Over 600 graduates at WOU's 7th convocation ceremony

  • Inaugural graduates from WOU's full-time programmes
  • Honorary Degree to be conferred on two distinguished women

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) will confer degrees, graduate diplomas and graduate certificates on 623 graduates at the seventh convocation ceremony to be held at the main campus from November 24th to 26th.

This includes the first-ever batch of 45 graduates from WOU’s full-time on-campus learning (OCL) Bachelor degree programmes in Management and Accounting. The University has expanded to offer full-time study to STPM school leavers and diploma holders since September 2013.

At the press conference today, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye said that of the total graduates, 154 shall come from the open distance learning (ODL) postgraduate programmes and 424 from the ODL undergraduate programmes. Among them are the inaugural batches of 7 graduates from the degree programmes in English Studies, Multimedia Design, and Networks & Data Communication.

WOU will award the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best ODL graduate at the postgraduate level to Irene Cheng Chiew Ping from Seberang Jaya, Penang. She is graduating from the MBA in Manufacturing and Production Management (MBA-MPM) programme.

The recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for top ODL graduate from the undergraduate programmes is Kalaiyalagan Karuppiah of Puchong, Selangor. He shall be graduating with a Bachelor of Business (Hons) degree in Accounting.

The winner of the inaugural Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for top OCL graduate is Shirley Leong Yan Yan, 23, from Ayer Itam, Penang, who shall receive her Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management degree.

According to Prof Ho, “The University has so far produced 1,787 graduates since our first convocation in 2010. WOU is expected to add another 623 graduates at this year’s convocation ceremony to bring the total to almost 2,500 graduates.”

WOU will also be conferring on two distinguished and internationally well-known women this year the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.  The recipients are Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, founding and former president of MERCY Malaysia, and Prof Asha Kanwar, the current President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation of the Commonwealth of Nations which is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

In making the announcement, WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap stated that the conferment of Dr Jemilah is in recognition of her “highest level of professional achievement, personal contributions and leadership in relation to humanitarian goals and actions”.

“Her outstanding efforts and sustained advocacy for volunteerism in medical rescue work to help those in need and affected by crises, irrespective of ethnicity and across borders have indeed captured and inspired the lives of all Malaysians and many other people across the globe,” he added.

He said the conferment of Prof Kanwar is to recognise her exceptional leadership and lifelong contributions in the field of higher education in general and in open and distance learning in the international arena specifically.

“She has promoted the development of national policies for open and distance learning (ODL) and Open Educational Resources (OER), and contributed significantly to enhancing the role of ODL not just for education and lifelong learning but as a means for achieving global development goals,” Dato’ Seri Stephen remarked.

He continued, “Through her leadership in COL, she actively promotes the role of education in empowering individuals so that they can be responsible for their own well-being and for the development of their nations.”

WOU launches Chancellor's Lecture Series to promote open, healthy discussion

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) is launching the Chancellor’s Lecture Series with a presentation by leading economist/development expert Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, on Saturday 14 May 2016, at the University at 4.00 pm. This is the first of the series presented by the university’s Centre for Dialogue [C4D].  Prof Jomo will share his thoughts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and its implications for Malaysia and Malaysians titled ‘TPPA: Future or Fraud’.

Speaking at the Press conference today, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye said that the lecture series will “bring intellectuals who are helping to shape the world to the doorsteps of WOU.  It will help the University engage with the local community, alumni and students to share knowledge, exchange views and opinions.”

He added, “It will draw on speakers across a range of disciplines and will examine key questions that affect our communities and the world at large. Universities are ideal platforms to actively engage the younger generation on issues affecting the country and their future.”

Prof Ho hoped that open debates on issues that are of key and strategic importance to all Malaysians will foster harmony, preserve peace and strengthen the economic growth of the country. 

Meanwhile Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Chairman of the Board of Advisors for C4D, said that the Centre operates under the umbrella of the Institute for Research and Innovation. The aim, he added, is to engage the public community “and through frank and civil dialogue, create awareness and better understanding of current issues that are of interest or concern to all citizens, especially those residing in Penang”.

He paid tribute to the late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik for mooting the idea of C4D during his tenure as WOU Council Chairman. He highlighted Tun Lim’s vision for WOU, as a generator of knowledge, to initiate open, free dialogues that can provide feedback to leaders on how to address issues confronting the people.

“This aligns well with the stated mission of the C4D, which is, to generate dialogue on contemporary economic, development and socio-political issues that affect our society, and to share these thoughts and ideas with the public.

