University-Industry collaboration vital for nation's talent development

A four-member delegation from WOU attended the half-day ‘University-Industry Dialogue with the Honourable Minister of Higher Education’ held at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre today.

 The Minister (centre) listening to the representatives from industry and academia.

The Minister (centre) listening to the representatives from industry and academia.

The delegation led by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye comprised Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & EdTech) Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi and Regional Operations & Marcom Director Mr K H Chong. The event was organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in partnership with the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) Centre, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

The dialogue with Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh was intended to explore opportunities and challenges related to the development of Academia-Industry Collaboration in driving the nation’s productivity, and to address the issue of talent and skills mismatch so as to meet the talent needs of industry.

Over 150 participants from various institutions of higher learning, industry, government agencies and other stakeholders attended the dialogue. Also present were USM Vice Chancellor Datuk Prof Dr Asma Ismail, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Industry and Community Network) Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed, and CEO of Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC), Mr Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin.

 Dato' Seri Idris (partly hidden) visits the exhibition booths.

Dato' Seri Idris (partly hidden) visits the exhibition booths.

Dato’ Seri Idris stressed to the participants that industry and the academia are one, and hence the need for closer collaboration between both the sectors is imperative.

The Ministry of Higher Education has recently introduced initiatives to nurture the required talents for industry. They are: Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for entry into university; Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (ICGPA) that assesses knowledge along with practical skills and ethics of students; the CEO Faculty Programme to produce industry-relevant graduates; and 2u2i for undergraduates to study 2 years in campus and intern another two years  in industries.

Following the dialogue, the Minister witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between USM and PSDC for the latter’s Master of Science in Microelectronic Engineering programme developed in collaboration with USM, and visited the exhibition booths that showcased various innovations and chatted with the delegation from WOU.

 Prof Ho (4th from left) stands next to the Minister, along with (4th and 3rd from right) Prof Zoraini and Dr Liew. At left is Dr Tan Choo Jun.

Prof Ho (4th from left) stands next to the Minister, along with (4th and 3rd from right) Prof Zoraini and Dr Liew. At left is Dr Tan Choo Jun.

WOU Senior Lecturer from the School of Science & Technology, Dr Tan Choo Jun, who was part of a CREST research project titled ‘A novel approach for prioritisation of product reliability improvement in a complex manufacturing environment’, participated in the exhibition.

The RM250,000 grant project is led by USM Deputy Dean (Student Affairs & Networking) Prof Low Heng Chin and involves the collaboration of WOU and USM with industry partners, Motorola Solutions and Sanmina Sci-Systems. The main aim of the project is to improve product reliability. It is a 3-year project which commenced in Feb 2016 and is expected to be completed in December 2018.

688 graduating at WOU's 8th convocation ceremony

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.

 Prof Ho (right) addressing the media. Beside him is Dato' Seri Stephen Yeap.

Prof Ho (right) addressing the media. Beside him is Dato' Seri Stephen Yeap.

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.

 Jomo will be honoured with an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Jomo will be honoured with an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

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.

 Top graduate from the part-time ODL postgraduate programmes, Grace Yeo Tang Peng.

Top graduate from the part-time ODL postgraduate programmes, Grace Yeo Tang Peng.

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.

 Top graduate from the ODL undergraduate programmes, Cheong Swee Kim.

Top graduate from the ODL undergraduate programmes, Cheong Swee Kim.

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.

 Top graduate from the full-time, on-campus learning programmes, Melody Lim.

Top graduate from the full-time, on-campus learning programmes, Melody Lim.

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.

WOU appoints two new Deputy Vice-Chancellors

WOU has appointed two new Deputy Vice-Chancellors effective 1 November 2017 to spearhead the University’s transformation in the development and delivery of its academic programmes and in the areas of research, industry and community collaboration.

They are Prof Zoraini Wati Abas who is to assume the position of Deputy Vice- Chancellor for Academic Programmes and Educational Technology, and Prof David Ngo Chek Ling as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research and Outreach.

WOU Board of Governors Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, said the appointments reflect the commitment and focus of the University to the transformation of WOU as a higher learning institution to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0 and technological disruption.

“We want to ensure our online and on-campus programmes, learning support, student services and other facilities are in sync with the new emerging technologies, producing graduates with the right attitude, skill sets and learning capabilities for the new economy,” he stated.

DVC2017photo1.jpg

Prof Zoraini brings with her over 30 years of experience in the education industry. She had worked in the Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya, for 10 years as a lecturer and an Associate Professor. She also served at the International Medical University (IMU) as the Director of the Centre for Medical Education and Media.

