It is graduates that are a true measure of the quality of a university rather than ranking systems. Addressing graduands on the occasion of the 126th graduation of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 15 December 2016, Prof. David Carmichael stated that while ranking systems provide for good measurements, they are not suitable while comparing universities. It is the students that are a true reflection of the quality of a university, he said in his graduation address.
Prof. Carmichael stated that previously the professions of engineering, technology, and management were focussed on maximising profit and short-term gains. However, today, there is an increasingly feeling that this attitude can be harmful to the planet. “I would encourage you to embrace sustainability, and social and environmental issues, along with technical and financial matters,“ Prof. Carmichael said while delivering his graduation address. Prof. Carmichael is a Professor of Civil Engineering, at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and he also serves as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at AIT.
The AIT alumni message was delivered by Mr. Tiger Leong King Ho, President, Ellipse Enterprise, Malaysia, who reminisced his days at the Institute. Exhorting graduates to maintain a strong link with their alma mater, Mr. Tiger recalled that 26 years ago, he was among those who were sitting in the auditorium eagerly awaiting the award of degrees. A recipient of HM King’s Scholarship to pursue a Master’s in Geotechnical and Transportation Engineering, the distinguished alumnus highlighted AIT’s uniqueness, campus life, and its international orientation. Attributing his success to AIT, Mr. Leong asked students to remember the Institute and asked them to join hands to help in AIT fundraising in the near future.
AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai termed graduation as a “proud moment for all graduates.” Describing life as a journey, Prof. Worsak said that the accomplishments at AIT should be taken as a starting point for further achievements. “With this rare experience, each one of you should be in a good position to serve as a role model of a globally responsible citizen,” the AIT President said. He stated that the world is qualitatively different place today due to the processes of globalization, the digital revolution, mass migration, and the move towards environmental sustainability. These changes demand a new breed of graduates, and we need to nurture students with global competencies so that they can meet the global demands of tomorrow, Prof. Worsak added.
Dr. Muhammad Bilal Sadiq of Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology delivered a message on behalf of doctoral graduates. Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, Vice President for Academic Affairs conducted the graduation ceremony. Graduating students were introduced by Prof. Mukand Singh Babel, Chairman, Academic Senate, and the three Deans of AIT Schools — Prof. Voratas Kachitvichyanukul, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology (SET); Prof. Rajendra Shrestha, Dean, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD); and Prof. Lawrence S. Abeln, Dean, School of Management (SOM). Intermission numbers were provided by school children of the AIT International School.
With this graduation, the strength of AIT alumni has reached 21,770. The 126th graduation saw 182 students hailing from 14 countries in Asia being conferred degrees. Vietnam provided the largest cohort of students (70), followed by Myanmar (34) and Thailand (30). India (18), Nepal (8), Bangladesh and Pakistan (5 each), Sri Lanka (4), Iran and Indonesia (2 each), and Afghanistan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore (1) were the countries of origin of this batch.