Tunku Imran to be installed as Chancellor of WOU

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar will be installed as the fourth Chancellor of WOU during a special ceremony to be held at the main campus on 1 August.  He takes over from Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah whose tenure ended in December 2018.

The ceremony will also witness the proclamation of Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng as the second Pro-Chancellor of WOU, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The press conference in progress.

The press conference in progress.

Two distinguished leaders, Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Hussain, will be conferred the Honorary Doctor of Education and Honorary Doctor of Business degrees respectively.  Tan Sri Gajaraj is the founding Vice-Chancellor of WOU (2006 - 2009) and Tan Sri Rashid is the former Executive chairman of RHB Group of Companies.

Speaking at the press conference at the main campus today, the WOU Board of Governors Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Koh, said that the university is greatly privileged to have Tunku Imran as its Chancellor.  He remarked, “The University will definitely benefit tremendously from Tunku’s illustrious leadership experience as an avid promoter and administrator of sports, at the national and international levels, a passionate developer of education and a successful entrepreneur.”

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) flanked by WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (right) and WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) flanked by WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (right) and WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan.

Tan Sri Dr Koh remarked, “WOU is indeed honoured to have Tunku Imran as our ambassador to the outside world, linking the University with businesses and international partners in the best way possible.” 

Tunku Imran, born in 1948, is the third child of Tuanku Ja’afar, the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan.  Malaysia’s first king, Tuanku Abdul Rahman was his grandfather.

Tunku Imran’s leadership in sports has been long and most outstanding, having led the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), the Malaysian Cricket Association and the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia for many years; elected and served as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, as the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, SEA Games Federation and World Squash Federation, as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Cricket Council, amongst many others.

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

In education, he is a founder of the prestigious Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, launched in 1989, serving on its boards of trustees and governors, and as the Chairman of its Development Committee.  In business, he founded and led the Antah Group of Companies, a large conglomerate with diverse interests, and was the former Chairman of Lafarge Malaysia Berhad. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman of Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd and Chairman of Yayasan Sime Darby.

WOU’s new Pro-Chancellor, Dato’ Dr Lim, studied at Chung Ling High School in Penang before pursuing his tertiary studies in the United States, where he obtained a PhD degree in immunology from the University of Oklahoma.  He served for more than 13 years as a medical researcher, and is currently the managing director of holding companies in Kuala Lumpur.

Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng is the new Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng is the new Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Dato’ Dr Lim was a former Selangor State Executive Councillor for the Health, Tourism and Consumer Affairs portfolio, and the State Assemblyman for Bukit Gasing from 1999 to 2008.  A Central Committee member of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) since 1987, he is currently the Chairman of the party’s Immoveable Properties Committee. 

Tan Sri Dr Koh also spoke of the enormous contributions of the two Honorary Degree recipients to their respective fields of education and the financial services. 

Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan is to be conferred WOU’s first ever Honorary Doctor of Education degree .

Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan is to be conferred WOU’s first ever Honorary Doctor of Education degree .

“Tan Sri Gajaraj is a principled leader with a steely determination to fight for social justice in the field of education,” said Tan Sri Dr Koh, highlighting that he devoted 14 years of his life to help establish WOU and drive its growth, first as the planner, then as the Founding Vice Chancellor and finally as the Chairman of the Board of Governors before retiring in 2017.  He had also helped to establish and lead the Open University of Hong Kong, served as the CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, and contributed to the development of distance education systems in 25 developing countries. 

Tan Sri Rashid Hussain will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Tan Sri Rashid Hussain will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Tan Sri Dr Koh commended Tan Sri Rashid for his entrepreneurship and philanthropy, adding that under his stewardship, the RHB Group “had enjoyed tremendous growth and success”.  He is currently the Executive Chairman of Arah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd, a company which he owns.  He is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Islamic University Malaysia and the Chairman of the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Fellowship Exchange Foundation that aims to promote education and encourage learning in all fields.

Hypnotherapy can reduce stress and pain, says expert

People received insights into hypnosis and trance during a public talk and workshop on hypnotherapy held at the WOU main campus today.

