The Convocation Ceremony of the University of Technology, Mauritius was held on Tuesday, 8th November 2011. Given that it was held at MGI Auditorium, I had the opportunity to ‘luckily’ assist it. Two things worthy of mentioning in my blog:
1. The Commencement Speech
2. The End-of-Ceremony Tradition of UTM
Firstly, The Commencement Speech, a bit lengthy one, was performed by Mr. Eddie Jolicoeur, the Group Head of Human Resources at the Mauritius Commercial Bank, Mauritius. My first remarks: it was a provocating and a product of Critical Thinking blended with the years of experience of Eddie in the field of Human Resources Management (which is one of my favourite MGT topics during my UoM Days). Below are some quotes from his speech:
‘I am going to say a few things which are against the HR theories that you have learnt in classroom settings. Excuse me to be saying things against which your lecturers have taught you during your course. Anyway, now, this won’t change anything (you have already passed the exams)!’
‘Do not buy textbooks entitled ‘Theory and Practice of HRM’. This is rubbish thing.’
‘HR consultants advise us to do ‘Team building’ activities: hiking, having fun together etc. in order to get along with colleagues and to know their talents. However, when they return back to work, after 2-3 weeks or so, they return back to their fighting mode in the work arena’
‘Lastly, you are now young graduates with dream to be fulfilled. You wish to change the world, change it for the better..’ (am not sure of the exact wording)
Secondly, The tradition of UTM. At the end of Awarding Degrees and Prizes to outstanding students, the President of the Ceremony asks the parents and friends to stand up, whilst the new graduates sit down. They are asked to clap and acclaim the young graduates. And then the, latter stand up, whilst the remaining audience sit down. The President asks them to acclaim their lecturers and their friends for their contribution during the university days. Then he wishes them good luck in their journey of life.
I loved this convocation ceremony for different reasons, one of them being that MGI is more spacious than UoM’s Auditorium.
Me and Bhoomesh (IT Manager – MGI)
Then on Wednesday, 9th November 2011, time to collect my final Diploma Award, again at the wonderful setting of MGI, Moka. Its great to complete a 3-year course in performing arts which I love to do as a hobby. Well, it was VERY tough to cope with the daily (evn on sat) classes at the MGI Tertiary School. Actually there are very few students doing Diploma courses in performing arts, principally because maybe there is no career opportunity as a Performing Artist for now in Mauritius.
Well, I did it for my passion of Sangeet. Despite the difficulties, I am proud to finally having done it (at the same time of UoM/ BCS studies and freelance web dev and perso life)
I would like to dedicate the Diploma effort to Guru ji Deerpaul who just retired. Guru Ji, your guidance and support was unique and cannot be found from any other place in the world. We bow before you to take your blessings.
I feel nostalgic that my MGI days are over, as an HSC student and secondly as a Music Student. Its great to walk in the campus of MGI, well kept by the gardeners. Maybe I would definitely consider more opportunities to be in the MGI family in one way or the other. The administration of MGI is certainly not laudable, being stuck with no innovation and poor administration techniques.
On the positive side, I was pleasantly surprised to see many artists getting their awards, specially she-Tabla players getting their Advanced Certificate and one girl getting in Mridangam. Many Students having studied at the different MGI centres obtained their Certificate in Performing Arts (Vocal Hindustani, Kathak, Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Sitar, Violin (Hindustani & Carnatic), Tabla, Mridangam. It is also worth mentioning the new Course in Dramatic Course and Arts & Crafts being offered at the Rabindranath Tagore Instutute (RTI). A certificate in Acting was awarded to successful candidates. It was interesting for me to note the School of Indological Studies at the MGI Tertiary School which offers courses in: Sanskrit and Indology (Vedanta, Dhyana Yoga). Special MGI Prizes to best CPA students were awarded.
Well, that’s it for the so many Graduation Ceremonies I have been proudly attending till now, to collect the results of my hard work. 2011, the year of harvest of the seeds sown in 2007 whilst choosing the courses to study. The plants grew and were nourished by the wit and wisdom of lecturers. Till one day, they start producing fruits for the long term. As the Hon. Minister of Tertiary Education, Rajesh Jeetah said ‘Pa croire ki ena dent zot pli malin kan zot p gagne zot certificat!’. Learning is a lifelong process.
Dear blog readers, my undergraduate studies now over, I sincerely hope to be able to continue share the goodness of being a Uni Student. If everything goes well, sooner or later the goodness of being a Postgrad Stud – in Computer Science or IT…Well, let’s hope so..
Stay Connected… + Happy Ganga Snan 2011!
Hello Prospective UoM students! One of the best thing with UoM is that the Vice Chancellor is very open with students and does not hesitate to listen to their queries as well as in taking bold actions to get things done for the welfare and progress of the prestigious academic institution.
