Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE) was proud to honour 587 students, receiving 13 Masters, 475 Honours Degree and 99 Degree awards at the college’s 22nd Graduation and Awards Ceremony on 14th November 2016. The ceremony, which was presided over by His Excellency Engineer Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, was held for the first time at CCE’s Al Hail Campus. The lawns outside the new Centre for Research and Innovation, inaugurated by Her Excellency Dr Rawya earlier this year as part of the college’s 20th anniversary celebrations, gave a fitting venue for the grand event. Over 2,500 guests basked in the light of a so-called “super-moon” (a phenomenon that occurs only every 70 years or so), adding to the magic of the occasion. HE Salim Al Aufi gave a rousing speech about employment and the responsibilities of graduates in the workplace and showed appreciation of the college and its affiliates in preparing students well for the world of industry ahead. CCE is affiliated with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in the UK and has an academic collaboration with VIT University in India. Through these two partnerships, the college offers four-year degree and honours degree programmes approved by the Ministry of Higher Education.
The degree awards were conferred on behalf of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) by Professor James Miller, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of GCU and Dr G Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University, conferred the awards on behalf of VIT University. Prof Miller spoke of the affiliation agreement between GCU and CCE, stating that “Caledonian College of Engineering is a truly exceptional example of a successful international collaboration. Our longstanding partnership demonstrates how our nations and our academics, across cultures and heritages, can work well together to deliver a first class educational experience that will enrich the lives of our students.” Similarly, the Chancellor of VIT Univ, who was among many high dignitaries, parents and well-wishers who came to support CCE and to recognise the achievements of this year’s college graduates, spoke of the strength that such partnerships bring to the academic experience and wished the college well for the future.
Special awards for high achievement were also presented during the evening. These were bestowed on Ms Fathimath Zuha Maksood, Computer Engineering who received the Caledonian Gold Medal for Academic Excellence; Mr Muadh Humaid Salim Al Subhi and Ms Afrah Mohammed Marhoon Al Maamari received the Late Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Fannah Al Araimi Citizenship Awards for outstanding contribution to the college and to the student community, and the Caledonian Meritorious Award Postgraduate for the year 2015-2016 was presented to Mr Ahmed bin Harib bin Hamed Al Bulushi, MSc Process Engineering.
A Caledonian degree is distinguished by the high importance given to the industrial and commercial relevance of the programmes, monitored through interaction between the college and industries. In addition to work place internship, CCE also emphasises soft skill training in all programmes, something described by the Dean, Dr Ahmed Al-Bulushi, as a unique aspect of a Caledonian degree: “Students need to have the basic subject knowledge and deep expertise in their specialisation; however, we believe they also need development as individuals so that they can work effectively and operate in teams, across disciplines.” To this end, professional development has been embedded into all engineering programmes at Caledonian since 2004. Indeed, through the establishment of a dedicated department that specifically develops the soft skills needed for students to succeed in the workplace, Caledonian is a sector leader in this respect. With innovation as part of its mission statement, the college won recognition at the Riyada awards this year for its achievement in promoting entrepreneurship. With strategic direction given from among the college’s Board of Directors, entrepreneurship has been embedded in the engineering curriculum and an incubation unit set up to support the commercialisation of innovative student projects. A book entitled Practical Guide to Inspire Entrepreneurs, written by P Mohamed Ali, one of the college founders, was launched during the Graduation and Awards Ceremony demonstrating the college’s commitment to supporting national priorities in human resource development.
Dr Ahmed, Dean of CCE, gave the closing address on the college’s largest ever awards ceremony, urging students to focus on four key areas of future development: becoming good citizens, realising their roles as change agents, being committed to lifelong learning, and espousing the value of social tolerance. In thanking the affiliates for their role in the graduates’ success, Dr Ahmed stated “It’s very important we appreciate the partnerships and collaborations between cultures to create synergies and opportunities. I believe CCE has set a good model in this aspect and I am sure its graduates will continue to carry this sense of cross cultural collaboration in their respective businesses.” The event concluded at 9:30pm with the filing out of the academic procession behind the bagpiper and ceremonial mace – both tokens of the cross-cultural partnership to which the Dean referred.
Photograph taken by CCE Photo Club..