The event titled “Hypnotherapy: Unleash Your True Potential” was organised by WOU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the International College of Clinical Hypnosis Practitioners (ICCHP) Asia.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

ICCHP Malaysia Senior Lecturer Jyothi Chelamcharla, said that a trance occurs in instances of strong emotion, learning, repetitive work, deep involvement (in the zone), and sudden event.

She said everyone is naturally capable of entering a trance, which she illustrated by getting the audience to think of a pleasant memory from the past, focusing on sounds, smells and anything associated with it.

She explained about helpful and unhelpful trances, citing pleasant memory as a positive trance, while unhelpful trances can happen in strong emotions like anger, in addictions to smoking, alcohol or foods when that single thought keeps coming to mind, as well in other negative emotions like phobia/irrational fear, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder where they can be transported to a past traumatic event.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

She said hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes to help with issues that have a psychological cause. She said past practices by hypnotists have given rise to a lot of current misconceptions, like you lose control over your actions and become susceptible to suggestions implanted into your thought. “With hypnosis, 80% of the people can go into light trance to medium trance. Barely 10% of the people go into deep trances, they are the ones most suggestible and gullible.”

Jyothi pointed out that you cannot give suggestions to someone who cannot understand them, hence those having psychosis, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot enter into a trance.  “So if you give a suggestion, like, do not think of blue elephant, subconsciously you think about it. But if you have no memory or image of what the elephant looks like, it doesn’t mean a thing as the association is not there.”

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

She urged people to take advantage of their subconscious to reach their full potential. “Why not use your imagination to bring up positive images, like speaking confidently in front of crowd. Use that capacity to daydream and to imagine to unleash your true potential.”

She said other misconceptions of hypnosis are that only the hypnotist can bring you out of a trance, and you cannot keep your secrets safe. She said any ethical hypnotherapist always includes the suggestion that you tell only whatever you feel comfortable sharing.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

Joythi declared that people low on emotion, calm and relaxed can process what’s going on, as opposed to those on high emotion, like anger, fear, disgust, past traumatic exposure. “Hypnotherapy can make you relax so that you can face whatever it is.”

She shared that pain is heightened in instances of physical injury, stress, anxiety, depression, and a focus on the pain. “If you are playing a game, you won’t feel the pain so much because you were distracted and not focused on your pain. Hypnosis helps through relaxation and distraction to lower pain.”  

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

During Q&A, she replied that hypnotherapy can lower anxiety by changing the emotions associated with that thought or fear.

She stressed that it is a myth that memory can be completely erased as hypnotherapy only helps transform and lower the impact of a memory, like childhood trauma, by changing the emotions, perception, image and reaction when exposed to people or things associated with the trauma.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

Over 200 people attended the event including ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin, certified ICCHP trainers Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Abdul Rahman (UniKL) and Sandhi Nagalingam, and other participants from the medical and legal professions.

SHSS is collaborating with ICCHP to offer a 72-hour ‘Introduction to Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Certificate Course’ in August. 

Businesses must have profit and purpose, says ex-Khazanah chief

Businesses should serve the interests of shareholders, stakeholders and society, and must be for both profit and purpose.

The large crowd at the lecture.

The large crowd at the lecture.

This was pointed out by former Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, during his special lecture on “Profit with Purpose: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Businesses in an Age of Turbulence” held at the WOU main campus today.

He shared that the past conventional thinking was that businesses must make money for shareholders, with little focus on the social obligation to stakeholders, including staff, suppliers, customers, society at large and the environment.

Tan Sri Azman, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge University.

Tan Sri Azman, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge University.

Tan Sri Azman highlighted, “The role of business is just not profit, but to do no harm and some good. Hence, profit with purpose.” He cited providing inclusive higher education, affordable housing, sustainable businesses and impact investing as examples of doing good, and doing no harm through responsible business and responsible investing,

He explained that the 2008 global financial crisis, poverty, inequality, climate crisis, and the issue of fairness and justice have led to a demand for greater responsibility and sustainability in business and finance.  “The world has become very turbulent due to overconsumption, irresponsible businesses, irresponsible citizens, and the increased frequency and amplitude of financial crises.”