I have contacted Professor Konrad Morgan BSc (Hons), PhD (Edin), MBCS CITP, MBPsS via email and here are some answers to my questions:
Ashesh: After 1 year as You being the CEO/ Vice Chancellor of UoM, what are the achievements of which you are really proud of?
Prof Konrad: After 18 months as VC I am proud of a number of things –
reducing some student fees,
- establishing the first regular meetings between a UoM VC with the Students Union,
- removing the two permanent guards that were assigned to the VC so students and staff get easier access to the VC,
- implementing the first fire drills in 40 years,
- training of security staff not only in how to better serve the campus community but also in first aid,
- provision of night lighting to minimise dark areas on campus,
- introducing traffic calming road ripples,
- safety barriers on the public road through the campus,
- doubling the internet speed for UoM,
- providing science direct and other digital literature resources for students and staff,
- creation of a new 100 space car park,
- fitting air conditioning into lecture rooms,
- additional washroom facilities,
- clean drinking water dispensers around campus,
- CCTV installation at high risk areas,
- introducing a paperless Senate meeting (to reduce on waste paper),
- introducing a medical insurance scheme for staff where UoM pays 50% of the fees,
- delegating financial budgets to each faculty and providing budget information to Deans for the first time,
- delegating holiday and leave authority to the faculty,
- introducing staff development budgets and schemes to encourage staff to improve their skills by attending conferences and courses,
- introducing “knowledge sharing week” where staff exchange their skills with each other and staff get training in areas of their personal interest,
- providing each faculty with 1M Rs in research funds,
- making sure that all staff publications are presented on the UoM web site,
- redesigning the UoM Web Site, increasing staff levels at the Finance section to improve speed and efficiency of financial processing,
- purchase of new lab and office equipment and conducting the first ever health and safety audit of UoM in 40 years.
There are many other administrative and organisational changes but I will stop here, for a more complete list one can consult the annual report. http://www.uom.ac.mu/ABOUTUS/AnnualReport/index.html
Ashesh: What are the new changes , improvements to the tertiary education sector in Mauritius which you would like to highlight?
Prof Konrad: As for improvements to the Tertiary Sector the New Ministry and TEC have been instrumental in providing UoM with the financing needed for all the improvements that I have mentioned above and these changes would not have been possible without their generous support. In addition the Ministry has created a National Research Fund of 100M Rs and has appointed 3 National Research Chairs. The Government has announced a plan to make Tertiary Education a pillar of the Mauritian Economy and has announced the target of having a graduate in each family. Areas of land have been earmarked for new campuses around the island and considerable investment is being made in the future of the Tertiary Sector.
Ashesh: Finally, how do you find Mauritius? Have you been used to the Mauritian Culture – do you like the M’tian Cuisine, the people, the diversity present here?
Prof Konrad: With respect to my experiences with Mauritius I think you are blessed to have one of the most beautiful locations in the world, with a wonderfully dynamic and hard working people (and great food from a variety of cultures). Having visited some of the neighbouring regions I can say that Mauritius is clearly one of the most advanced countries in the region and looks set for a great future in terms of its economic growth. I am honoured to have had the chance to work here and I hope that I have made things a little bit better for staff and students by my presence.
Well, you feel a bit awkward wearing the gown due to its size. It was very nice to listen to the VC concerning the ceremony: practical tips – walk slowly the stairs to be on stage, avoid falling as its a bit uncomfortable with the gown, SMILE as you shake my hand as this photo taken will follow you throughout your life. The commencement speech given by the Chief Guest also included lots of practical tips as we will be joining the labour market – for eg. don’t change jobs unless you have done a minimum of 2-3 years.. and philosophical thoughts.
The milestone eventually occurred:
The class group photo and throwing of Caps in the air!! Plus Lots of photo taking going on before returning the gown which one takes on loan for around Rs. 550.
Then you receive by post, the letter from the Registrar:
I am pleased to inform you that, upon recommendation of the Board of the Faculty of Law & Management, the Chairman of the University Senate has approved on <date> that you be conferred the <degree> of University of Mauritius with <class:division>. Congratulations!
Accompanied with the letter is the Final Transcript of your Final Performance in all the modules and also the Marks obtained for each module (continuous assessment + final exams), in addition to the Grade earned. The third letter page will list you the calculated GPA on a yearly basis where you can deduce on which class:division you rank.
Then finally, you organise a class farewell party – nice dinner
and buy gifts for your Lectures or send Thank You emails to all those who have contributed towards your academic journey.
After about 3 weeks you will have to be present at the Digital Studio (like the one near Marye Justin Stadium) to collect your photos. You will have to choose from lots of set for the ones you wish to buy and take the pictures with your parents and friends in it. The lady will propose you the tariff for ‘photo aggrandisement and framing’ or doing 2:1 photos for about Rs. 1500 and add some nice words at the end of the photos like: <your course name> <year><university of mauritius> or Thank you mum and dad for your blessings etc.
That was it, Nice University Time! Bon courage to all the future graduates 🙂