Record High Graduates with 4 Septuagenarians

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) will produce another 740 graduates at its 10th convocation ceremony at the main campus on December 7th and 8th.

This is the largest number to date and would bring WOU’s total graduates to 4,495. The graduates this year include a 27-year-old who passed away a month after completing his studies, two physically challenged persons, and four graduates over 70 years of age.

Speaking at a press conference today, Wawasan Open University Board of Governors Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said that 163 are from the postgraduate programmes and 577 from the undergraduate prog graduates programmes.

The graduates range in age from 22 to 76 years and comprise 58.78% females and 41.22% males. They come from diverse occupations, including engineers, auditors, accountants, finance managers, lecturers, teachers, HR executives, sales and marketing executives, secretaries, production supervisors, clerks, technicians and IT professionals.

The deceased student, Teenish Rajoo, had pursued his Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks (BTSN) programme. He had started a new job in Petaling Jaya as an IT engineer just a few months before his untimely demise. His elder brother Vinod, 29, and cousin, Ravindaran Thamboo, are expected to attend the convocation ceremony.

WOU will have two special needs (OKU) graduates from the University’s Open Distance Learning (ODL) programmes. Belinda Chee Jin Wei, 38, of Johor who is married to a Sarawakian and working as a tuition teacher in Kuching, will receive her Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Chee suffers from a nerve problem which has affected her right hand and limb since birth. She learnt to write and perform tasks with her left hand from an early age. Chee worked as an engineer for 10 years after getting her engineering degree from Monash University, Australia, before switching to teaching in 2015.

The other OKU graduate is Tee Wei Ming, 35, from Subang Jaya, Selangor, who will be conferred his Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (BBLC) degree.

Four septuagenarians are among the graduates. The oldest graduate is Madam Kamilia Tan Abdullah, 76, of Johor Bahru from the Commonwealth Executive MBA programme. The others are Madam Mangayarkarasy Velayutham, 71, of Skudai, Johor, and Madam Wong Seow Chee, 72, of Kuala Lumpur from the Master of Education (MEd) programme specialising in Teaching English as a Second Subject (TESL) and Mr Koh Choi Hing, 73, of Johor Bahru from the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Sales and Marketing programme. Madam Wong is currently pursuing her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme after having enrolled at WOU in the July 2019 intake.

Dr Koh also announced that the winner of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize is Chay Foo Soon, 41, from Segamat, Johor, who is the top student from the ODL postgraduate programmes. He operates a home tuition, which he started in 2017, and teaches some 30 primary and secondary school students. He will receive his Master of Education (MEd) degree, with a specialisation in Education Management.

Chay is the quintessential lifelong learner. He was part of the inaugural batch of WOU’s Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) graduates at the first convocation in 2010. He then obtained his Graduate Diploma in Sales & Marketing (2013) and Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Sales & Marketing (2016) from WOU. The MEd will be his fourth degree. Dr Koh expressed hope that he will eventually go further and obtain a PhD from WOU.

The recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for top student from the ODL undergraduate programmes is Tan Jin Yong, 23, of Bukit Mertajam who will receive his Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Banking & Finance (BBBF) degree. He has been working as Team Leader at one the outlets of Urban Republic since 2016. He believes his BBBF degree will open up opportunities in banking and finance.

The winner of the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for the top on-campus learning (OCL) graduate is Michelle Tan Cheng Hooi Hooi, 22, from Tanjung Bungah, Penang. Tan, who will receive her Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management (BBMG) degree, recently joined Yucon Engineering in Bayan Lepas as an administrative executive on October 1st.

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