“The desired goal is to build a higher level of understanding between the Government and corporate, intellectual and academic opinion makers,” said Prof Dhanarajan.

493 graduates at WOU's 6th convocation ceremony

WOU to confer Honorary Degrees on two community leaders - Unveiling of Auditorium Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik

12 November 2015, PENANG:  Wawasan Open University (WOU) is set to roll out 493 graduates during the 6th convocation ceremony to be held at the main campus on November 28 and 29.

There will also be a symbolic unveiling of the plaque during the convocation to signify the renaming of Auditorium 1, at Level 5, Albukhary Building of the main campus to Auditorium Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, in memory and recognition of the immense contributions of the late Chancellor.

Tun Lim is regarded as the founder of WOU who had the vision of setting up a virtual open university and through sheer determination brought in key people and the funds to translate that vision into reality. He was a former President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and second Chancellor of WOU from May 2011 until his passing on 22 December 2012.

WOU Chancellor Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah will preside over the first session and confer the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj in recognition of his contribution to the medical profession and to palliative care in the country, especially Penang.

The other Honorary Graduand is Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the Founder and former President of MERCY Malaysia, and currently Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat based in the United Nations headquarters in New York. She will be conferred at a separate occasion in the near future due to her busy overseas engagement.

Tun Dzaiddin will also award the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate at the postgraduate level to Chan Kar Weng from Kuala Lumpur. Chan pursued his Master of Education degree at WOU.

The recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for emerging as top graduate from the undergraduate programmes is David Chin Toh Ming from Miri, Sarawak, who will be graduating in Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Liberal Studies.

The 6th convocation ceremony will witness the graduation of a total 493 students; out of which 116 are from the postgraduate programmes and 377 from the undergraduate programmes. They come from WOU’s Regional Centres in Penang (209), Kuala Lumpur (121), Johor Bahru (84), Ipoh (47), Kuching (26) and Kota Bharu (6). 

The graduands range in age from 23 to 67 years. They hold occupations like teachers, lecturers, engineers, accountants, account managers, finance managers, site supervisors, technicians and clerks.

Seven undergraduate programmes will be producing their first batch of graduates. They are the Graduate Diploma in Sales & Services Management (GDSM) programme specially customised for employees of Perodua, and the six Bachelor’s degree programmes in the field of corporate administration, management with psychology, entrepreneurship & small business management, database management, software engineering and telecommunications.

The convocation will be held over five sessions and two days. WOU Pro-Chancellor and Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF) Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon will preside over the second session, while Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye will preside over the remaining sessions.

Amongst those attending the first session are the late Tun Lim’s son Datuk Lim Si Pin and mother Toh Puan Wong Yoon Chuan, WOU Sdn Bhd (WOUSB) Board of Directors Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap, Members of WOU’s Board of Governors, the heads and representatives from institutions of higher learning, and senior management of the University.

WOU sets up Learning Centres in northern region

4 June 2015, PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) has set up Learning Centres at Stradford International College (SIC), Prai and Institut Profesional (IP), Alor Setar to cater to students enrolling for part-time study in its upcoming July intake and beyond.The establishment of WOU’s Learning Centres at SIC and IP was formally sealed with the signing of two Memoranda of Agreements (MoAs) in a simple ceremony held at the WOU main campus today. Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye signed on behalf of WOU witnessed by Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, Director of Quality Assurance and External Relations.The Chief Executive Officer of SIC, Mr Kumar Ghosh Vasudevan, and the Education Director of IP, Ms Loh Shy Tyug, signed on behalf of their respective institutions.

“Wawasan Open University shares a common vision with Stradford International College and Institut Professional to address the increasing needs and demand of knowledge workers in various segments of our K-economy for tertiary qualifications to enhance their career prospects. We want to provide wider access to higher education and in the process build up the professional human resource capacity so as to increase the productivity of the workforce,” said Prof Ho.

“WOU is working towards setting up a few more Learning Centres across Malaysia through smart collaboration with like-minded institutions of higher learning. The Learning Centres will serve to extend our market presence as a trusted provider of affordable and quality higher education to more Malaysians,” he added. Prof Ho shared that WOU had recently signed MoAs with the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) and the East-West International College (EWIC), Seremban to establish Learning Centres there.

“We have informed the Ministry of Education on the University’s plans to dot the map of Malaysia with WOU Learning Centres,” he clarified.He stated that the newly established Learning Centres will further assist the University in supporting its students in areas where WOU currently has no physical presence, such as mainland Penang, Alor Setar and Seremban. “It will be a win-win situation for everyone. With this, more students in these areas will be delighted knowing that they can now attend the monthly face-to-face tutorials at Learning Centres that are closer to them than before.”