Businesses are called to do no harm and to do some good.

Businesses are called to do no harm and to do some good.

In his call for action, he shared the experiences of Khazanah during his 14 years there. He said that they not only created profit but also undertook economic regeneration by creating jobs, new economic corridors, new capabilities, new networks, new knowledge, and building regional businesses like Axiata and CIMB. “We did it in a balanced manner so as not to crowd out the private sector or prevent them from operating well.”

As for societal value, he said Khazanah undertook CSR initiatives like establishing Foundations, scholarships, and think tanks to confront public issues. “The right mandate is to ‘Profit with Purpose’ and to build true value in terms of financial, economic and societal returns.  In real economy, there must be capital regeneration, job creation, venture capital.”

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng (left), Chairman of the International Advisory Board, GIOAS, moderates the lecture.

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng (left), Chairman of the International Advisory Board, GIOAS, moderates the lecture.

Tan Sri Azman also spoke about the need for tri-sector leadership and collective action to address the colossal problems in the turbulent world today, clarifying, “You need to understand not just the private sector but also how the government works and to have empathy for the public sector and social sector. Those in the public sector must in turn understand how business works, and how civil society, NGOs, think and work.”

He declared, “Finance must serve the real economy, and the real economy should serve society,” explaining that real economy includes production, jobs, raising a family, and retirement. He said the link between real economy and society has been fractured by factors like corruption, adding, “There is a need to reclaim finance to serve the real economy, and the real economy to serve society as a whole.”

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman stressed that universities should focus on social returns.

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman stressed that universities should focus on social returns.

The lecture, organised by the George Town Institute of Open and Advanced Studies (GIOAS), was attended by over 200 people, including WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan, representatives from institutions of higher learning and industry, and the staff and students of WOU.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) browses through the book presented to Tan Sri Azman (left) by WOU.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) browses through the book presented to Tan Sri Azman (left) by WOU.

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman emphasised that education should be more of a social business for WOU, with profits recycled back into the business and surplus used to help students as the focus must be on social return.

Fun traditional games at mini festival

About 100 students and staff of WOU were transported to the good old pastimes of playing engaging traditional games, unlike the current obsession to online games applications, during the recent Traditional Games Mini Festival held at the main campus.

Valerie Ooi (left) and Audrey Lisa Yeong of Publishing attempt the 7 stones challenge.

Valerie Ooi (left) and Audrey Lisa Yeong of Publishing attempt the 7 stones challenge.

They clearly enjoyed themselves with congkak, rolling coconut into a square box drawn on the floor, knocking stack of cans down with a rubber band, and playing seven stones.

The staff and students were tasked to complete the four station games, after which they were eligible to redeem prizes of mini hampers, note pads, beverage cans, board games and seven stones through lucky draws.

A full-student focused on bringing down the cans at the mini festival.

A full-student focused on bringing down the cans at the mini festival.

The fun event today was organised by the full-time Students Council, under the supervision of advisor, Lecturer Christine Khoo Geok Ling from the School of Business & Administration (SBA).

The objective of the festival was to get the young students, particularly from the Gen X and Gen Y generations, to know and appreciate Malay traditional games, to help staff relive nostalgic memories, and to encourage interaction and bonding.

Competing in congkak.

Competing in congkak.

Among those spotted having fun at the games festival were SBA Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam and a few other academics

Easy does it… WOU staff Saw Jong Khai (foreground) and Ooi Chin Hong.

Easy does it… WOU staff Saw Jong Khai (foreground) and Ooi Chin Hong.

Equipping with entrepreneurial skills

The creativity and critical thinking of the full-time students of WOU were evident during the Entrepreneurship Product Idea Pitching exhibition held at the main campus today.

The students from the Entrepreneurship course, divided into nine teams of four, put their best foot forward to create their new innovative product models along with the description, costing, benefits, competitive advantages, target market, competitors and marketing strategy.

Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy (2nd from left) with Hann Tech Gloves, who won the Team Excellence award.

Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy (2nd from left) with Hann Tech Gloves, who won the Team Excellence award.

The teams and their products were: Hann Tech Gloves with vision impaired reading glove; Solis with multi-function camping water container; 3R Smart Garbage with Go Green garbage disposal system; A-Eye with virtual reality software application;  Bri-Med Pill Dispenser with medical tablets and capsules dispenser; EZ-Cart with Go Green foldable shopping cart; Easy Enterprise with easy e-tutorials; Laser Enterprise with eco-friendly stack and grow; and Quantum enterprise with PRO-mote (remote control device with multiple functions.)

Creative Innovation award went to Solis, and Best Presenter was Ameline Lai (left).

Creative Innovation award went to Solis, and Best Presenter was Ameline Lai (left).

A panel of judges visited the booths for review and assessment. They comprised WOU’s School of Science & Technology Lecturer Ms Azrina P Jamal Mydin, Ripples of Joy Enterprise Director Ms Khor Chiew Chi, and Bank Negara Malaysia’s northern region liaison officer for Economics, Ms Panimalar Kalidass

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Educational Technology) Prof Zoraini Wati Abas was on hand to present the awards and certificates to the winners. The Team Excellence award for teamwork was won by Hann Tech Gloves team that created a reading glove for the visually-impaired to read normal books without using Braille.

Ooi (3rd from left) and A-Eye team with judges (from right) Khor, Panimalar and Azrina.

Ooi (3rd from left) and A-Eye team with judges (from right) Khor, Panimalar and Azrina.

The Creative Innovation award went to Solis and the best presenter award was won by Ms Ameline Lai from Solis, while the judges’ choice for best presenter was Mr Ooi Aun Chuan from A-Eye.

Earlier in her speech, Prof Zoraini commended the students for their product pitching and presentation skills as they explained about their products to the staff and students who visited their booth. She added, “You have learned something about how to get started on a journey to becoming an entrepreneur.   Should you pursue, perhaps one of the products today will come to fruition.”

Prof Zoraini applauded the students’ presentation and product pitching skills.

Prof Zoraini applauded the students’ presentation and product pitching skills.

The product pitching event was organised by School of Business & Administration Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy to offer a platform for her Entrepreneurship course students to learn about creativity and teamwork, and to help them explore innovation for potential start-up ventures.

Kudos to the full-time students from the Entrepreneurship course.

Kudos to the full-time students from the Entrepreneurship course.

Focus on important matters, students advised

Learn skills to survive in the outside world while at university and do not whine about every small thing as “the world is not a bed of roses”.

WOU’s School of Business & Administration Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam was speaking at the opening of the annual general meeting of the full-time Student Council held at the main campus today.

Prakash presents his opening remarks.

Prakash presents his opening remarks.

Highlighting the differences between the outside world and the sheltered walls of the university, he said, “You may be comfortable here but the working world is a different ball game. Here, you can run to me when you have issues. However, in a working environment, even your boss might not want to entertain you. Remember that the working world needs problem solvers and not problem creators.”

He declared that the university is a good place “to learn the skills you need to survive in the outside world like problem solving, organisational skills and leadership”.

students attending the inauguration.

students attending the inauguration.

He urged the full-time students to help the student council to do their part for the community, including taking the lead to organise activities when they see a need. He discouraged the habit of complaining about every small thing but to accept the fact they may not always get what they want. He reminded the students that the university is always ready to accept good ideas on how to make WOU a better learning environment

He also issued the challenge to the new 2019/2020 Student Council committee to outdo the outgoing council members in performance and activities.

the outgoing student council members.

the outgoing student council members.

Outgoing Student Council President Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad shared that managing a team requires patience since everyone will have their own opinions. He stated, “One thing I have learnt as a leader is that you must always be firm with your decisions and at the same time, be open to opinions and criticisms.”  

farid advises the new leadership to be open to new ideas and criticisms.

farid advises the new leadership to be open to new ideas and criticisms.

