For a university, convocation serves as a crucial juncture to evaluate its success. The number and diversity of graduates provide a glimpse into how well it is fulfilling its mission. At Open University Malaysia (OUM), we recently reaffirmed our status as a leading digital university during our 27th Convocation, which took place from 14 to 17 October.
Underscoring our commitment to our motto, “University for All”, we celebrated the graduation of more than 5,000 individuals hailing from various backgrounds and locations throughout Malaysia.
For the first time in our history, we awarded medals to all graduates who achieved a pass with distinction. About 750 graduates proudly wore these medals as they went onstage to receive their scrolls from the Pro Chancellor, Tan Sri Azman Hashim.
The most significant moments of the convocation unfolded during the first, third and final sessions. In the opening session, our oldest graduate ever, Krishnan Arunasalam, not only obtained his MBA but also an Award for Lifelong Learning, in recognition of his feat. He had previously obtained his Bachelor of Accounting at 83, also from OUM.
In the third session, the Award for Academic Excellence was presented in collaboration with the Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH). The recipients were Muhamad Fazli Zohri, 35 and Syaifirul Adli Ishak, 29, who completed their Master of Occupational Safety and Health Risk Management (MOSHRM) and Bachelor of Occupational Safety and Health Management with Honours respectively.
Other notable graduates include two PhD graduates: Dr Robert Cheong Kwang Hai, 72, and Dr Choo Bee Giek, 35. While Dr Cheong is the Dean of the Faculty of Business at a university college in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Choo is the Deputy Head of Learning Support and Teacher Affairs at an international school in Selangor.
For Dr Cheong, obtaining a PhD has been a deeply fulfilling experience. He remarked, “I had always aspired to attain a doctorate, the pinnacle of academic achievement. OUM’s setup, its unwavering commitment to the needs of part-time students, and its student-centric facilities were key factors in my decision to enrol, not to mention its affordable tuition fees. The exceptional online resources also made independent learning more accessible.”
Noting that OUM accommodated her responsibilities as a working mother and teacher, Dr Choo shared, “My PhD facilitated my promotion to my current position, supporting students with special needs and overseeing teacher development.
“My doctoral studies also deepened my understanding of special needs education. In 2020, I was honoured with the SENIA World Changer Award from the International Special Education Network & Inclusion Association (SENIA) for my contributions in altering school policies and accommodations for students with learning disabilities.”
Meanwhile, an occupational health doctor at the Sarawak Heart Centre, Dr Lim Chun Shen, 34, had this to say about his MOSHRM studies: “OUM’s flexible online courses encouraged me to pursue higher education while working. I gained valuable knowledge and skills through fascinating coursework, collaborative projects, and practical assignments.
“Rich intellectual exchange with friendly lecturers and diverse student groups widened my global perspective. In addition, the emphasis on self-directed learning at OUM encouraged independence and critical thinking. Overall, studying at OUM has been a transformative learning experience for me.”
We now have more than 100,000 graduates, proving OUM’s capabilities as a credible provider of higher education. With 55 programmes from diploma to PhD, we are at the forefront of flexible online learning for working adults. To learn more about our programmes, you can call our speedline at 03-7801 2000, email email@example.com, or visit www.oum.edu.my.