Among the attendees at the signing ceremony were Chief Administrative Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-ODL) Prof Madhulika Kaushik, and senior management staff of WOU.

WOU-PSDC collaboration to set up Learning Centre

19 May 2015, PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) has entered into a smart partnership with the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) in offering the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Mechatronics (BTME) programme for the July intake.The formal signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between both parties was held at the PSDC premises today. The signatories were Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of WOU, Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, and Mr Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin, the CEO of PSDC.The two witnesses for the signing were Associate Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei, Dean, School of Science & Technology (SST), WOU, and Ms Lim Wei Chen, Chief Operating Officer of PSDC.

“WOU holds PSDC in high regard as a reputable high quality skills training centre,” said Prof Ho during the ceremony.“Essentially this smart partnership is built on the long standing relationship between WOU and PSDC both of which share a common mission and commitment to enhance the knowledge and skills of our young workforce in the local industry in Penang. Through this MoA, students enrolling for the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Mechatronics (BTME) degree at WOU will have access to excellent laboratory facilities of PSDC,” he elaborated.“Arising from this strategic partnership is a new study pathway whereby PSDC’s own diploma graduates can now benefit from a seamless upgrade into the mechatronics degree programme of WOU. They will study at WOU, use the laboratory facilities of PSDC, and ultimately earn a WOU degree,” stated Prof Ho. “This Learning Centre at PSDC is one of several additional centres to be established this year. As per good practice, we have already informed the Ministry of Education about this move,” he added.

WOU is rolling out the BTME programme in Penang via the open distance learning mode in the July 2015 intake. This programme can be completed in five years through part-time study. Certificate or diploma holders, technicians, manufacturing specialists and technical staff with relevant working experience in mechanical and electronic related areas will benefit from the programme. Graduates of BTME can work in such fields as electronics, automation, design, development, and research.

Meanwhile Muhamed Ali, in his remarks, said that the programme will greatly benefit the PSDC students as well as the existing workforce in the mechanical and electronics industry.“We believe that through this programme, students will stand to gain the necessary knowledge on mechatronic engineering principles and practical skills that will empower them to design systematic solutions for mechatronic engineering problems,” he said.

Among the attendees at the signing ceremony were WOU’s Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Emeritus Gajaraj Dhanarajan, PSDC’s Dean of School of Engineering, Mr Tham Kok Kee, and senior management staff of WOU and PSDC.

WOU to offer entirely Online Courses under PACE

PENANG: In support of the government’s initiative, through the Ministry of Education, to implement Massive Open Online Courses in all public universities in Malaysia, Wawasan Open University (WOU) as a private not-for-private university has also started to offer MOOC courses.

WOU will roll out two entirely online courses from 9 February 2015 under the wings of its Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE). “This is a new milestone in the development of WOU and supports the Education Ministry’s efforts to promote the use of MOOCs to expand formal and non-formal learning in the education sector,” said Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-OCL) and Acting Director of PACE, Prof Mohandas Menon, following the internal launch of MOOCs at the main campus recently.

The titles of the two MOOCs from WOU are ‘Action Research Course’ and ‘Open Educational Resources (OER) in e-Learning’. The development of these two courses is funded separately by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and COL’s regional agency, the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) respectively. Both courses will take three months for completion, commencing on February 9th and running until May.

“The launch of the two MOOCs reflects the serious intention of the university to provide short courses entirely online for the benefit of interested learners and professionals at large,” stated Prof Menon.

He remarked that it is an achievement for a relatively young open university like WOU to develop and offer MOOCs. “The university has developed a strong in-house technical capacity to provide fully digitised learning materials as well as quality learning support services. The learners of WOU-MOOCs will be supported by online interactive virtual discussion forums, online tutor facilitation, online assignment submission and assessment, through a specially created learning management platform, Wawasan4PACE.”

WOU has the expertise and capability to run the MOOCs as at least 20 academics have to date undergone training conducted by experts from COL and CEMCA in the area of online moderation and facilitation of the courses.

According to Prof Menon, the targeted learners for both the MOOCs offered by WOU are educators from the schools, teacher training institutions and universities in Malaysia and overseas. Those who formally register as students for either of the courses will be charged a fee which entitles them to receive online tutor support and upon full completion be issued a Certificate of Achievement from WOU.

Others who just choose to register and follow the courses on a self-learning mode, can access the materials and learner support on the Wawasan4PACE platform for free. They would then receive a Badge upon full completion.