The Future of Postgraduate Studies at OUMWebmaster
If you are a postgraduate learner at OUM, you are probably familiar with Assoc Prof Dr Shishi Kumar Piaralal.
As director of the OUM Graduate Centre (OUMGC), Dr Shishi hopes to position the centre as the preferred choice for both local and international postgraduate learners.
“From the moment postgraduate learners register with us, OUMGC will be their first contact point. OUMGC will also be there to support and guide them as they go through their studies,” Dr Shishi explains.
He adds, “This year, we have also opened enrolment to international learners. Even if things go back to normal once the pandemic is over, postgraduate programmes will continue to be delivered online for learners who are located abroad.”
Dr Shishi wants to work closely with all stakeholders to achieve the centre’s objectives. These include marketing, support services, academic staff, programme directors, and learners too.
“We hope to close all necessary gaps to ensure that we can provide a good learning experience to everyone. Frequent meetings and seminars will be organised with the stakeholders to improve our delivery and services,” Dr Shishi says.
Prior to his entry into academia, he spent 16 years in the telecommunications industry. He joined OUM as a senior lecturer with the Faculty of Business and Management in 2012 before being appointed director of Tanjong Malim Learning Centre in Perak. He became OUMGC director in February this year.
Among the initiatives Dr Shishi has introduced at OUMGC are free workshops on using research-related software like SPSS, SmartPLS and Mendeley, and a series of research-related workshops in collaboration with experts from OUM and other universities.
Dr Shishi shares, “We want to provide more value-added initiatives, both academic and non-academic in nature. Our workshops are conducted via the Google Meet video conferencing platform. So far, more than 30 of such workshops have been successfully organised.”
OUMGC is also fostering a lively postgraduate community through Telegram, which acts as a platform for learners to discover new connections and networks, as well as share knowledge and experiences with others in Malaysia as well as other countries. As a nod to OUM’s current tagline “Everyone can learn”, this digital community is open to anyone who is interested.
Using this instant messaging service to engage with current and prospective learners is especially meaningful to Dr Shishi.
He explains, “Postgraduate study may be an expensive investment, but it can do great things for one’s career and intellectual asset. Through Telegram, OUMGC is giving the opportunity for anyone to find out more about the postgraduate experience. We showcase speakers from the learner pool as well as industry experts, and they can give a comprehensive explanation of not only the ins and outs of research and thesis writing, but also how these are tied to the industry experience.”
“So, if you’re interested, these sharing sessions can give you all the information you need at absolutely no cost. They may even help to boost your confidence, and make you realise that you too can take on postgraduate study.
“Once you’ve made that decision, OUM would be a great option for you: the fees are affordable, and we at OUMGC promise to provide you the best support service,” he concludes.
Join the OUMGC Lifelong Learning Community Telegram group here, or scan this QR code:
Also, connect with the OUM postgraduate community on Facebook here.
By Izyan Diyana Merzuki