UKM’s 38th Convo Makes History with 233 Ph.Ds

WEDNESDAY, 04 AUGUST 2010 20:22
By Abdul Ghani Nasir

BANGI,  4 Aug, 2010  – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) 38th convocation beginning this Saturday is a historic occassion for the premier university  when 233 of its 7,382 graduates will be conferred with Ph.D degrees.

 Spread over four days, the convocation is also historic because:

  • For the first time, the university will award a Social Science Master degree (Corruption Studies) to eight graduates, the results ofcooperation between its Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC);
  • A pioneering group of 20 students will receive their Bachelor of Forensic Science degree after going through four years of studies;
  • For the first time a group of 12 students will receive their Master of Science (Geoscience-Petroleum), an outcome of UKM’s cooperation with Institut Teknologi Bandung.

 Vice Chancellor, Tan Sri Prof. Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin who made this announcement at a media conference here today said four personalities well-known for their work will be conferred the university’s honorary doctorate degrees.

 They are Prof. Dr Michael Kerin Morgan who will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree (Medicine – Neurosurgery); H.M Rusli Zainal, the Governor of Riau Province,  will receive the Honorary Doctor of Philisophy (Education Development)  and  Prof Tan Sri Dr Haji Abdul Shukor Haji Husin, the former  Vice Chancellor of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), will receive the Honorary Doctor of Philosophy (Islamic Studies).

Well-known musician and conductor Dato’ Johari Salleh, who is a Principal Fellow at UKM where he is helping to set up an ochestra, will be awarded an honorary Ph.D (Arts).

Two UKM professors who are still rendering excellent services to the university will be conferred Professor Emeritus status. They are retired Prof Dato’ Dr Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman, Deputy Director of the Institute of Malay World and Civilisation (ATMA) and Prof Dr Nur Muhammad Mahadi, Director of the Genome Studies Institute of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

On the Ph.D  graduates, Prof Dr Sharifah Hapsah said this is probably the largest group graduating from any institutions of higher learning in the country. UKM had consistently produced more than 100 Ph.D degree holders a year since 2005.

UKM produced 116 Ph.Ds in 2005; 125 in 2006; 135 in 2007; 188 in 2008 and 206 in 2009.

“This increase is in line with the role of UKM as a research university. We are also pleased that 80 percent of our academic staff are Ph.D holders,” she said.

She revealed that there were actually many more students who wanted to pursue their Ph.Ds at the university.

“I want to stress that we have the capacity to take in these students but unfortunately UKM do not have enough allocation as this group of students required a higher expenditure,” she said.

Of the 233 Ph.D graduates this year, 64 are foreign students including 21 from Indonesia, 10 from Jordan, 7 from Iran, 5 from Yemen and 5 from Libya.

Forty-nine of these Ph.D graduates are from the Faculty of Science and Technology, 43 from the Faculty of Education, 30 from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and 22 from the Faculty of Islamic Studies.

In the field of medicine, 183 will receive their Masters in specialist medicine while another will receive the Advance Children and Teenagers Psychiatry degree.

A total of 5,097 graduates from 12 faculties will be conferred their bachelor degrees while 402 others will receive their diplomas, including those for Police Science, Psychology (Counselling) and Advance Midwifery.

Prof Tan Sri Sharifah Hapsah also disclosed the result from its monitoring of its 2009 graduates which showed that 54.2% are working, 6.2% contininuing  their  studies,  9.8%  are still waiting for jobs confirmation, 2.6% are upgrading their skills with the remaining 27.1% still unemployed.

Of those already employed, 66.4% are working with the Government,  1.7% are contract employees, 14.8% are temporary staff, 1.2% are self-employed while 0.7% are working with their families.

Translated by Kuah Guan Oo