StudyMalaysia gets insight from newly appointed IUMW Chancellor Tony Fernandes
by StudyMalaysia.com on December 20, 2018 | Top Stories
On 1 December 2018, International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) held its 4th Convocation Ceremony at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre. A very special announcement was made at the ceremony which was the appointment of Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes as Chancellor of IUMW.
A total of 257 graduates received their degrees across a range of disciplines, including professional communication, business administration, accounting, psychology, project management, internet engineering, computer science, and biotechnology. IUMW has produced nearly 531 graduates since it started its operations in 2012.
During the press conference, StudyMalaysia had the opportunity to speak to Fernandes on his new appointment and plans for the university.
|StudyMalaysia: Could you share how you feel about being appointed Chancellor of IUMW?|
|TF:||I never expected to be involved in anything like this. The energy you see from the students, their excitement in achieving their degree and looking on to the next part of their lives gave me a lot energy – the impromptu moments kept me going, so it’s great. It gave me a lot of confidence when I see so many bright young students coming through for this university. I’m very glad to be involved in a very small way but I’ll do my best to aid and promote this university throughout the world.|
|StudyMalaysia: How will you promote IUMW?|
|TF:||We have very many powerful branding and marketing tools available to us – from our in-flight magazine to social media and to greater ones. We also have an excellent communications team.|
|StudyMalaysia: How will you enhance the employability of IUMW graduates?|
|TF:||I think that employability is the mark of the university—how in-demand the students are. I’m thrilled to see that one of the best students of IUMW is an AirAsia employee – I’m very proud that one of my staff is an alumni and the best student of this university. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer introduction to being a chancellor. When I saw him (and I know him), he was proudly wearing his 10-year world champion badge – it was a highlight for me as it was totally unexpected.
The best way for graduates to be employed is to look at the success of the alumni and their employability. They are the ambassadors of this university.
|StudyMalaysia: You have given many talks at universities – how effective do you think these talks by industrial players are for the students?|
|TF:||I think that’s something you’d need to ask the students; but I have been amazed when I’ve gone to universities all over the world to see the size of attendance. The last one I went to in Johor, there were 6000 students in attendance – there is an appetite to hear and learn from people like me in the industry.
I think the best advice I can give is that you can do anything you want to do. I want people to believe that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything you want to do. I must say that I love meeting young people. It’s also very gratifying that people want to know about us and about our story.
Fernandes added that the similarities between IUMW and AirAsia is uncanny in that both were companies that were just starting up with great aspirations and great dreams. He explained that a big part of his life has been about being involved in brands and organisations that are building up and starting up, which poses a lot of challenge.
He said that he sees his role at IUMW as someone to promote the university, give advice to the university as an employer, and provide advice to the students in employment. He added that he loved meeting students and imparting his knowledge.
“I hope I can encourage the university to also provide an all-round education to the students. Education is not just the degree. It is about providing you [the students] with an environment to experience many things – extracurricular is so important. And I think that many institutions of higher learning have forgotten that providing an education is not just getting a first class degree – it’s enabling the student to explore, find out and network,” said Fernandes.
He added that activities like sports are essential for experiencing teamwork and learning bits of leadership, as were art and drama to promote creativity.
Fernandes is best known for co-founding AirAsia, Asia's first low-cost airline, growing it from a Malaysian domestic carrier into Asia’s largest low-cost carrier by passengers carried, with operations in five countries serving some 260 routes to more than 120 destinations across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, and the US. As a leader of various globally and locally recognised organisations, Fernandes has been an inspiration to many people. As Chancellor, he will inspire IUMW's students, leaders, and the future generation with his spirit of entrepreneurship.
Prepared by StudyMalaysia Sdn Bhd