Speech by Dr Eric Kuan, MDIS-UOS Graduation 2019Speeches
Guest-of-Honour, Her Excellency Sashikala Premawardhane, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Singapore;
Dr R Theyvendran, Secretary-General of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;
Special Guest; Mr Khamidov Bakhtiyar, Chairman of MDIS Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Former DPM of Uzbekistan;
Dr Jasur Salikhov, Rector of MDIS Tashkent, Uzbekistan;
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive, University of Sunderland;
Professor John MacIntyre, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Sunderland;
Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Dean to the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, University of Sunderland;
Members of MDIS Governing Council;
Faculty Members of University of Sunderland
Special Guest; His Excellency Kakhramon Shakirov, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Welcome to the 9th MDIS-University of Sunderland graduation ceremony. Today, we celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the strategic partnership between MDIS and UOS, and the accomplishments and hard work of 285 graduands, of whom, 32 have attained First Class Honours. My heartiest congratulations to all of you on your successful achievements.
2 During your academic journey, you have drawn support from your family and loved ones. I also wish to convey my gratitude to lecturers who have been dedicated in guiding you through your academic journey. Graduands, please rise and give your family and lecturers a big round of applause. Please be seated.
3 This year is a special year as it marks the 15th year of our strategic partnership with UOS and we have come a long way together. We are proud that close to 3,500 students, not only from our Singapore campus but also from our overseas campus, MDIS Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Central Asia, have graduated from the various programmes offered through this partnership. The UOS programmes in Tashkent are also very well-received, with the highest number of graduands yet, at 357 just last year. We are proud to note that many of our graduands have moved on to pursue remarkable careers both in the public and private sectors of the economy.
4 Our success in Uzbekistan is strongly attributed by the past President Islam Karimov and present President Shavkat; both of whom have issued presidential decrees that support MDIS’ growth in MDIS Tashkent. We are also appreciative of the strategic leadership and strong commitment given by Chairman Bakhtiyar, and the excellent education leadership of Dr Salikov, MDIST Rector.
5 We are honoured to have come this far with our esteemed partner, University of Sunderland. Over the past 15 years, we have grown from strength to strength and solidified our Bachelor’s and Masters programme offerings for our students, in the areas of Business, Tourism and the Arts. In the years to come, we hope to continue to support our students in providing them quality education that will be the sturdy foundation for them as they launch into their exciting future career paths. Our aspirations are bolstered by the strong support given by the Vice-Chancellor of UOS, Sir David Bell, and the constant encouragement and joint marketing and recruitment offered by Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor John MacIntyre.
6 The latest MDIS Graduate Employability Survey conducted in 2018 for both full-time and part-time students revealed that 80.9% of MDIS graduates were employed within six months of graduation with permanent and temporary placements. This figure is 7.4% higher in comparison to 2017, which stood at 73.5%.
7 The results confirm that MDIS graduates continue to be well sought-after by employers, relishing high overall employment rates. This further affirms that MDIS’ multi-disciplinary education, industry exposure and internship experiences prepare and equip MDIS students with the relevant interpersonal and professional skills for the workforce.
8 This academic outcome shows that the continuous improvements of our academic and business standards have fostered the delivery of quality programmes that have enhanced our graduates’ employability. It has also helped us to gain recognition in the education industry. This year, we are bolstering the student academic learning experience through MA Education in Teaching or Educational Leadership. In November last year, we received the Singapore Prestige Brand Award 2018, lauded as one of four and the overall winner in the Heritage Brands category. This accolade is a testament of MDIS as a trusted brand that continues to provide quality education, locally and internationally.
9 As you embark into the world that is filled with opportunities, you will face numerous challenges. Do not be deterred by them. Instead, commit yourself fully to your work, with grit and determination that you have shown during your period of study, and you will be able to overcome your challenges with ease.
10 At MDIS campus, you have been exposed to studying in a “global classroom” with international students hailing from various countries that has enriched your learning experience. This experience will most certainly prepare you amply for the interpersonal challenges that you will face in the global workplace.
11 As you progress and advance in your careers, we strongly encourage you to embrace lifelong learning to remain relevant in your careers. This will stand you in good stead and also sustain your employability in the inevitable global competition.
12 In celebrating 15 years of partnership with the University of Sunderland, I would like to urge you to follow in the path of your alumni who have made us proud in their forays beyond our campus. Stay connected with our Alumni and continue to network with your fellow graduates and teaching faculty. Always remember that no man is an island, and that it is important to maintain existing connections and also forge new ones along the way.
13 Once again, I would like to congratulate all of you on your academic achievements, and wish you every success in your future endeavours.
14 Thank you.