She moved on to Open University Malaysia (OUM), Kuala Lumpur, where she held various positions, including Professor of the Faculty of Education and Languages, Director of the Centre for Instructional Design and Technology, and Director of the Institute of Quality, Research and Innovation.  She later served as Acting Vice-Rector (Academic and Student Affairs) at Sampoerna University, Jakarta and is also an Associate Visiting Research Fellow at the National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN), Universiti Sains Malaysia.

She holds a Doctor of Education and a Master of Science in Education in Instructional Technology, and a BSc in Biological Sciences, all from Northern Illinois University, USA.

In 2014, Prof Zoraini was recognised as 2nd among 14 most influential Higher Educational Technology Leaders in Southeast Asia and received the Education Leadership Award from the World Corporate Universities Congress in Mumbai, India.

Prof Ngo has worked in both public and private universities over a 25-year period. He started out as a lecturer in the School of Computer Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, before moving on to the Multimedia University where he attained Associate Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Information Science and Technology.

DVC2017photo2.jpg

He later became Professor and Deputy CEO (Academic Development, R&D and Institutional Collaboration) at the City University College of Science and Technology, where he helped in its upgrade from a college to a university college, before he took up the position of Dean and Professor at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Malaya.

He then proceeded to Sunway University where he served as Professor and Founding Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Higher Degrees), being responsible for the establishment of the Graduate School and the Research and Innovation Office, and as Research Professor in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.

He holds a PhD in Computer Science, and a Master of Arts and BAI (Hons) in Microelectronic and Electrical Engineering, from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He has earned five patents and co-founded start-up businesses that have secured international markets.

WOU inks agreement with KinderJoy for learning laboratory

WOU signed a memorandum of understanding with Kinderjoy Education Group (KinderJoy) to appoint KinderJoy as a learning laboratory for the teaching of WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme.

 En Aznan Alias (centre) poses with representatives from WOU and KinderJoy.

En Aznan Alias (centre) poses with representatives from WOU and KinderJoy.

The MoU was signed by Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Vice Chancellor of WOU, and Ms Stephanie Liu, Executive Director of KinderJoy, during a simple ceremony held at KinderJoy main campus, Ipoh, today. The witnesses were Prof Dr Santhiram Raman, Dean of the School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC) of WOU, En Aznan Alias, Head of Special and Private Education Sector, Perak State Education Department, and Ms Looi Lee Ying, Academic Director and Principal, Tadika KinderJoy.

 Signing of the documents by Prof Ho (2nd from right) and Ms Liu.

Signing of the documents by Prof Ho (2nd from right) and Ms Liu.

In his speech, Prof Ho said that WOU introduced the DECE programme in the part-time, open distance learning (ODL) mode in January 2017 to provide professional upgrading opportunities for existing and would-be teachers working in childcare and preschool centres who do not as yet possess diploma qualifications. “This is in line with the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) mandate for all preschool teachers, both in government and private agencies, to have at least a diploma in early childhood education by 2020.”

He continued, “The Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) has projected that by year 2020, the number of children enrolled in preschools or childcare centres in Malaysia would reach about 900,000. It was also estimated that at least 26,000 teachers will need to obtain a minimum Diploma in Early Childhood Education qualification by 2020.”

 Following the signing, Prof Ho shakes hands with Ms Liu. They are flanked by Prof Santhiram (right), Ms Looi (left) and En Aznan.

Following the signing, Prof Ho shakes hands with Ms Liu. They are flanked by Prof Santhiram (right), Ms Looi (left) and En Aznan.

Prof Ho shared that WOU has appointed one partner institution for each of the five Regional Centres of WOU in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Ipoh, to serve as learning laboratories, complete with necessary facilities, to support the teaching of the DECE courses.

The DECE is 90-credit programme, consisting of 29 courses, to be completed in 6 semesters over 3 years.  It is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and approved by the MOE.

The programme was developed by external experts in the field of early childhood education, and cover courses on pedagogy, psychology, management and administration, curriculum planning, law and social policies, as well as entrepreneurship development.

 Prof Ho urges preschool centres to send their teachers to WOU to get their required diploma

Prof Ho urges preschool centres to send their teachers to WOU to get their required diploma

Prof Ho highlighted, “Upon completion, graduates will have the knowledge, skills and competencies to be employed in childcare settings and preschools as teachers and administrators, while those teachers in preschool centres previously without formal qualifications will be suitably qualified to teach.”

