684 students of WOU graduate in-absentia amidst the pandemic

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) will host a virtual graduation on November 28th for its 684 students who will graduate in-absentia this year.

They comprise 614 graduates from the open distance learning (ODL) programmes – 500 undergraduates and 114 from postgraduate studies – and the remaining from the on-campus learning programmes. The e-graduation will also witness the inaugural batch of 56 graduates who will receive their Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE).

The graduates hail from across the country, ranging in age from 21-72 years and representing 61.4% females and 38.6% males. Among them are directors, HR staff, lecturers, principals and teachers, accounting employees, managers (e.g. marketing, supply chain, project, factory and sales), engineers, IT executives, technicians, clerks, flight attendants and police force personnel.

In compliance with the SOPs of the Conditional Movement Control Order for Covid-19, WOU Chancellor Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar will confer the diplomas and degrees in-absentia via the virtual graduation. A commemorative graduation video of all the speeches and list of graduates is also made available to all graduates.

In his e-address, Tunku Imran remarked, “The way forward for education is certainly changing. Lifelong learning and a transformation from the conventional, brick-and-mortar mode to online forms of delivery is becoming the new reality.”

Pro-Chancellor Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng shared the University’s aspiration for graduates to “have a vision for the future, an understanding of global development, and a knowledge of current market trends”. He added, “The future global economy will become more and more driven by new products utilising innovative Internet-related technologies and I believe the training you have received at WOU will help you to face some of these challenges.”

Meanwhile Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon highlighted the history of WOU and the great leaders behind its establishment and growth. He told the graduates, “I trust that, after your WOU experience, you have become committed lifelong learners, interested in more knowledge and skills, open to new ideas and possibilities, and ready for trials and challenges ahead, while leading a fruitful and meaningful life for yourself, your family and the society.”

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan lauded the students for graduating in the current challenging times, declaring that it adds more meaning, significance and a deeper sense of achievement to their study journey with WOU.

She mentioned the problem of graduate mismatch in the Malaysian labour market, which she said serves as key to the University’s effort to ensure that the graduates possess talents which can be fully maximised in the new world economy. She stressed that it is the University’s aim to impart all graduates with “adaptability and flexibility, creativity and innovation, critical thinking, leadership, and lifelong learning”.

She concluded, “I would like to encourage all of you graduating today to seize whatever opportunities that come your way. Do not expect a return to the world we had known just a year ago. So, I urge you to re-equip yourself constantly in areas that will benefit companies and the nation.

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