UTAR continued its physical convocation amid the Covid-19 pandemic for the graduates of August 2020 batch at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik of UTAR Kampar Campus on 22 and 23 January 2022. A total of 1,437 graduates attended the ceremony and received their respective postgraduate and undergraduate degree scrolls after a delayed convocation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to this physical convocation, e-convocation ceremonies were also held for the graduates to celebrate their achievements.
A total of 1,437 graduates from 79 programmes comprising 62 Bachelor (Honours) degrees, 14 Master’s degrees and three PhD degrees, received their convocation scrolls in eight sessions held over the two-day period. Of the 1,437 graduates, four received their PhDs, 27 received their Master’s degree and the rest received their Bachelor Honours.
The Session One and Two of the Convocation were declared open by UTAR Council Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh; Session Three until Six were declared open by UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum; and Session Seven and Eight were declared open by UTAR Council Member Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan. Also present at the ceremony were UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, UTAR Council and Board of Trustees members.
The scroll presenters for Session One and Two were UTAR Council Chairman Tan Sri Ting and UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Tan Sri Sak; Session Three were Tan Sri Sak and UTAR Council Member Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn; Session Four until Six were Tan Sri Sak and UTAR Council Member Mr Hew Fen Yee; Session Seven were UTAR Council Member Dato’ Seri Ong and Mr Hew; and Session Eight was Dato’ Seri Ong.
Congratulating the graduates, UTAR President Prof Ewe said UTAR is a private university owned by the UTAR Education Foundation. As a university by the people, for the people, UTAR believes in giving back to the community. He continued, “UTAR is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. We have reached a significant milestone. From just 411 students in 2002, we now have about 22,000 students and more than 72,000 UTAR graduates. From just eight degree programmes and three faculties when UTAR first started, now we have 130 degree programmes with 10 faculties, three centres and three institutes. UTAR has made huge progress over the years with many successful alumni, and received many awards and achievements. These are all made possible because we constantly receive generous support and contributions from donors, stakeholders, organisations, alumni, the public, staff and students who have enabled the university to progress at such a speed. With that, I would like to thank our Chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, the Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation, UTAR Council members, the International Advisory Council, the Government of Malaysia, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Ministries and Embassies, MCA, our local and international associates and partners, the media community, industry players, professional bodies, industry advisors, external examiners, parents, UTAR staff, students, our alumni and the public community. Thank you all for your support.”
Due to strict Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) applied in conducting the ceremony during the Covid-19 pandemic, each graduate was only allowed to bring a maximum of two (2) parents/guests to attend the convocation ceremony.
Only fully-vaccinated persons were allowed to participate in the convocation ceremony. Persons entering the campus were required to show to the security officer at the entrance of the campus evidence of their fully-vaccinated status in their MySejahtera app.
All persons entering the campus were required to scan the MySejahtera app. Health checks were conducted for all persons. Those with a body temperature of 37.5 degree Celcius and above were not allowed to enter the campus.
Wearing of face mask was made compulsory at all times on campus including washrooms, concourse areas and other common areas. Physical distancing was observed at all times.
In addition to this ceremony, UTAR will also host a convocation ceremony for the graduates of March 2021 and August 2021 batches on 19 and 20 February 2022 and 3 to 6 March 2022 respectively.
Faculty of Science Doctor of Philosophy (Science) graduate Dr Anis Nabila binti Muhammad who is currently working as a Meteorological Officer at Jabatan Meteorologi Malaysia (MetMalaysia) said, “I was very delighted to attend my convocation ceremony after almost two years of postponement. After two years I finally passed my viva voce and received the Conferment of Degree from the Institute of Postgraduate Studies of UTAR. Attending the convocation ceremony has been my dream since the moment I registered for my PhD. Although the situation is unprecedented due to the Covid-19, it did not stop me from attending the ceremony. Since I am fully vaccinated and have received my booster dose, I am confident that I am well-protected as long as I keep my mask on and mind the social distancing. Thankfully, UTAR ensured that everyone involved in the convocation ceremony followed the SOPs set by the government.”
Dr Anis enthused, “Having experience in conducting research during my studies at UTAR has helped me tremendously in performing my duty. In my line of work, being meticulous and analytical are important in forecasting weather, analysing the impacts of bad weather and devising precautionary steps that could be taken to alleviate them. Plus, having a background in research allows me to work gracefully under pressure as I am used to working under tight deadlines.”
Faculty of Business and Finance Master of Business Administration (Corporate Management) graduate R. Shaarmini said “I am pleased that I am finally able to walk up on the stage to receive my master’s degree and celebrate my success of postgraduate studies alongside my family members and friends today. UTAR is always special to me as this was the place where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Accounting and received my first scroll in 2015. I felt nostalgic to be back again in this grand hall to receive my master’s degree.” She added, “Completing my Master of Business Administration was an inspiring experience, where I developed knowledge across a large variety of study areas. Every day I draw from that experience and apply what I have learnt in a way that creates a lasting impact. I am forever grateful for my study experience and recommend further education as a way to open opportunities and lead your own career.”
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery graduate Pang Kah Junn said, “I felt surreal. Although I started working almost a year ago, the feeling of getting the scroll today felt like I was back to my university days with friends and having finals; the days when we practised OSCEs till late and preparing for final professional exams.” He added, “I am working as a house officer in Hospital Serdang now. UTAR lecturers have been tirelessly trying their best to help us to be as competent as possible as house officers and always pushed us through to make sure we achieve more than what we are capable of; hence building the character I am today. I think the soft skills department has done a splendid job in making sure all graduates attain sufficient soft skills through various workshops, from financial management to self-character building. This is something that I don’t hear a lot from my colleagues from other universities.”
Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Biomedical Engineering graduate Jessica Hon Siau Chieh said, “It is a special day today despite the pandemic because my family and friends are here to celebrate and cheer for my achievement. I am excited to come back to campus and reminisce about my precious university life. I really appreciate the university’s effort to make this ceremony possible for us to experience the once-in-a-lifetime moment.” She added, “I am currently working as an R&D engineer in a medical device company in Penang. I think what I am working on is related to what I have learned during my undergraduate studies in UTAR. The application of engineering science and technology, statistical analysis, computational techniques and programming are crucial in the design and development of medical devices. I believe apart from the theories and technical knowledge I gained from the related courses, practical and hands-on experience as well as the skills of critical thinking and problem-solving developed while I studied at UTAR helped me a lot in dealing with my work. Also, I can cope working in a pressured environment and learn from challenging situations.”
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