He also praised KinderJoy for its offer of scholarships to current and prospective students to pursue the DECE programme at WOU. He encouraged more preschools to send or support their teachers to get the required diploma qualification at WOU, at an affordable cost of less than RM10,000 for a 3-year programme.

 Prof Ho, Prof Santhiram, Mr K H Chong (white shirt) and Ms Ching Huey Ling (4th from left) of WOU with the staff and kids of KinderJoy.

Prof Ho, Prof Santhiram, Mr K H Chong (white shirt) and Ms Ching Huey Ling (4th from left) of WOU with the staff and kids of KinderJoy.

Tadika KinderJoy, established in 1996, is wholly-owned by KinderJoy Educare Services Sdn. Bhd. Its three centres are: Tadika KinderJoy (Main Campus) at Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (formerly Jalan Kampar), Sri Joy and Tadika KinderJoy (Botani Branch) at Bandar Seri Botani.

Spartan race comes to WOU

Twenty-three staff sweated it out in the spirit of fun and with adrenaline flowing as they competed in the mini Spartan Race held at the main campus today.

 Participants of the Spartan race with colleagues from the Information Technology Services department.

Participants of the Spartan race with colleagues from the Information Technology Services department.

Altogether eight teams - with three staff per team except for one - participated in the three Spartan exercises that started and finished at the foyer of the Albukhary Building. The top five spots went to the mixed or all male teams.

 Not as easy as it seems -t he first team member must complete 20 burpees.

Not as easy as it seems -t he first team member must complete 20 burpees.

In the WOU Spartan race, a team member had to complete 20 burpees before handing off to the next team-mate to run two rounds pass the Yeap Chor Ee statue, Homestead entrance, the multi-storey car park, cafeteria, surau and finally back to the foyer. The final stage involved the third member climbing like crazy the flight of stairs located on the first floor beside the lift up to the fifth floor and down again to the starting point.

 Faiz's (foreground, right) speedy run help his team win third prize..

Faiz's (foreground, right) speedy run help his team win third prize..

The first prize of vouchers worth RM150 was won by the dynamic duo of Sasikanth Mariappan from the Penang Regional Centre and Library Assistant Mohd Yusuf Hanafiah. Sasikanth displayed his body strength by not only undertaking the burpees but also the third activity of climbing up and down the stairs,  narrowly beating his closest rival at the finishing line to emerge champion.

The second spot went to the ‘doctors’ from the School of Science & Technology comprising Senior Lecturers Dr Lim Ting Yee, Dr Tan Choo Jun and Dr Teoh Ping Chow. They won cash vouchers worth RM90.

The General Services & Administration (GSA) team of Jegatheswary Tamilmany, Muhamad Faiz Abdul Wahab and Karren Shaalini Gunalan grabbed third placing to win RM60 worth of vouchers.

 The champions Sasikanth and Yusuf (centre) flanked by the first (right) and second runners-up (left).

The champions Sasikanth and Yusuf (centre) flanked by the first (right) and second runners-up (left).

The fourth and fifth consolation prize winners received a 4GB thumb drive each. At fourth spot was the team comprising of Assoc Prof Dr Balakrishnan Muniapan (School of Business & Administration), Assoc Prof Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma (Educational Technology & Publishing), and Lecturer Arathai Din Eak (School of Education, Languages and Communications).

The School of Humanities & Social Sciences team grabbed fifth placing. The members were K Ranjini along with Lecturers Kevin Tan Pooi Soo and Rabikha Hasni Suparman.

 Rabikha (centre) runs to finish fifth. At left is Arathai with team-mates Dr Ramesh (left) and Dr Balakrishnan (brown shirt); they came in fourth.

Rabikha (centre) runs to finish fifth. At left is Arathai with team-mates Dr Ramesh (left) and Dr Balakrishnan (brown shirt); they came in fourth.

Plaudits to the Information Technology Services Department (ITS) and to all who sportingly registered without a clue initially as to what gruelling exercises were in store to tax their bodies.

The race was held as part of the monthly sports and recreational activities initiated by the Human Resources Department to promote an active lifestyle.

WOU-MCOE collaboration to get teachers qualified

WOU is exploring collaboration with the Methodist Council of Education (MCOE) in equipping their teachers with the relevant teaching qualifications.

Three Directors from MCOE met up with the senior management of WOU at the main campus today to discuss the offering of the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme to their teachers. The MCOE delegation comprised Jenny Qua, Private Education Director, Phoon Yoke Meng, Director of Resource & Training, and Assoc Prof Dr Esther Daniel, Director of In-Service Training.