Following the presentation of certificates to the outgoing committee, the new Student Council members for 2019/2020 were inaugurated, as per list below:

President:                  Nur Batrisyia Kamal Mohd

nur batrisyia takes to the stage to introduce her team.

nur batrisyia takes to the stage to introduce her team.

Vice Presidents:          Nurul Sifati Abdullah
Cheah Thim Weng

Secretary:                    Andrew Yeap Hong Wei

Treasurer:                  Venise Chong An Theng

Marketing team:         Henry Goh Han Jie
Vishaal Manoj Kumar

Social Media team:     Jayson Lew Chi Kheong
Seshmitaa Govinda Murali
Ch’ng Li Shan

Weekly Activity team:  Sureynjen Manogaran
Tang Khai Wen

Monthly Activity team:  Siti Khadijah Azizan
Judith Anne Nisha Marshal
Jay Sri Yoganathan 

prakash (centre, front) and Christine khoo (front, right) with the new student council.

prakash (centre, front) and Christine khoo (front, right) with the new student council.

Also present at the AGM and inauguration was Student Council Advisor Christine Khoo Geok Ling.

WOU lends a helping hand during Ramadhan

Wawasan Open University (WOU) handed out parcels of foods, beverages and necessities, contributed by staff, to five single parents in an effort to alleviate their burden and add to their festive cheer. 

The recipients pose with the University staff and guests.

The recipients pose with the University staff and guests.

In a simple ceremony held at the main campus today, WOU Public and Student Relations (PSR) Director Grace Lau Pee Hoay presented the provisions to the recipients, who are single mothers registered with Persatuan Kebajikan Asas Pulau Pinang (PKAPP) under its Women Empowerment Bureau and Welfare Aid division.

Lau (centre) at the presentation ceremony.

Lau (centre) at the presentation ceremony.

The single mothers were Jummah Bee Mohd Ali, 58, from Taman Nusantara, George Town; Salmah Mohd Iqbal, 46, from Sungai Nibong; Suraiyah K. Hussain, 51, from Bandar Baru Ayer Itam; Mariam Abdullah, 60, from Rifle Range, Ayer Itam; and Selahar Bee S.M. Syed, 60, from River Road, George Town.

 They each received flour, cooking oil, rice, sugar, cereals, biscuits, beverages, evaporated milk, dry noodles, canned foods and other provisions, along with laundry detergents, bathing soaps, shower gels and toothpastes.

Happy with the provisions from WOU. At left is Alagesan.

Happy with the provisions from WOU. At left is Alagesan.

The University, through the PSR Department, had launched a Ramadhan charity project themed ‘The reward of giving Sadaqah’ from May 6th to 21st. Staff and students were encouraged to drop off their contributions during this period.

According to Lau, the project was part of the University’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to reach out to the less fortunate in society during major festivals. “We want to remember the single parents in our community, especially those who find it hard to make ends meet. We hope, in our own small way, we are able to contribute and make a positive difference in their lives so that they can cheerfully celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year.”

 

The University remembers the less fortunate during the major festivals, says Lau.

The University remembers the less fortunate during the major festivals, says Lau.

PKAPP founder/president Alagesan Ayaru, in his opening remarks, thanked WOU for its gesture in helping the disadvantaged during the festive season.

“Ramadhan is a time of spiritual renewal and a reminder of one’s duty to our fellow friends and to lift up the less fortunate. We affirm that whatever our faith, we are all one family.” He continued, “It is our chance to remind those in need that they do matter and they are not forgotten.”

Part of the crowd at the event.

Part of the crowd at the event.

Following the presentation, the guests and recipients were treated to a simple berbuka puasa dinner with the staff of WOU.

Among those who attended were PKAPP patron Dato’ Shahul Hamid Abdul Kadir, Persatuan Kemajuan Wanita Pulau Pinang president Fatimah Kader, along with Deans Prof Balakrishnan Muniandy and Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan as well as Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam from WOU.

A simple berbuka puasa at the main campus.

