AGE was no barrier for 69-year-old Dr Abdul Malik Salleh who graduated with a PhD in Education at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
But if given a choice, the grandfather of three would had preferred to graduate with his wife Dr Hajjah Rahmad Hanafi, 65, in the same programme in 2012.
“Both of us pursued our PhD in 2007 after graduating with a Master’s degree in Education in 1998 but life dealt me a cruel blow as I was down with cataract on two occasions in between my studies.
“Doctors advised me not to strain my eyes and take a break after the two surgeries,” he said.
The retired lecturer of Institut Perguruan Darul Aman was among 1,160 USM gra-duates who received their scrolls at USM’s 53rd convocation ceremony on Saturday.
Of the figure, 259 were doctorate graduates while 492 and 408 were Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree graduates respectively.
The ceremony also saw AmBank Group chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim being conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Management by USM.
In his speech, he said he was deeply honoured and privileged to be conferred the award.
“To be recognised by USM in the field of management is a great feather in my cap. Learning is a life-long process, more so now in the fast changing world of today.
“Very quickly, what you have learnt could be out of date and irrelevant,” he said.
Among the graduates was The Star journalist Cavina Lim, who graduated with a Master of Arts (Communication).
She said she wanted to quit her studies several times as it was a juggling act for her between work and her night classes.
“The nature of my job is that I don’t finish at 5pm. Often, I could only leave after 7pm and immediately rush for my classes.
“But I prevailed due to the support of my parents and my fiance,” said the 27-year-old, who joined The Star four years ago.
Lim started the 18-month degree course in September 2014 and took a three-month sabbatical from mid-July to mid-October 2015 to finish her thesis.
“I am grateful to The Star for giving me the sabbatical.”
USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Omar Osman in his speech said the university had produced 153,000 graduates.
“Some have become corporate figures, successful entrepreneurs and politicians.”