 Meeting between the University's senior management and the delegation from the Methodist Council of Education.

Meeting between the University's senior management and the delegation from the Methodist Council of Education.

They met with Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC) Dean Prof Santhiram Raman, and Regional Operations & Marcom Director K H Chong.

In his welcoming address to the visitors, Prof Ho highlighted that more than 20,000 part-time students have experienced learning at WOU and elaborated on the student support services, namely the digital library resources, tutorials and tutor support, easily downloadable course materials, and the learning management system. He also mentioned the various local and overseas collaboration initiatives undertaken to date.

 Prof Ho shares on the academic programmes and learning support facilities provided by the University.

Prof Ho shares on the academic programmes and learning support facilities provided by the University.

Prof Santhiram briefed on the PGDE programme of WOU which MCOE has identified and is prepared to fully sponsor their secondary level teachers who intend to pursue the programme.  He said the 33-credit PGDE programme can be completed in 3 semesters over a period of one-and-a-half years. He assured that WOU can add on courses, as needed, for the teachers.  

Qua informed that the Methodist Church, which has been involved in education for 125 years, has expanded into private education and now runs six private schools – including the ones in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and one set to open in Penang in September 2018 with 1,500 students and over 100 teachers – and a college in Brickfields.

 The delegation from Methodist Council of Education (from left): Dr Esther, Phoon and Qua.

The delegation from Methodist Council of Education (from left): Dr Esther, Phoon and Qua.

She said the feedback from the Ministry of Education is that many teachers in the private schools are not suitably qualified. For this reason, MCOE wants to ensure that their teachers possess the right teaching qualifications as they are mostly graduates in specific subjects with some teaching knowledge gained through MCOE’s in-service programmes.

As such, MCOE aims to collaborate with WOU by sending batches of their school teachers next year for the PGDE programme, which contains a teaching practicum component and a course on Management and Leadership in Education.

 Prof Santhiram highlights the courses under the PGDE programme.

Prof Santhiram highlights the courses under the PGDE programme.

Qua hopes that as many teachers as possible will become better qualified teachers within the next two years at WOU. She said MCOE will select the teachers from the different geographical regions after reviewing WOU’s academic calendar, course schedule, tutorial timetable and exam timetable, and the teachers’ work commitment.

She has also expressed interest in WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education Programme, as MCOE has over 100 kindergartens, each having about 5 teachers.

Exciting Heritage Trail Hunt adventure

The WOU Heritage Trail Hunt was an exciting yet mind-boggling adventure for about 40 staff as they had to navigate the streets of Little India and the surrounding vicinity while they attempted to work out the answers to the subtle clues given. 

 Team Alpha trying to find answers from their surroundings. They came fifth in the heritage trail competition.

Team Alpha trying to find answers from their surroundings. They came fifth in the heritage trail competition.

A total of 13 teams, with three staff per team, participated in the heritage trail challenge organised by the Marketing & Corporate Communications (Marcom) department today. 

 Kudos to all the participants for their support to the event.

Kudos to all the participants for their support to the event.

The staff had gathered at the entrance to the lobby of the Penang City Council multi-storey car park at Beach Street before starting out on the approximately two-hour hunt.  Grit, determination and team spirit were all evident as they proceeded on their trail.

Besides matching clues to answers gleaned from structures and buildings in their walking path, the teams had to snap wefies or group photos at certain strategic locations.  This was where the playful and comedic streak of the various team participants came to the fore, with many striking eye-catching poses against the backdrop of steel rod caricatures and drawings on the walls. 

 "Kick" the smoking habit is what Team Juliette seems to be saying. They won second prize.

"Kick" the smoking habit is what Team Juliette seems to be saying. They won second prize.

All participants must be congratulated for their tremendous support to the event, which was held under the banner of the monthly sports and recreational activities of WOU, initiated by the Human Resource Department to promote an active lifestyle among the staff.

The top prizes went to teams that managed to complete the hunt with the highest marks and under the allotted time. Team Kilo emerged as champion to win shopping vouchers worth RM150. The members were Khoo Chiew Keen (Educational Technology & Publishing), along with Rabhika Hasni Suparman and K Ranjini from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences (SHSS).

 The champions - Khoo (centre) from Team Kilo, with his two 'angels', Rabhika and Ranjini.

