hope to become a psychologist or counsellor, as after completing my degree in WOU in three years, I plan to continue my studies in the US.
“I chose WOU since my father had said that the students not only can learn from the classes but also testified that the course mates are all very helpful. So I hope to gain as much knowledge as I can from the courses and my fellow students.”
*Ahmad Firdaus Abdullah, 23, from Ayer Itam, who has a slight hearing disability, enrolled in Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology (BMPS). He completed his Diploma in Business at INTI International College, Penang
“I found out about WOU from my friends who are currently doing full-time study at WOU. I chose BMPS as I am interested in the subjects listed. I want to learn all about management.
“My ambition is to become a businessman. So that’s why I hope to learn a lot more about management and a bit of psychology at WOU. Learning about psychology would help to make me more confident in speaking to people, and in my pronunciation.”
His father has his own business, a hair salon, while his mother is a homemaker. He has an elder brother employed as an aircraft engineer and a younger brother studying hospitality management at a private college.
“I decided to register at WOU because of the 50% grant and also I like the soothing environment here. The sea along with the greenery relaxes me.”
As a toddler, Firdaus succumbed to a high fever which affected his hearing and pronunciation. “If I cannot hear or understand properly, I can check with the lecturer or ask my course mates. I can manage as I am able to hear more clearly when they speak to me face to face.”