A simple berbuka puasa at the main campus.

Know and work towards your career goals

Choosing a career that aligns with your life purpose and areas of interest will allow you to go through difficulties and challenges, and to derive satisfaction and joy in life.

This was expressed by Alexis Chuah, founder of Dreamvast, during an in-house talk on ‘Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose for a Fulfilling Career’ organised by WOU’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences (SHSS) at the main campus today.


Interesting insights for the full-time students on how to pursue a fulfilling career.

Interesting insights for the full-time students on how to pursue a fulfilling career.

She stressed, “To do the job you love, discover your purpose and direction in life, make the changes, and overcome hurdles.”

She shared her own journey of finding purpose and a fulfilling career through self discovery, non-stop learning, dreaming, trial and error, risk taking, planning, choices, fear, management, mistakes and regrets. She did jobs like customer service, lecturing, sales and copywriting to accumulate experience and learning, declaring that her freelance writing helped to launch her career in communications. “Do not shy away from taking side jobs related to your passion and interest. Grab whatever opportunities you can to build your career.”


Chuah talks about her own journey of finding purpose in life.

Chuah talks about her own journey of finding purpose in life.

In encouraging students to pursue their dreams, she stated, “The purpose of your life is found in the intersection of your talent, passion and pain.  Work from your core strengths and interests. Finding your purpose is about meaning and contribution, knowing why you are doing something, as then you will be able to persevere through the hard times.”

Chuah told the crowd to add value and invest in themselves, like enrolling in higher studies, attending workshops, and participating in activities at WOU.  She continued, “Build your skills, qualifications and experience in your desired area. Freelance and offer your skills for free at first in exchange for testimonials. Tweak your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight clearly the things you have done. Network and learn from others’ experience as well.”


Chuah offers tips on turning dreams into reality.

Chuah offers tips on turning dreams into reality.

She suggested reflection, soul searching, analysis and thinking before “making the changes” to turn dreams into a realistic career plan, such as resigning, getting certification and venturing into something else. “Take action and get advice, feedback and support by joining networking groups or connecting with people on Linkedin.”

She also spoke on overcoming barriers  like  health issues, lack of time, fear, lack of knowledge, lack of money and lack of confidence that are blocking your path. “The biggest hurdle of all is you. Do not let yourself or your self-image stop you from doing what you like.”


the crowd of full-time students at the talk.

the crowd of full-time students at the talk.

Chuah recommended tracking your progress regularly. “Periodically reflect and review your success, failures, mistakes, and motivations for continuous growth. How far you have come, what you did well and how you can improve. It is fine for plans to change, as long as you stay true to your overall purpose, to who you are, and remain open to change and improvement.”

She concluded: “Choose a job based on your life purpose and you will be able to love the journey through the mountains and the valleys.”


School of Humanities & Social Sciences Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel with full-time Student Council president Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad.

School of Humanities & Social Sciences Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel with full-time Student Council president Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad.

Over 100 students and a few staff, including School of Business & Administration Acting Dean Prakash V Arumugam and SHSS Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel, attended the talk.

Welcoming May 2019 intake full-time students

The May 2019 intake saw some 35 new students enrolling in the full-time undergraduate degree programmes offered by WOU.

Director of QA & Government Relations Dr Andy Liew (front, centre) and Penang Regional Centre director Ching Huey Ling pose with a group of new students.

Director of QA & Government Relations Dr Andy Liew (front, centre) and Penang Regional Centre director Ching Huey Ling pose with a group of new students.

Four of the students who attended the orientation held today at the main campus in Penang share their story.

Following in her dad’s footsteps

Nadia Zulaikha Zainol, 21, from George Town, Penang, is taking up the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Accounting programme. She holds a Diploma in Accounting from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Arau, Perlis.

She was looking for a higher learning institution to pursue her degree studies after her diploma. “I searched on the Internet for quite a few universities in Penang. I wanted Penang as I can be nearer to my family and it would be convenient to travel to the campus.”

may2019studentpix1.jpg

She continued, “Following my Internet search, I came for consultation to the Penang Regional Centre with my parents. At that first meeting, I only looked, listened and surveyed but during my second visit, I signed up straight away.” She was drawn to the programme and the syllabus, and after figuring out that WOU offers the most reasonable price, she decided to enrol.

