The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) conferred degrees on 238 students at the Winter Graduation Ceremony held on 15 November 2008 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the presence of Sheikh Makhtoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Also present were H.E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali, the UAE Minister of Education, Yaser Abdulla Amiri, the Director General of the Financial Audit Department, Khames Matar al Mazena, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, Mr Nabil al Yousef, Executive Director of the Dubai Government's Excellence Program, Ms Kerin Ayyalaraju, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy, Mr. Michael H. Codd, Chancellor, University of Wollongong, Australia, Dr. James Langridge, Vice Principal (Offshore operations), University of Wollongong, Australia, and Prof. Rob Whelan, President of UOWD.
This event attended by invited dignitaries, graduates and their families and UOWD staff, marked the second of two graduation ceremonies- the first ceremony was held in July 2008- organized by UOWD this year to accommodate the largest number of graduating students in its 15 year history.
Eng. Nazek Al Sabbagh, Managing Director of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, was the guest speaker on the occasion. She spoke about her own student days first in the UK and later in the US and encouraged parents to support their children to be their best.
Mr. Michael H. Codd, Chancellor, University of Wollongong, Australia said, This is a special occasion for the University as well, as it celebrates 15 years of academic excellence in the United Arab Emirates. During this period, UOWD has produced over 2,700 graduates and after this ceremony tonight, that number will exceed 3,000. That is a significant milestone for an institution which started as the Institute of Australian Studies way back in 1993, with an enrolment of eight and a half students!
Waldo Steyn, top graduating student in Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Distinction, proposing the vote of thanks on behalf of his fellow graduates, said, Education is not the assimilation of information or the memorization of facts; it is not something you can download from the internet or buy on ebay education is the nursing of a thirst for knowledge, its outcome is a way of thinking and it provides a better understanding of the world we live in. Those who take up the task of providing an education, take on a tremendous responsibility, for through their hands will pass the future. The degree certificate can in no way fully represent the value we have gained from this experience.
Top graduating students in each program were honoured, with sponsorship supported by the Australian Business Council in Dubai, Aramex, Career Unity, Crystal Gallery, Dubai Quality Group, Green Curve, Dell - Key Information Technologies, Liberty Automobiles, Motivate Publishing, Orient Travel, Standard Chartered Bank and Trowers & Hamlins.
Top graduating student in the Bachelor of Business Administration program:
Joint Recipients: Angaiza Abdulmalek and Sumayya Abdulla
Top graduating student in the Bachelor of Commerce program: Elma Zahir
Top graduating student in the Bachelor of Computer Science program: Umaima Shahana Suleman
Top graduating student in the Bachelor of Internet Science and Technology program:
Top graduating student in the Master of Business Administration program: Waldo Steyn
Top graduate in the Master of Engineering Management program: Ahmed Essameldin Tawfik Hussein
Top graduate in the Master of Information Technology Management program: Salama Yousef Nasser Al Baloushi
Top graduating students in the Master of International Business program:
Joint Recipients: Barakha Nathalal, Shireen Qamar and Varsha Lalwani
Top graduating student in the Master of Quality Management program: Nagaswathisri Sivalanka
Top graduating student in the Master of Strategic Human Resource Management program: Fatima Intabli
Top graduating student in the Master of Strategic Marketing program: Latika Mohan Bhambani
Top graduating UAE National Student: Ahmed Abdul Aziz Ismail Abdulhadi, Master of Quality Management
The Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Catherine Todd
The Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Catherine Todd