The champions - Khoo (centre) from Team Kilo, with his two 'angels', Rabhika and Ranjini.

Team Juliette, featuring the women power of Dr Norizan Baba (School of Business & Administration), Shaffiah Mohd (Information Technology Services) and Surrayya Shuib (Human Resources), grabbed second prize to win the RM90 shopping vouchers.

Meanwhile Team Golf, made up of the SHSS faculty members of Kevin Tan Pooi Soo, Ch’ng Ping Ping and Cheah Seeh Lee, came in third to receive vouchers worth RM60.

 Third prize went to Team Golf. From left: Kevin Tan, Seeh Lee and Ping Ping.

Third prize went to Team Golf. From left: Kevin Tan, Seeh Lee and Ping Ping.

The consolation prize winners were Team Hotel with members Trinnie Triveny Chandran (HR), Choy Paik Lin (Learning & Library Services) and Julie Lim Cheng Cheok (Chancellery) in fourth placing, and Team Alpha comprising Jegatheswary Tamilmany, Muhamad Faiz Abdul Wahab and Siti Zahara Mohd Razali from the General Services & Administration Department, in fifth.

 Paik Lin (left) and Julie Lim (right) strike a graceful karate pose. Team Hotel grabbed fourth placing.

Paik Lin (left) and Julie Lim (right) strike a graceful karate pose. Team Hotel grabbed fourth placing.

 Syabas to all the winners!

WOU: Supporter in the fight against cancer

Wawasan Open University (WOU) extended its support for the 11th consecutive year to Relay for Life Penang, which was organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) Penang branch and the Penang Hospice Society. 

 WOU Corporate Communications Manager Rasidah Mion (left) presents the mock cheque to Dato' Seri Dr T Devaraj.

WOU Corporate Communications Manager Rasidah Mion (left) presents the mock cheque to Dato' Seri Dr T Devaraj.

The Relay was held today for the first time at Athletics Stadium, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), representing a change of venue from the Penang Youth Park.

WOU, in a show of support, was a silver sponsor and also sent a team of about 15 participants, comprising staff and full-time students, to join the walkabout. The aim of the annual event themed ‘Fighting Cancer Together’ is to create awareness on cancer, remember loved ones lost, celebrate survivors, and raise funds for the fight against cancer.

 The full-time students of WOU hold the banner high as they participate in the walkabout.

The full-time students of WOU hold the banner high as they participate in the walkabout.

WOU participants carried placards and a banner declaring the University’s support to the Relay since 2007 as they joined the survivors and other teams to walk around the stadium’s track. Some survivors had come from as far as Johor Bahru, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Taiping.

In his speech earlier, NCSM Penang Chairman Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj informed that this is the 13th year of celebrating the Relay in Penang to get people “to recognise that cancer is a burden and this burden can be reduced if all of us can work together, especially by leading healthy lifestyles”.

 Dr Devaraj welcomes the sponsors and particiipants.

Dr Devaraj welcomes the sponsors and particiipants.

In launching the Relay, USM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Industry and Community Network) Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed, quoted Malaysian statistics to state that “the risk of males getting cancer is 1 in 10 and for females is 1 in 9”. Cancer contributed to 14% of total deaths that occurred in Ministry of Health hospitals in 2015 and is reported to be the third common cause of death in Malaysia, he added.

“The best way to fight cancer is primary prevention through changes in lifestyle, which include not smoking, following a healthy diet, regular exercise and decreasing exposure to carcinogens. The best way to survive cancer is early detection through regular screening and checkups. Once diagnosed, remember that many of these cancers are curable,” he stressed.

 Prof Abdul Rahman calls on the crowd to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Prof Abdul Rahman calls on the crowd to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Prof Abdul Rahman presented certificates of appreciation to WOU - and other sponsors - as the emcee shouted, ‘Wawasan Open University, an old friend and wonderful ally of Relay for Life Penang!”

The event featured music, henna/face painting, entertainment, games, food stalls and exhibition to lend a mini carnival atmosphere for the enjoyment of the young and the old.

 Full-time students with WOU staff that include (from right) Assoc Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma, Kevin Tan, Chew Bee Leng (hidden), K Ranjini, Rabikha Hasni Suparman, Lim Yeang See and Sharon Alice Wiessy.

Full-time students with WOU staff that include (from right) Assoc Dr Ramesh Chander Sharma, Kevin Tan, Chew Bee Leng (hidden), K Ranjini, Rabikha Hasni Suparman, Lim Yeang See and Sharon Alice Wiessy.

