ELATION, pride and a sense of accomplishment was evident as 681 graduates at Nilai University received their scrolls after years of hard work.
Among the graduates were students from as far away as Bangladesh, China, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The graduating class received their awards from university chancellor Professor Emeritus Tengku Datuk Shamsul Bahrin in a ceremony held at the university’s President Hall in Nilai.
Tengku Shamsul, who has served the institution since its opening in 1998 in various capacities, including president and vice-chancellor, offered words of wisdom to the graduates.
“As you go along, continue to upgrade yourself, improve your skills and keep abreast with the latest developments in your field.
“Self-improvement, however, is the easy part. What is difficult is maintaining the right attitude throughout your career.
“My advice is to embrace good virtues and discard vices. Do this and you will see results, ” he said.
The chancellor also acknowledged Nilai University’s long-term educational partner – Kingston University, United Kingdom – while announcing the recent signing of an MOU for a student exchange programme with Miyazaki University, Japan.
Tengku Shamsul also introduced the 2019 class valedictorian, Dillon Yap.
“A valedictorian must not only possess an excellent academic track record but also exemplary values, ” he said, adding that Yap ticked all the boxes.
Yap who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biotechnology, was among 59 graduates who achieved first-class honours in their chosen field of study.
The 27-year-old from Setapak, Kuala Lumpur said being elected valedictorian was even sweeter as he encountered a few hitches on the road to graduation.
“After my high school and A-Levels in Singapore, I spent some time briefly in Australia pursuing a degree but that didn’t work out.
“Then, I came back here but because of financial issues, I had to reconsider my options. I finally managed to secure a scholarship to continue my education at Nilai University, which helped relieve my family’s financial burden, ” said the elder of two siblings.
After signing up for the Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biotechnology degree course, Yap dedicated his time and energy to his studies while enjoying co-curricular pursuits.
As the president of the university’s English Language Society, Yap said his focus was to encourage fellow students to master the language and communicate with confidence.
“Growing up in a Chinese-speaking family and having attended Chinese school, I understand the feeling of not being comfortable when conversing in English.
“One of the activities we organised for the society was a public speaking forum to encourage those less fluent in the language to practise and polish their language skills, ” he said.
Yap, who was recently hired as a recruitment consultant for a local firm, also represented the university in tchoukball (an indoor team sport fast-gaining popularity).
“Nilai University is amazing. The lecturers are extremely helpful, and even put in extra hours to guide us.
“Although I chose biotechnology as my field of study, I discovered from my time at Nilai University that I have an aptitude for public speaking. This newfound passion encouraged me to try working in a different field, ” he said.
At this year’s event, nine graduates were awarded masters degrees, while 19 graduates from the various faculties received best student awards.
The university’s faculties include the Faculty of Business, Hospitality and Humanities, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology, as well as a Centre for Research and Postgraduate Studies.