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18 Nov 2017

Speech by Dr R Theyvendran, PBM, MDIS Secretary-General at the MDIS - University of Bradford Graduation Ceremony on 18 November 2017, Saturday, 10am at MDIS Campus


Good morning,

Guest-of-Honour, Mr Tan Kah Hoe, MDIS Trustee and Secretary of the MDIS Senate;

Dr Eric Kuan, President of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;

Professor Martin Priest, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics, University of Bradford;

Ms Georgina Schofield, Events and Partnerships Manager, University of Bradford;

Dr Julie Thornton, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Bradford;

Distinguished Guests;


1  Ladies and Gentlemen, a very warm welcome to all of you. 

2  Graduands, today we celebrate a momentous occasion that marks a significant milestone in your lives. The degree you will receive is a stepping stone to an exciting future; it is one of the most important steps that you will take towards fulfilling your aspirations.  I extend my heartiest congratulations to each and every one of you on your brilliant academic achievements!

Appreciation of loved ones
3  This is also your moment of glory, and a moment to appreciate and thank all those who have stood by you throughout your academic journey.  Always be grateful to your parents as they are the instruments of God. They have toiled along with you, making sacrifices in ensuring your success.  Let us take this moment to thank your parents, families, loved ones and friends for their strong support and faith in you.  Give them a big round of applause!  Thank you. 

A Value-added education
4  An education is an important pillar of our social mobility and a means to achieve our aspirations. MDIS’ partnership with the University of Bradford has helped you reap the combined advantage of an excellent curricula from the University of Bradford and the value-added experiences on-campus at MDIS, which defines you and will serve you well in your career and personal life. 

5  Our 26 years of partnership with the University of Bradford, UK, was first established in 1992.  Over the years, we have nurtured thousands of graduates that have benefitted from the various programmes offered, and who hold successful careers in various industries in the government and private sectors.

6  We are pleased to announce that we have a total of 205 graduands graduating from this cohort with Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finance, Business and Management Studies, International Business and Management, Marketing, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Management, Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

7  Amongst them, we have 31 first class honours.  I am also pleased to add that 13 of them will also receive merit awards, best student and best project awards for their outstanding achievements.   In keeping with the tradition of academic excellence, MDIS is honoured to have played a significant role in your achievements and in preparing you for a competitve and promising career ahead.

8  The success rate of our graduates attaining jobs within the first six months of their graduation stands at about 78%, which is a remarkable reflection of the fact that we have prepared our graduands well with the knowledge and soft skills to enable them to assimilate easily into their respective jobs.

9  Since 2011, we have also had the most number of first class graduates from the University of Bradford, which attests to the synergy, excellent quality standards and student learning outcomes jointly offered by MDIS and University of Bradford.

10  In recognition of the reputable and longstanding relationship, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the faculty members of the University of Bradford for their dedication and support throughout the years in working together with MDIS in nurturing future-ready professionals for the workforce.

MDIS’ Progress
11  MDIS has come a long way since its inception, 61 years ago.   When MDIS first started, our team comprised of a handful of staff. Today, we have over 300 staff serving 13,000 students from 82 countries at our well-equipped campuses in Singapore, Uzbekistan, India and Malaysia.   The path to our success has not always been easy, and is yet another admirable example of what can be achieved through determination and diligence.

12  In recognition of the government’s focus on work skills development, we have recently launched a range of 27 programmes across all academic disciplines with an emphasis on vocational skills training and an expanded academic progression pathway to provide students with transferable skills and knowledge to enhance their employability. We have also launched a new School of Nursing offering degree programmes for healthcare professionals and have set up our very own bakery and culinary studio in collaboration with Glasgow University to enable individuals to pursue certificate courses.  We are also working with a Food Technology Institute to further enhance our student’s entrepreneurship skills.

13  Also, in the pipeline, is a partnership with a well-known Jewellery Design Institute to complement and create a portfolio of niche offerings for our students from the School of Fashion and Design. The knowledge and skills acquired will provide our students the competitive edge in their entrepreneurial approach towards developing innovative ideas, strategies and productive management practices in their businesses and careers. 

Disruptive Technologies
14  As disruptive technologies have changed our workplace and economy, jobs of today require new skills that did not exist previously.   Graduands entering the workforce now will need new skills to thrive in the fast-changing landscape while existing workers may have to upgrade their skills and knowledge to stay relevant.

15  To compete in this challenging economy, you will need to upgrade and enhance your knowledge and skills to boost your employability; future-proof your careers by developing transferable skills and build a good professional and social network. Continue to embrace lifelong learning so that you may achieve sustainability in your jobs and remain relevant and employable.

Road to Success
16  In life, the road to success is never easy.  We will always be faced with numerous challenges and I would like to share an inspiring quote by British statesmen, Sir Winston Churchill, who said, “Success is not final, Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

17  The disruptive economy will certainly throw many challenges your way and will test your resolve and tenacity.  However, do not be deterred, instead, pick up the courage to continue and forge ahead. Take them as learning opportunities and face them bravely, and you will emerge stronger and better for it.

18  We, at MDIS and UOB have prepared you well for the workforce; strive to deliver your best and always have an optimistic mindset. In doing so, you will build strength of character, courage and tenacity to face all odds in life.

19  Graduands, I hope and wish that you will always have a clear sense of direction, live your goals and execute your plans with passion and determination and in time achieve greatness to help others, to help the community and to help Singapore to be a shining glow in the world. 

20  Once again, congratulations to all of you! May today’s happy celebrations be a great start to your future. I wish you all a fulfilling life and a great future! Thank you.

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