By Kritagya Regmi and Puja Bhetwal
The 138th graduating class of the Asian Institute of Technology held their commencement ceremony on 16 December 2022. A total of 19 Doctoral and 169 Master’s Degree students graduated at the ceremony, which was also broadcasted live.
Emphasizing the effects of current geopolitical stress and conflicts on both the economy and the lives of people, AIT President Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto stressed that mutual respect and understanding are essential. He said, “The experiences and exposure AIT graduates received in the multiethnic and diverse setting have helped cultivate their positive attitude.”
He added, “AIT has a slogan of Unity in Diversity. The theme of the Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation (APEC) for 2022 hosted by Thailand this year is ‘Open – Connect – Balance’. I believe this also resonates with today’s ceremony and your aspirations. I encourage you to remain OPEN to all opportunities, CONNECT in all dimensions, and maintain a good BALANCE in all aspects, both in your personal and professional lives.”
Talking about tackling Climate Change together with achieving the SDGs, he said, “Achieving the goal requires taking action on the ground. There are plenty of challenges and it provides an opportunity for you to find solutions to the problems through technological innovation, inclusive coordination, game-changing leadership, and so on. Your contribution to society will be visibly appreciated. You are a fortunate generation.”
UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand, Mr. Renaud Meyer congratulated the graduates and remarked that they are now ready to tackle and find solutions to problems of ever-increasing complexity. He underlined the three important C’s of the problem: COVID, conflict, and climate change, and urged the graduates to contribute to addressing these issues through the career that they have chosen.
He further emphasized individual responsibility and said, “If we want to get out of those three C’s, we’re going to need graduates to behave in a way that is in accordance with the fundamental principles of dignity, rights, empathy, and by finding the right balance between people and the planet. ”
He added, “All the graduates should be proud of what you have achieved today and leverage it. You should look at your degree and think this is an obligation, not only for success as an individual but for your contribution to a successful society.”
AIT alum Mr. Bhargab Mohan Das, Co-Founder/CEO-CNES Group and Founder-DASS Energy shared his journey in AIT. “AIT is not just a place for a degree. The whole virtue of AIT, like unity in diversity, speaks for the entire aspect that is very much paramount to the growth of an individual for the future.”
He shared that the first thing he learned at AIT was how to define his life goals for the benefit of his own personal future and, at the same time, to contribute to the betterment of society. He further highlighted the importance of learning from your failures. He underlined the importance of striking a healthy balance between one’s personal and professional lives while still positively contributing to society.
On behalf of all the graduates, Dr. Remi Chakma from the School of Environment, Resources and Development(SERD), delivered the graduation speech. “AIT graduates have endeavors with invaluable life lessons from AIT. AIT taught us self-awareness and confidence, adaptability, working and delivering the best under pressure and tight deadlines, and most importantly, accepting our failures and having the courage to keep trying,” she said.
She further added, “Apart from academic learning and activities, we learned to live peacefully in a multicultural and diverse environment with individuals from all around the world. This is a bond, a true relationship, an extended family that we shall cherish throughout our entire life”.
She stressed that the graduates have been entrusted with the responsibility to successfully implement their learnings, knowledge, and skills in their respective fields of work and contribute effectively to the development and well-being of their societies, countries, and the world as a whole. “With the honor and bond of becoming AIT alumni, let us strive together to become better human beings and make this world a better place to live in,” she added.
The ceremony was also attended by H.E. Mr. Ganesh Prasad Dhakal, Ambassador, Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; H.E. Mrs. Colonne Appuhamillage Chaminda Inoka Colonne, Ambassador, Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; H.E. Mr. Sahebzada Ahmed Khan, Ambassador, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Ms. Sin Sopheap, First Secretary, Royal Embassy of Cambodia and Mrs. A.W.S. Samanmali, First Secretary/ Head of Chancery, Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Similarly, Ms. Vo Ngoc Diep, Third Secretary and Ms. Tran Mai Phuong, Attaché, Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; Mr. Benoit TALLEU, Deputy-attaché for Scientific and Higher Education Cooperation, Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Department, French Embassy; Mr. Taweechai Termkunanon, President, AIT Alumni Association (AITAA); Dr. Nawa Raj Khatiwada, President and Program Co-ordinator, Nepal Development Research Institute (NDRI); Dr. Yoshio Otani, Director, JSPS Bangkok Office, Lecturer Siratach Sirichumsang, Assistant President for Ceremonial and Special Affairs, Chulalongkorn University were also present at the ceremony.
Masters of Business Administration (MBA), School of Management (SOM)
At the graduation, I reconnected with my friends and classmates with whom I had lost touch. We all went through similar pathways as we did the same assignments and studied the same courses, so we were all aware of how challenging the past two years had been. Therefore, joining them in this celebration was more special. As I reflect on the last two years, I see that the AIT scholarship, the School of Management’s guidance and support, professors’ teachings, and my diverse and supportive group of classmates all played a part in making this day a reality for me.
My positive deeds are truly due to AIT and my family back home. I now understand the responsibility of being an AIT alumnus, and I’ll do my best to uphold it in the coming years.
Masters in Marine Plastics Abatement, School of Environment Resources and Development (SERD)
As a graduate student at AIT, I feel qualified to attest to the institution’s warm and inviting environment for students from all over the world. I expanded my knowledge of world cultures because of the cultural diversity that I discovered at AIT. The time I spent studying at AIT was among the most valuable experiences of my life. AIT had been a wonderful place to spend time while I was there for my studies, fieldwork, and my research.
Adithya Ganapathi Valivety
Masters in Remote Sensing and GIS, School of Engineering and Technology (SET)
I can say that AIT is the best thing that happened to me. I learned the standards of professionalism in an international way. AIT also inculcated liberty and freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of individuality, and freedom in the form of opinion. The standards of research and education were exceptional. I feel it has been very well designed to help Gen Z adapt to academics. I can confidently say that AIT will be the best thing to happen to anyone.