The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) conferred degrees on 386 undergraduate and postgraduate students at its Autumn Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, 6th October, in the presence of HH Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of the Dubai Department of Information.
Ms Jillian Broadbent AO, Chancellor of the University of Wollongong, Australia, delivered the Graduation address. Present on the occasion were His Excellency Kym Hewitt, Australian Consul General, members of the UOWD Board of Trustees and visitors from the University of Wollongong in Australia.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Broadbent said: "As Chancellor of the University of Wollongong Australia, I am proud of our role, through UOWD, in enhancing Dubais international education. We look forward to continuing to broaden the range of programs which we provide.
She said the University of Wollongong is currently ranked among the top 2% of universities worldwide. We are confident that the close association we have with UOWD creates many opportunities for UOWD graduates she added.
Ms Broadbent reminded the graduating students that change and companionship were two key factors that would drive them to success in their careers.
"To manage change, we should be proactive in developing our change preparedness, our resilience and mastering the "Art of Recovery learning how to fall and recover. Companionship provides the ready opportunity to draw on the experience and skills of your team members, your management and, in time, your own recruits, she said.
Delivering the welcome address, Prof. Rob Whelan, President said UOWD was proud to be committed to the goals of the UAE and of Dubai, and looked forward to supporting further development of the UAE by playing a leading role in the education of its human capital. He recalled the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who said: "All people have an ocean of achievement inside themselves just waiting to escape.
"Over the past 17 years, we have been helping this ocean to escape, by offering a high-quality Australian-based education in the UAE. We have already produced nearly 4,500 graduates. With todays ceremony, this number nears 5,000. This is a significant milestone for any university, said Professor Whelan.
Shurooq Al Banna, a graduate in the Master of Strategic Marketing, and a TV and conference presenter, proposed the Vote of Thanks on behalf of her graduating students and said they were leaving the university as 'richer' individuals and hailed the role of teachers in their growth.
"It is the teachers who mold us and teach us lessons that remain with us all our life. In some cultures, teachers are seen as the equivalents of prophets. We, at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, are lucky enough to have been taught by staff who not only care for our academic excellence but also our welfare. We carry nothing but complete respect for these educators, said Shurooq.
Hessa Mohamed Hassan Abdulla Ibrahim, who completed her Master of Applied Finance & Banking, won dual honours as the top graduating student in the program and the top graduating UAE National. The star student, who is currently employed in the finance department of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), co-authored a paper on "An assessment of herd behaviour in UAE equity markets which won the Department of Economic Development Award in 2008.
Rinki Singhvi was honoured for obtaining the highest marks (90%) in the Bachelor of Commerce - Accountancy. Rinki is employed as an Assistant Auditor at Deloitte & Touche Middle East, a leading organization specialising in auditing, consulting, financial advisory and tax services.
Jim Felix, the top graduating student from the MBA was another star student, whose research work "Analysis of Vendor Managed Inventory Practices for Greater Supply Chain Performance has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation.
Another top graduate was Ahmed Karam, who received his Master degree in International Business. He already holds a Master degree in Computer Science from the University of Sharjah.
Mehmet Hatip, a Turkish national and special needs student in the Master of Applied Finance and Banking, was proud to complete his Masters degree with distinction. Mehmet did his studies after a stint with HSBC and Hawkamh, a corporate governance institute in DIFC.
Mehmet is not allowing his handicap to come in his way. Currently working in his fathers business, he is planning to get his CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) certificate in two years, and apply for positions as an analyst in a reputable company next year.
The Graduation Ceremony ended with a reception hosted by the University of Wollongong in Dubai.
Click here for Welcome Address by President, University of Wollongong in Dubai
Click here for Graduation Address by Chancellor, University of Wollongong, Australia
Click here for Vote of Thanks