“The counsellor I spoke to was very friendly, and I like the environment, near to the sea and all,” she added.

Nadia has always wanted to become an accountant since her school days. She finds accounting fascinating and it gives her a sense of accomplishment every time she balances the accounts. She aspires to become accountant in the private sector.

Her father has retired as a banker in CIMB, after having worked for 30 years in the banking industry. Her mother is a full-time homemaker. Nadia has three older brothers.

 

Siblings start their higher learning together

Ragu Rameswaran, 22, from Butterworth, and his younger sister Divieayaa, 21, have enrolled respectively in the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Banking & Finance and Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management programmes at WOU.

may2019studentpix2.jpg

Their father is an Assistant Engineer in Bayan Lepas while mum is a full-time homemaker. They have a younger brother in Form Four.

Ragu entered with his Foundation in Business qualification from a private university in Petaling Jaya. He has three years work experience in air-conditioning maintenance.

“My girlfriend, who is studying at a private university in Seberang Jaya, recommended that I come and study here. She said WOU is the most affordable and the fees will match my budget. Secondly, I researched about WOU and the programmes, such as whether they are MQA accredited or not. I found everything to be fine. Also, I like the beach, it is so nice.

“I came here with my sister to inquire.  I also checked the syllabus and the short description for each of the courses. I signed up because of the environment, the fees, courses, and the MQA accreditation. I told my sister about WOU as well. I discussed with my parents, and they encouraged us to study, and so we signed up.” Ragu wants to become a financial advisor or work in finance.

may2019studentpix3.jpg

Divieayaa entered WOU with her STPM qualifications from SMK Dato’ Onn, Butterworth. She has work experience as she worked as a cashier, waitress and salesgirl during the school holidays.

 “My former school mate told me that the degree is cheaper than other universities. She is in her second year of her Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree programme here. She invited me to check out the university and my brother also had nice things to say about WOU.”

“I came here to find out; I think it is good to study here. The university looks comfortable, clean and better than other universities.”

may2019studentpix4.jpg

“I chose Management because it’s a good field and it suits my personality. I want to become a manager, like managing clients, teams, and everything. I hope to pick up leadership skills from the courses. I like to be a leader, preferably in the services industry, like hotels or hospitals.

 “I prefer to study somewhere that it is not too near or too far from my home in Butterworth. I plan to look for roommates and rent a place on the island. I want to be independent, so I will try to find a part-time job to pay for my own studies and expenses.”

 

Computer games craze evokes interest in networks

Sim Kian Ming, 21, from Air Itam, enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks programme at WOU. He holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering from the Penang Skills Development Centre.

may2019studentpix5.jpg

“I was looking for a networking programme, and so I came here to inquire. I walked in, and found that WOU is offering this particular programme through full-time study. I visited a lot of universities, but I think WOU is better, that is why I immediately enrolled here. I love the campus and it is not too expensive. My cousin, who studied part-time at WOU and has since graduated, also mentioned to me about WOU’s programmes.

“My ambition is to become a network engineer. In my diploma studies, I had studied about networking but it was not detailed, more of an introduction. But I liked what I learnt,” he elaborated. 

Sim is crazy about computers from small, as he and his brother loved playing computer games. His mother limited their time playing computer games to one hour a day, which left him feeling unsatisfied. “I think the more she limited our time, the more it drove my love for computers.”

His father works as a lorry mechanic while his mum is a full-time homemaker.  He has two older sisters and a younger brother.

Becoming transformational leaders

[26-28 April, 2019]

Thirty-five participants from 22 countries attended the 2nd Pan-Commonwealth Workshop on “Women’s Leadership in Open Distance Learning (ODL)” held at the WOU main campus from April 26th to 28th to share experiences and learn about transformational leadership.

