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University of Nottingham confers honorary degrees

The University of Nottingham Malaysia conferred honorary degrees to four outstanding individuals at the University Summer Graduation Ceremony from 21 to 23 July. The awards are to recognise outstanding contribution, success and distinction. The recipients this year are Dato' Dr Afifi al-Akiti, Dato’ Gan Ah Tee, Dato’ Hooi Lai Lin and  Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan.

Dato' Dr Afifi al-Akiti

Dato Afifi

Dato' Dr Afifi al-Akiti is the KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and Islamic Centre Lecturer in Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Theology – Oxford University’s oldest faculty.

He is also a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, where he supervises on both Islamic and Christian studies. He is the first-ever Malaysian to be appointed to such a position in this prestigious university. His areas of expertise are Islamic Theology, Philosophy and Science. In addition to his critically acclaimed written works, he is Assistant Editor of the Journal of Islamic Studies (Oxford University Press), and he has worked on several BBC documentaries, including the award-winning Science and Islam.

In Malaysia, he holds the Distinguished Visiting Professorships of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

His internationally acclaimed 2005 fatwa, Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians, which was written in response to the 7 July London bombings, was praised by scholars worldwide and gained massive readership. Dato’ Dr Afifi was made a Member of the Ulama Council by the Ruler of Perak, Malaysia, in 2010 by HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah.

In 2012, he became the ‘Orang Kaya-Kaya Imam Paduka Tuan’ as an Orang Besar 8 of Perak, and elected into the Privy Council of the state, the Dewan Negara (the Council of State), constitutionally as a Life Peer. Since 2010, Dato’ Dr Afifi has been listed in The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims.

Dato’ Gan Ah Tee

Dato Gan

Dato’ Gan Ah Tee is the Managing Partner of BDOMalaysia and Regional Senior Partner of BDO ASEAN. Prior to this, he was the Managing Director of the Financial Advisory Services Department at KPMG. A member of MIA, MICPA and ICAEW, he

has over 35 years’ experience in auditing, corporate finance, restructuring and other advisory services.

Dato’ Gan was appointed by the Ministry of Finance as a member of the Financial Reporting Foundation (‘FRF’), a trustee body responsible for the oversight of the Malaysian Accounting Standard Board’s (‘MASB’) performance, financial and funding arrangements.

Additionally, he serves as a Council Member of MIA and is both a Council Member and an Executive Committee member of MICPA. He is also the Chairman of their respective Insolvency Practice Committees. In addition to being the Council Member of ICAEW in the UK and a Past President of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Malaysia (IPAM), he is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

In academia, Dato’ Gan is a member of the Advisory Council to the Faculty of Business & Accountancy at Universiti Malaya as well as an Industrial Advisory Board member for the professional accountancy programmes at Sunway College. He regularly shares his knowledge through talks and seminars organised by statutory and professional bodies as well as various financial institutions, both locally and regionally.

Dato’ Hooi Lai Lin

Dato Hooi

Dato’ Hooi Lai Lin is the CEO and Director of Ken Rich Corporation Sdn Bhd. She was also appointed as an Honorary Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Nottingham University Business School in 2016.

A successful entrepreneur, Dato’ Hooi has grown Ken Rich from a Malaysian company to a global player, exporting its services and products to more than 14 countries.

Her achievements have been recognised in the local and international arena and have won her many awards, including the inaugural Prime Minister’s Women Entrepreneur Award 2011 and NAWEM Women Entrepreneur Award 2006, Community Contribution award by Malaysia Women’s Career Building Association, and the Brand Laurette 2016/2017 Corporate Branding Award.

Ken Rich has also been recognised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) as one of the 25 companies in Malaysia on business success stories of visionary Malaysians in its publication From Zero to Hero.

She is also dedicated towards CSR efforts as evidenced by her provision of cleaning products to those affected by the east coast floods in 2014. She also initiated the Donate a Bag of Rice Programme, which encouraged the company’s corporate donors and friends to donate bags of rice that were channelled to various charitable homes. Since 2012, Ken Rich has also been funding daily breakfasts for 20 children in collaboration with the Kiwanis Club. Under her leadership, Ken Rich has set up and employment policy, which provides jobs for the disabled and provided scholarships to deserving students.

Dato’ Hooi Lai Lin holds an MBA from Southern Cross University Australia.

Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan

Dato Beh

Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan is the founder and Chairman of the BP Healthcare Group, an integrated healthcare provider in Malaysia, which he has grown over a 35-year period. The BP Healthcare Group consists of specialist clinics, laboratories, pharmacies and dental/hearing centres, among others.

The integrated healthcare provider in Malaysia, which he has grown over a 35-year period. The BP Healthcare Group consists of specialist clinics, laboratories, pharmacies and dental/hearing centres, among others.

Under his leadership the healthcare group runs free dental examinations, hearing checks, free bone density assessments in addition to sponsoring charitable events and causes. In the sports arena, Dato’ Beh is an avid polo player in the BP Polo Team based in Perak, having participated in numerous competitions in the UK, US, Spain, Brunei and Argentina. Some of these competitions included participation from notable polo players such as the Duke Cornwall and the Duke of Sussex.

Dato‘ Beh holds an MBA from the Golden Gate University, US, a postgraduate diploma in Medical Microbiology from the Institute of Medical Research, Malaysia and a bachelor’s degree in Science from University of Santo Tomas, Philippines.

Lord Dearing Award and Vice Chancellors Medal

The Lord Dearing Award recognises the outstanding achievements of University of Nottingham staff in enhancing the student learning experience. The recipients at this Summer Graduation Dr Risky Harisa Haslan, Gerard Aloysius Francis, Dr Siew Chen (Mandy) Sim, Professor Kang Nee Ting and team award were awarded to University of Nottingham Malaysia team; Virtual Reality (VR) for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Engineering Education Team; Professor Andy Chan, Dr Sien Ti Kok, Dr Jing-Ying Wong and Dr Su Ting Yong.

The Vice Chancellors Medal is given in recognition of exceptional achievements by staff or students of the University. The criteria for the award includes exceptional achievement in any arena; notable endeavour which has made a difference to the University; a substantive contribution, which has enhanced the reputation of The University of Nottingham, and activity, which has had a noticeably positive impact on students, staff or the local community. The recipients at this Summer Graduation are students from TESOL, Janani Nivedita Ramakrishnan Sivakumar; International Communication Studies with English Language and Literature, Piya Raj Sukhani; International Business Management. Afreen Fatima Parwaiz Ahmad; International Relations, Lhavanya Dharmalingam and Michaelle Phoenix Wae Foong Yeo. Mechanical Engineering student Yu Jun Lim and Nutrition student Tormalli VIgilia Francis, who was also the Student Association President as selected by her peers.

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation ceremony also witnessed close to 900 students graduating from the University of Nottingham Summer Graduation, which took place from21 to 23 July at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. Class of 2018 comprises graduands from undergraduate and postgraduate courses from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science.

According to University of Nottingham Malaysia Provost and CEO Professor Graham Kendall: Graduation is a milestone in a person’s life. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by those who are graduating and an opportunity to reward their achievement.


More information is available from Patrick Joseph, Director of Academic Services or Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager at University of Nottingham Malaysia on +6 (03) 8924 8746.  

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news....

Posted on 26th July 2018

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