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HELP University organized its inaugural convocation for Diploma and Foundation students this month at its Subang 2 campus.

There were a total of 703 foundation and diploma students who graduated in 2018 and 2019. The ceremony adopted many of the traditions from the grand April convocations held annually at the Shangri-la Hotel for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Graduands with the highest grades were recognized for their achievements by being selected for the President’s Award, which entitled them to cash prizes.

It was indeed a proud moment for Denise Lim as she stood at the podium with tears in her eyes, the recipient of the HELP President’s Award for excellent grades, scoring a CGPA of 3.94 in her HELP Diploma in Communication studies, and she felt elated with the accolade.

“I want to start my speech with a short story about myself. I have never been a bright student, I was always talkative and outgoing but never really bright. I was that kid in class that was slow and constantly in a blur. And it was because I knew I had a disability of being slow, I used it as an excuse in life, so whenever I did badly I would blame it on the disability. But it all stopped on the day when I got my UEC results as it was a day I faced rejection and failure. I was rejected by as many as 10 universities and fortunately HELP accepted me and even gave me financial aid throughout my first year in my Diploma in Communication, “said Denise during her President’s Award speech at the convocation.

So from a student who had only passed one subject at UEC level, Denise worked hard in her Diploma studies, asking questions from her Communication lecturers, making sure her assignments were all well done and finally it all paid off when she was chosen to be a recipient of the President’s award.

Sharafina Razin completed her Foundation in Science at HELP University with a CGPA of 3.85, resulting in her being selected as a recipient for the HELP President’s Award and in her acceptance speech at the Subang 2 campus, she explained how she developed a love of astrophysics by viewing the night sky with her brother from a hill near her home. Her final plan is to complete a degree in Astrophysics from the UK.

Sharafina has always been an avid participant in extra-curricular activities at HELP, emerging as the winner of the Vox Populi Club Public Speaking Competition at HELP and has also succeeded in being chosen for roles in dramas and films. According to Sharafina, who spoke during the Convocation.

“The HELP Foundation Course gave me a keen awareness of social commitment; the Study Skills module inspired me to give back to society and I decided to volunteer with Pertiwi kitchen which provides food and also health check-ups for the homeless. I have also volunteered with Zoo Negara and PAWS, the animal welfare society, giving me a sense of satisfaction in helping out,” said Sharafina.

“I also gained knowledge from subjects such as Personal Development and Leadership, Critical Thinking Skills and Culture, Arts and Politics enhanced my research, communication and critical thinking skills and the Foundation lecturers really made the subjects interesting by relating it to real life situations.”

Zachary Oon Wei Chern comes across as one of those quiet achievers, who achieved a CGPA of 4.0 without fanfare and admits to being a classical guitarist, having passed his Grade 8 exams in the subject.

Today, Zachary picked up the President’s Award for being outstanding in the HELP Foundation Arts programme. One of the main reasons he chose the Foundation programme was the duration of the programme, he completed it in one year and also the variety of subjects.

Professor Datuk Dr Paul Chan, Vice-Chancellor of HELP University, in his address at the inaugural convocation said that in Malaysian higher education, Diploma and Foundation programmes offered high school students an innovative and challenging pathway to higher education. The pathway helps students to mature under professional and academic guidance and mentoring so that they excel at the tertiary level.

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