viva onlineUUM ONLINE: It has become apparent that Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) is indeed ready to conduct teaching and learning (PdP) activities online or virtually when an oral examination or Viva Voce involving a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate from the Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government (GSGSG) was successfully implemented through the Webex application on 5 April.

Mr. Mahdi Ameen Abdullah, a student under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aminurraasyid Yatiban conducted his Viva presentation from Irbil, Kurdistan.  The Viva session was examined and evaluated by Prof. Dr. Kamaruzzaman Yusoff of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) as the external examiner and Dr. Norafidah Ismail from the School of International Studies (SoIS) who witnessed the presentation from Jitra as the internal examiner.

The first of its kind Viva session held online was the result of the Movement Control MCO) implemented nationwide.  The GSGSG has taken the initiative to continue the Viva sessions scheduled for its PhD and Master candidates by selecting the Webex application to become the platform for its candidates’ virtual Viva presentation and assessment.

The two-hour Viva session which began at 11am ended with the announcement that the candidate was successful and what became more interesting was the fact that the virtual Viva session gained widespread coverage from both the print and electronic media in Iraq namely TV Rudaw and TV Kurdistan.

In an interview with Mr. Mahdi Ameen, he said that after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out worldwide including in Malaysia, UUM decided to handle all matters involving postgraduate students including oral examinations (Viva) for PhD and Masters through online.

According to him,  he was unable to return to Malaysia for the Viva, his thesis on US foreign policy against Kurds in Iraq after the emergence of ISIS in 2014-2018 had to be conducted through Webex from his home in the city of Soran.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato' Dr. Ahmad Bashawir Abdul Ghani said the success of conducting a Viva session virtually was indeed very exciting for UUM as it moved towards becoming a leader in quality and compelling virtual learning approach.

He said this indirectly showed that Malaysia especially UUM was moving towards the right direction of becoming a digital campus in the near future.