PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) is set to roll out 688 graduates at the 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, or better known as K S Jomo, from Penang 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 leadership positions and the academic recognitions received to date during his professional career spanning over 40 years.
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 Jomo is on the editorial boards of several learned journals.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Ho Sinn Chye stated that two WOU programmes will produce their first batch of graduates this year. They are the full-time Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Banking & Finance (BBBF) programme with four graduating students, and the part-time Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Information Systems (BTIS) programme with five graduating students.
He said that out of the total 688 graduates, 40 will come from the full time, on-campus learning (OCL) undergraduate programmes. The remaining 648 comprise graduates from the part-time, open distance learning (ODL) programmes, of which 202 are from the postgraduate-level and 446 from the undergraduate-level. Their ages range between 23 and 76 years, and they hold diverse occupations, including lecturer, engineer, project manager, teacher, technician and clerk.
Prof Ho announced that WOU will award the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes to Ms 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) in Management degree. She is already gainfully employed as a Financial Analyst at an MNC in Bayan Lepas.
According to Prof Ho, “The University has so far produced 2,409 graduates since our first convocation in 2010 until 2016, comprising 1,748 graduates from the undergraduate programmes and 661 from the postgraduate programmes.” He declared that the 688 graduates from this year’s convocation will bring the total to 3,097 graduates.