3 January 2024

Swinburne Sarawak academics and staff recognised in 2023 Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Awards

KUCHING – A team of academics and professional staff have made Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus proud with their recent win at the annual Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Awards.

Recognised for their work in successfully launching the new Diploma of Digital Media Design (DDMD) course in 2023, the team won the inaugural Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Fail Forward Award. The Award was newly introduced in 2023, and it is presented to teams or individuals who have embraced calculated risks and learned from their previous failures to achieve new successes.

The winning team comprised faculty members from the Faculty of Business, Design and Arts (FBDA) and the Marketing and Student Recruitment (MSR) unit.

While this new course was successful, it was through lessons learned from the failure of another diploma course the Faculty launched a year earlier that informed them of a new approach.

When developing the new DDMD course, the Faculty incorporated new strategies which included increasing stakeholder engagement and collaborating with the MSR unit to conduct experiential design workshops. These workshops gave potential students the opportunity to experience design studies and nurture their interest in a potential design career. 

The course was so successful that enrolment numbers for its first intake exceeded the accumulated enrolments for all other new diploma courses launched in 2023.

FBDA Dean Professor Brian Wong credited the success to his team members and said that the willingness of the team to change and adapt, coupled with strategic work and a determination to make things happen was what made it possible.

FBDA Diploma Course Director Cynthia Aling was overjoyed to receive the award and said, “This award holds special significance for me not just as a symbol of personal achievement but as a testament to the collective effort and dedication of the team who have worked together in pursuit of a shared goal. It is not just a recognition of success; it is a celebration of resilience and perseverance.”

Professor Brian also highlighted the complexities and rewards of emerging through failure. “Learning from failure is not as easy as one might think, as it requires one to have the right mindset, acknowledge their weaknesses and eventually turn failure into success. The process itself is taxing and can be demotivating at times,” he said.

“But that is how we learn through life; therefore, this award is a great illustration of how success will eventually come by if we know how to dream big, go through hardship and become a stronger individual to achieve more,” he added.

In developing more diploma courses, the Faculty hopes to offer potential students whose academic qualifications are insufficient for enrolment into Foundation courses the opportunity to pursue further education.

Through these courses, Swinburne Sarawak aims to provide Sarawakian youth with diversified academic and career opportunities. This is also aligned with the state’s vision of developing a digital economy and increasing the number of tertiary-educated youths.

Speaking on the MSR unit’s involvement in supporting the Faculty’s Diploma initiative, Assistant Manager for Student Recruitment Faizin Zainudin said, “When we set out to achieve the agreed target number for diploma enrolment, it wasn’t just about meeting a numerical goal; it was about opening doors of opportunity for countless individuals.”

With such encouraging results the new Diploma has shown, Professor Brian shared that in the coming year, more effort would be dedicated into better understanding the market and working closely with the state government to better prepare talents required in nation building.

The annual Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Awards acknowledges Swinburne staff members across all their campuses who have demonstrated excellence in their contributions that exemplify and bring the university’s values to life. The 2023 Awards celebrated the university’s values through the theme “One Swinburne: Celebrating our Values in Action.”

Media Enquiries

Stefanie Ting
Assistant Manager, Engagement and Communication


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