Over 1,100 graduates at WOU’s 13th convocation ceremony

The University had the highest number of graduating students totalling 1,147 at its 13th convocation ceremony, held over three days at the main campus in Penang. The graduates ranged in age from 20 to 77 years.

The University also rolled out the inaugural batch of graduates from both the Master of Arts of Psychology (MAPS) and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programmes.

The Chancellor and stage party stand for the national anthem

In his convocation address on 26 November 2022, WOU Chancellor Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar highlighted the important role of universities in building global citizens who think beyond themselves to care for others, irrespective of ethnicity, and who speak for democracy and against unethical behaviour in every sphere of influence.

He called on higher learning institutions to adopt a more global context to education, “encouraging students to shift focus from self or local interests to an international perspective”. “We only have to look at the global pandemic, the daring Thai cave rescue mission, and other recent international disasters and the associated relief efforts, all of which speak volumes about the importance of people and nations pooling their strengths, talents and resources for the common good,” he remarked.

Part of the graduates at this year’s convocation.

He continued, “Every higher education institution in this country has a critical role in getting students to shift their focus towards global-mindedness, fully aware that we are all interdependent and our actions interconnected.”

Tunku Imran said universities should develop global citizens with moral and civic responsibility who are committed to act towards the social good.  “This global citizen should have concern for others, irrespective of race, culture, religion and nationality,” he added.

The Chancellor calls on universities to produce global citizens.

He also urged universities to “promote democracy in debate and discussions within their classroom settings” so as to instil in the students a respect for the democratic process.

“Universities play a critical role in producing citizens with the values of integrity and accountability.  People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for bad practice to grow.  Indifference translated into local idiom means ‘Tidak Apalah!  Not my Problem!  What to do?’  Let it not be so.  Let us cultivate global citizens who speak up against unethical behaviour.  Let integrity and transparency be part of the ‘new’ norm, the new value and the new culture of Malaysians,” he asserted.

He was hopeful that with the new government administration and new Prime Minister, “we can look forward to the future with a new hope, a new Harapan”.

Tunku Imran with the sole PhD graduate.

He wanted universities to contribute to this newfound hope through their teaching and learning, and for graduates to “take on the mantle of good global citizens and be part of the generation that helps change the world for good”.

Meanwhile Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan said that through relevant, open, flexible and distance learning (OFDL), WOU has enabled its students to apply what they learnt immediately to their workplaces. She lauded the graduates for embracing a ‘Think Tomorrow’ mindset that prepares them as a lifelong learner.

Prof Chan applauds the graduates for having a lifelong learning mindset.

The convocation ceremony saw Tunku Imran conferring postgraduate degrees on 99 students from six programmes. The oldest was Sundre Sadu Singh, 77, who received her Master of Education (MEd).

Tunku Imran also presented the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Gold Prize to two top students from the postgraduate programmes – Dato’ Che Seow Foon, 40, of MAPS from Penang, and Irene Pung Sue Yee, 31, of MEd from Kuching. The sole PhD graduate was teacher Doreen Premila Edwin Rajamoney, 53, from Negeri Sembilan.

Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon with Sundre, the oldest graduate.

The graduates comprised 297 from the postgraduate programmes and 850 at the undergraduate-level.

Also present at the main session were Pro-Chancellor, Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng, and WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon. 

This convocation brings the total number of WOU graduates to 7,279.

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