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IMU Celebrates Convocation Ceremony and the Installation of its New Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor

20 Dec 2021

1428 graduands from IMU’s postgraduate and undergraduate studies in various healthcare programmes received their scroll in a milestone celebration post-lockdown.

Kuala Lumpur, 14 December 2021 – A total of 1130 graduands from multidisciplinary programmes took the stage at the International Medical University’s (IMU) Convocation Ceremony held for graduands from Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 while the rest joined virtually from their home countries. This year’s Convocation Ceremony also marks a significant event as it saw the installation of the IMU’s seventh Chancellor and sixth Pro-Chancellor.

This is the first time, the IMU’s Convocation Ceremony was held out of campus at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to ensure sufficient social distancing is enabled amidst the National Recovery Phase 4 of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony was presided over by the IMU’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Abdul Aziz Baba. In his speech to the graduates, the Vice-Chancellor spoke about the trials that students had to undergo due to the pandemic in their quest to continue their studies despite the movement restrictions caused by COVID-19 and how they overcame this challenge.

“I believe the reason why our students and faculty were able to quickly adapt to online learning is because at IMU, we’ve always emphasised on self-directed learning. Our university facilities support this, such as our Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre and e-Learning platforms that recreates different healthcare settings and provides extensive quality resources for our students to learn and practice in a safe and conducive environment. These hands-on learning settings for extra training encourages our students to be adaptable, resourceful and learn under different settings to obtain knowledge and skills.”

At the same event witnessed by members of the Board of Governors, Senate, faculty and staff members, invited guests, students and parents of students, the new Chancellor of the IMU, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Yahya Awang was officially installed as the institution’s seventh Chancellor.

Chancellor, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Yahya Awang
An eminent cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Yahya obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow (FRCS) Scotland, United Kingdom in 1980. Thereafter, he trained as a cardiac surgeon from 1980 to 1983 at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Brompton Hospital, London, before returning to Malaysia to serve as a medical officer initially in Hospital Johor Bahru and Kota Tinggi before progressing in his medical career where he now currently serves as Honorary Consultant for Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Visiting Consultant Surgeon for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Adjunct Professor of the Medical Faculty of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Chairman of the Expert Panel of Heart and Lung Transplant of the National Transplant Registry, and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur that he also founded. Dr Yahya was instrumental in the establishment of the National Heart Institution (IJN) in 1992 and has performed no less than 5,000 open-heart surgeries and trained more than 50 cardiac surgeons. He also successfully performed the first heart transplant in Malaysia in 1997 and is known for his role in successfully leading the coronary artery bypass surgery on Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, in 1989. At IMU, Dr Yahya served as the Pro-Chancellor from 2018 to 2020 prior to being installed as Chancellor.
Pro-Chancellor, YBhg Datin Paduka Setia Dato’ Dr Aini Ideris
A renowned scientist in Avian Medicine, Dr Aini graduated from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1979 and received her Master of Veterinary Science from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom in 1981, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Avian Medicine from UPM in 1989. In 2013, Dr Aini was inducted as one of the Inaugural Members of the Hall of Honour, by the World Veterinary Poultry Association (WVPA) for her contributions to scientific research, poultry education and training, poultry health systems and for her outstanding leadership qualities. This is the most prestigious recognition accorded by the Avian Veterinary Fraternity. In 2015, she was elected the Vice President of WVPA, the first Asian to be appointed to the position. She has been a member of the IMU’s Board of Governors since 2012.

In his first-ever speech to the IMU graduates as Chancellor, Dr Yahya spoke about IMU’s position as a leading healthcare education institution that is in tuned with what the industry needs. He commended the institution for stepping up when support was needed from the industry in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. “When it was clear that the country needed more support in its fight against the virus, IMU stepped up to work closely with the Ministry of Health in its measures to conduct daily COVID-19 diagnostics tests in our lab. Aside to this, many students and staff also volunteered in various ways at PPV centres, establishing the mobile PPV in the hearts of Negeri Sembilan and lending a hand where is most needed to the underserved communities.”

Dr Yahya also spoke about how healthcare professionals can work alongside technology to deliver better results. “Advancements in healthcare technology is inevitable and this has made it necessary for healthcare professionals to familiarise with these developments and use them in the best way possible. For, a collaboration between humans and technology can give rise to amazing results. Technology in healthcare and science can give way to personalised treatments, intuitive medicine, cost effective solutions to patients and also, find ways to overcome incurable diseases. But we must remember that whilst we embrace technology, we should not forget the human touch that is so important in patient-centred care. We must also remember to be deft in controlling these technologies and not be controlled by technology.”

During the Ceremony, 39 graduands who shown outstanding academic and leadership qualities during their academic journey were recognised with the following prestigious awards:

• Dr John Joseph Bosco Memorial Gold Medal

• Dr Saidi Hashim Memorial Gold Medal

• Dr Tan See Leng Award of Leadership

• Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Sulaiman Daud Merit Award

• Board of Governor’s Gold Medal

• Tun Zahir Merit Award

This is the first year that the International Medical University is conferring degrees to graduands from the Master in Health Professions Education which was introduced in 2017 and the Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management, the Postgraduate Diploma of Business Administration in Healthcare Management as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Diabetes Management and Education which was introduced in 2019.

The Convocation Ceremony concluded on a high-note as participants witnessed the Launch of the University’s 30th Anniversary Celebration with the tagline – Nurturing Leaders Today that will take place throughout year 2022.

Congratulations to all graduates!

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