JOHOR BAHRU, 2nd May – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has much to celebrate during the 48th Convocation Ceremony of the university from May 6 – 8, 2012.

Director of Office of International Affairs, Professor Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz said, as a start, the university will welcome 2,096 graduates back to the campus.

“Out of the graduate cohorts, 53 are diploma holders, 1,162 are bachelor graduates, 783 will be receiving their Masters scroll while the remaining 98 will be receiving their doctorate degrees.

“About 366 graduates are international students from more than 32 countries, with the bulk of the amount (259 graduates) receiving their Masters degree,” he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail said, the highlight of the convocation ceremony this year is the conferment of honorary doctorate degree to Anthony Sinskey, Professor of Microbiology and Engineering Systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in honour of his sterling contribution in scholarship and research.

Besides celebrating its graduates, the university will also play host to more than 40 international guests from 25 universities for the fourth instalment of University Presidents Forum (UPF) from May 5 – 6, 2012.

The UPF is an annual gathering of international partners of the university to discuss on global and regional trends and issues on higher education.

“The gathering presents opportunities for UTM and its foreign counterparts to reflect, review and recommend possible practices which would enhance operations and core activities of respective institutions.

“The theme for UPF 2012 is “Innovative. Entrepreneurial. Global.”, a theme which highlights the strategic direction of the university in becoming a prominent entrepreneurial research university in the region,” he added.

Three renowned speakers are invited to share their insights and expertise during the forum: Professor Sinskey, Sara Farley, Chief Operating Officer of Global Knowledge Initiative, a Washington-based non-profit organization; and Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Deputy Secretary of the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia for Political Affairs and Chairman of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, The Habibie Centre.

“Sara and Professor Sinskey will also deliver lectures to students and staff prior to the forum, as part of the university’s initiative in encouraging greater knowledge culture among the UTM community.

“UPF is also a platform for UTM to strengthen relations with its partners, which has been actively engaged with the university in international mobility, research activities, and other forms of international collaboration,” he said.

He cited, institutions which have made their annual visits to UTM for the forum include Shibaura Institute of Technology and Toyohashi Institute of Technology (Japan), Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Institut Teknologi Bandung (Indonesia), while several distinguished institutions making their presence include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and University of Johannesburg (South Africa).

The forum will also be participated by institutions which are in the process of setting up their branch campuses in the neighbouring Educity @ Iskandar region, such as University of Reading and University of Southampton Malaysia Campus.

Participants of UPF 2012 will be celebrated in an evening reception and networking on May 5 and will join the UTM community in a pre-convocation dinner hosted by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang on the evening of May 6, as well as the first session of the convocation on May 7.