Participants pose with the speakers.

Participants pose with the speakers.

The women were top academics and senior management staff of various higher learning institutions from the following Pacific and Caribbean countries: Bangladesh, Belize, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Uganda, Zambia, and Malaysia.

The three-day workshop was jointly organised by WOU and the Canada-headquartered Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The lead facilitator was Prof Dato’ Dr Rashidah Shuib from the School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

Prof Rashidah of Universiti Sains Malaysia facilitates the workshop.

Prof Rashidah of Universiti Sains Malaysia facilitates the workshop.

The workshop aimed to recognise women leaders, motivate and equip women to become advocate for change, and champion gender mainstreaming to advance women’s leadership.

The keynote lecture on ‘Women’s Transformational Leadership in the Commonwealth’ was delivered by Prof Asha Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer of COL. She listed the four components of transformational leadership as charisma, inspiration, intellectual stimulation, and individualised consideration. Individualised consideration, she added, is “giving support and personal attention to the group members and helping them to develop self confidence”.

Prof Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL, delivers her keynote lecture.

Prof Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL, delivers her keynote lecture.

She shared the story of two women from different backgrounds who are leaders through what they accomplished. First was Dame Carol Kidu, who became Minister for Community Development in Papua New Guinea, established community learning centres, promoted lifelong learning, helped other women become leaders, and retired from politics to work in an NGO.

Another was Peria Jakkamal, an illiterate farmer from a remote village in India, who transformed herself, started self-help groups in her village, mobilised women in her community in lifelong learning, and promoted effective use of ICT among the illiterate community. 

Learning about the traits of transformational leaders.

Learning about the traits of transformational leaders.

Prof Kanwar said both the women were people-oriented, empathetic and respectful, broke free from traditional norms, effective negotiators, excellent networkers and communicators, and lifelong learners.

USM Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail, in her special lecture on ‘Women’s Leadership in the Context of Industry 4.0 and Society 5.0 in Developing Societies’, spoke about the impact of the fourth industrial revolution and Society 5.0 on women in developing societies. She said that emerging technologies will displace 5 million jobs in the future but will also create 2 million new jobs.

Prof Asma, Vice Chancellor of USM.

Prof Asma, Vice Chancellor of USM.

She said females are 5 times less likely to consider a career in technology-based jobs than males, and therefore, as almost one-third of all jobs globally could be automated by 2030, “females are in big danger to be left behind”. She also mentioned the development of smart societies or Society 5.0 in Japan following Industry 4.0, with new services offered through artificial intelligence, robotics and Internet of Things.

Sharing on the impact of disruptive technologies on women.

Sharing on the impact of disruptive technologies on women.

The workshop also featured lectures and discussions on leading, new technologies in ODL, data analytics and interactive learning.   These were presented respectively by LEADERONOMICS country manager for Malaysia Caroline Ong, WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & Educational Technology) Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, School of Science & Technology Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong, and Instructional Design for Engaging Experiences Assistant Manager Fauziyah Md Aris.

Prof Zoraini (left) with Prof Kanwar at the closing of the event.

Prof Zoraini (left) with Prof Kanwar at the closing of the event.

Below are a few testimonials from participants:

“I had a great time in your country. Thanks to all the presenters for the great presentations.”
- Florence Kauami, Programme Developer, Namibian College of Open Learning, Namibia

“Wow! The 2nd Pan-Commonwealth Training Programme on Women and Leadership in ODL was timely with beautiful faces and wonderful people.”
Roselyn Nyagie Kema Kappia, Procurement Officer, Freetown Teachers College, Sierra Leone

The participants come from 22 nations.

The participants come from 22 nations.

“Our chief host, thanks for all the hospitality. We enjoyed every minute in Penang, the people, cuisine and each and every participant’s story is unique.”
- Ubaida Faruk Shehu, Senior Education Officer, National Teachers’ Institute, Nigeria

“Thanks for all the cooperation and sharing of experience in this inspiring workshop.”
- Salote Talanoa Selui, Deputy Principal, Ministry for Education and Training, Tonga