Become employable graduates with WOU, freshmen told

The new full-time, on-campus learning (OCL) students were encouraged to develop themselves holistically during their study with WOU so that they become employable graduates and consequently enhance the image of the University.

Speaking at the orientation for some 50 OCL students from the September 2017 intake at the main campus today, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye urged them to start thinking of the job they want to do so that they can groom themselves accordingly starting from day one of their academic journey at WOU.

 The new full-time students for the September semester.

The new full-time students for the September semester.

He shared that many corporate companies and bosses are saying that they cannot find suitable graduates, and hence the students must start preparing themselves. He said the focus is not so much on what the students have studied but rather on the soft skills. “How good are you in communicating with people? How good are you in speaking in English?”

Prof Ho added, “Your ability to communicate and your critical thinking skills. The employer will assess whether you are able to think, advise and help the company.” He told the freshmen to equip themselves with soft skills so that they are successful in job interviews as they are competing with candidates with the same qualifications. “The boss is interested in how you talk, how you communicate, how you answer the questions, what kind of thinking has taken place behind your answers.”

 Prof Ho offers pointers on how to succeed as a student of WOU.

Prof Ho offers pointers on how to succeed as a student of WOU.

He asked the students to individually design their own success as a student of WOU. They should be clear about their goals which may be different from those of their classmates. “Distinguish or make yourself stand out from the others so that you can find the right job more readily.”

He also advised them to become proficient in understanding technology as the future job market will be different due to the influence of emerging technologies. He assured that WOU’s programmes have been designed to groom them to achieve their goals. “WOU is a very innovative and forward thinking university that keeps in mind the future of our graduates so that you become readily employable by the time you graduate.”

 Students advised to master IT skills and to be active in co-curricular activities.

Students advised to master IT skills and to be active in co-curricular activities.

He also highlighted their need to be familiar with the learning management system, Wawasan2u, and realise the importance of participating in co-curricular activities to help strengthen interpersonal, critical thinking and networking skills.

Prof Ho called on the freshmen to be bold and ask questions and challenge the lecturers academically to build up their knowledge base. He advised that they form study groups and maintain good relationships with their Academic Advisors.

Lastly he requested that they play their role as good ambassadors of WOU by giving due attention to positive academic conduct and interactions with peers. “This is your duty as a good student of WOU”, he added.

 Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow (right) introduces his staff.

Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow (right) introduces his staff.

Earlier Penang Regional Centre director Teh Kim Kow introduced his team while School of Business & Administration (SBA) Senior Lecturer Yap Li Lian introduced the Academic Advisors.

The oath-taking was led by Al-Ameen Rosli, 21, who had enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

 Al-Ameen leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

Al-Ameen leads the freshmen in reciting the students' pledge.

Among the attendees were Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong and Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi.

ODL students hold blood donation campaign

About 45 people, in the spirit of giving and community service, turned up for the blood donation campaign organised by a group of part-time open distance learning (ODL) students of WOU.

 The blood donation campaign at the main campus in Penang.

The blood donation campaign at the main campus in Penang.

The blood donation drive held at the Homestead Hall of the main campus today witnessed 26 successful donors, and most of them were ODL students.

A few University staff did manage to donate, and among them were ITS Senior Database Administrator Shaffiah Mohd and Library Assistant Mohd Yusuf Hanafiah.  This was only the second time donating for Shaffiah and the fourth for Yusuf.

 Yusuf shows up at the campaign to do his part.

Yusuf shows up at the campaign to do his part.

The blood donation campaign proclaiming the message, ‘One pint saves three lives’, was organised by a team of nine adult learners pursuing the Diploma in Early Childhood Education programme. They conducted the campaign as part of their co-curriculum project, in collaboration with the Blood Bank of Seberang Jaya Hospital and Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

 Shaffiah puts aside her fears to donateblood.

Shaffiah puts aside her fears to donateblood.

According to Christina Yew Pei Phing, the project leader, “The purpose is to encourage and inspire the public, particularly young adults, to become lifelong blood donors and help save lives, thus contributing to the community at large.”

Her fellow team members were: Arikimah Joseph, Najeeha Natasha Noor, Choong Yee Ching, Kasturi Subramaniam, Woon Shieh Ling, Yeoh Chee Hin, Chua Siok Yong and Ng Boon Kee.

 Team members from the DECE programme help out with registration.

Team members from the DECE programme help out with registration.

Yew hoped that this campaign for a worthy cause also served to promote the image of WOU in the community.