Congratulations, Dr Tuan Fatma!Webmaster
With a thesis entitled “The Regulatory Framework for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Institutions in Malaysia: Finding an Appropriate Corporate Governance Model”, Dr Tuan Fatma Tuan Sulaiman has become the latest academic staff at the Faculty of Business and Management (FBM) to earn the coveted title of ‘Doctor’.
A senior lecturer who joined OUM back in 2005, Dr Tuan Fatma completed her PhD study at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin in September last year. With bachelor’s and master’s qualifications in law and specialisations in business law and corporate governance, she is currently the course leader for all law-related courses at the diploma, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.
“I’m so grateful for the rizq that has allowed me to earn my PhD. It feels like I’m letting a huge weight off my shoulders!
“Through my PhD research, I made recommendations on the appropriate governance structure that could be applied at private ODL institutions in Malaysia. This topic is both close to my heart and relevant to my job as I work at OUM, the country’s first ODL institution! So, I hope university management, whether in OUM or other universities, will take a closer look at the content of my research,” she explains.
Reflecting on the path that has led to this achievement, Dr Tuan Fatma seems humbled by the experience. She completed her PhD on a part-time basis, all while managing her tasks as a teaching staff at FBM and personal commitments too.
“I took a long time to complete my PhD,” admits this 46-year-old from Kelantan. “I first registered in 2012, and had to switch institutions in 2014 when my supervisor decided to move to another university. At the same time, juggling my responsibilities was really tough, especially at work because I was handling many administrative duties at the faculty until 2017.
“I felt that I had to prioritise my job, so my PhD took a backseat. I only got serious again about writing my thesis in 2019, and thanks to the support of my husband, children, family members, peers, colleagues and supervisor, I finally made it. I’m also grateful to the OUM management for sponsoring my study.”
Although her PhD is still recent, Dr Tuan Fatma’s role at FBM has already changed. She is now busier than ever with deeper involvement in postgraduate programmes. She chairs proposal defence and viva voce sessions, and will soon begin co-supervising postgraduate candidates too. She is also the programme director for the Master of Human Resource Management programme.
Despite this wonderful and long-awaited achievement, Dr Tuan Fatma continues to believe that there is still so much more to learn. She says, “This ‘Doctor’ title doesn’t mean that I know everything. With new tasks and portfolios come new reasons to learn even more, so that I can better contribute to OUM and its learners.”
She concludes, “I pray that Allah SWT will guide me to always be open to receiving guidance, learning, and asking questions. In my life, these are the words I hold on to: “I believe in my dream, and no matter how big the challenges may be, I know I can make it one day.” With that, I look forward to bigger and brighter things at OUM!”
By Tengku Amina Munira