The 26th Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Convocation ceremony saw 3,972 graduates being conferred their respective degrees including Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees. The convocation ceremony, held over four days beginning Oct 31, was officiated on the first day by His Excellency the Head of State, Tun Pehin Sri (Dr) Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud who is also the Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. The second day of the convocation was officiated by the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, who is also the Pro Chancellor of UNIMAS.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNIMAS Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi said the convocation marked a symbolic success that recognised the sacrifice of parents, effort of the graduates, and commitment of the lecturers.
“The effort and commitment all this time have finally paid off. Congratulations, and well done to you all,” he said in his address.
The Vice Chancellor praised the university’s lecturers, especially having endured adversities during the pandemic, with a drastic change in the concept of learning from lecture rooms to online. The lecturers, he said, had been extraordinarily committed in adjusting and improving their teaching methods, using the latest technology to ensure that students could adapt to the new norm.
Academic awards were also presented at the convocation ceremony, including the Anugerah Pelajaran DiRaja (Royal Education Award), Anugerah Canselor (Chancellor’s Award) and Anugerah Pro Canselor (Pro Chancellor’s Award). They were given to Bachelor’s degree graduates who were selected for their academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their studies at UNIMAS.
The 26th convocation ceremony also celebrated the first 38 graduates of the Bachelor of Medicine Programme from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, who received full scholarship sponsorship from the Sarawak Government through Yayasan Sarawak.
“Appreciation and thanks to the Honourable Premier and the Sarawak State Government for the strategic collaboration with UNIMAS in developing human capital and addressing the issue of shortage of medical doctors in the State,” Professor Kadim said.
Meanwhile, two graduates were awarded the Yayasan Sarawak Outstanding Graduate Award, an award sponsored entirely by Yayasan Sarawak to UNIMAS graduates born in the State of Sarawak who have obtained excellent results in the academic and curriculum fields. The recipients were Nur Aisyah Binti Johari from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering programme, Faculty of Engineering for the Bumiputera category, and Eugenius Then Ji Xuan from the Doctor of Medicine programme, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences for the non-Bumiputera category.
He later said that the varsity had just received its first 19 students for the Master of Science in Agrotechnology programme, which was developed as an enabler of Sarawak’s Agricultural Modernisation agenda, as well as the first cohort of 38 students for the Bachelor of Education (Islamic Studies) programme – a collaboration between UNIMAS, the Sarawak Department of Islamic Religion and the Sarawak State Department of Education to help the State Government fill the shortage of Islamic Education teachers in schools here.
“UNIMAS is proud of the various achievements achieved by the students, which have made the name of this University famous at the national and international level,” the Vice Chancellor continued, congratulating Joel Ak Litter and Phang Jing Xian from the Cinematography Programme, Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts for winning Best Video Clip/ Music Video for “Jonggan Abadi” and Best Sound Editing for “The Last Straw” respectively, at the 13th Malaysian Student Film Festival.
He also congratulated Nur Shafiqah Farahana Kalog, Year 3 Student from the Faculty of Science and Resource Technology on winning First Place for the Business Pitching Award category and Third Place for the Business Growth Award for her business ‘Fiqah Agrotech’ at the national level Competition for Potentially Excellent & Talented Entrepreneurs (COMPETE’22). Nur started a hydroponic farm in Lahad Datu during the MCO and produced a variety of fresh vegetables for the market.
Professor Kadim said UNIMAS had successfully signed 135 MoUs with 30 countries and received 289 international students from six countries (218 online students via the Global Classroom programme and 71 on-campus students).
“Meanwhile, a total of 627 UNIMAS students gained new experiences in nine countries. 579 students followed the Global Classroom programme online while another 48 gained experience abroad. Hopefully such programmes can further fuel the efforts to make Malaysia and UNIMAS a hub of excellence in higher education internationally.
Among those present at the 26th Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Convocation ceremony were Chairman of the University’s Board of Directors, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Sulong bin Matjeraie and other members of the University’s Board of Directors.