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Source: Massey University

Students graduating were congratulated by Massey staff in a video message played at the ceremony.

Nearly 50 students were welcomed to the Massey Alumni community in a video message at their graduation from an international collaboration in food technology education between Massey and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) recently.

The Class of 2020 is the second cohort to graduate from the honours degree programme in food technology at SIT’s Dover campus in Singapore. Almost half of the 48 students graduating should have spent 4 months studying at the Manawatū campus in 2020, but had to complete their project work in Singapore because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Cheryl Lee, who was awarded a Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours) with Highest Distinction, believes the knowledge and skills she has gained during the programme will help her contribute confidently to the industry.

“My three years as a Food Technology student with Massey University has been nothing short of amazing. It will always be a place that I associate with finding genuine lifelong friends. The curriculum of the Food Technology course is closely aligned and relevant with industry needs and it has definitely equipped me with skills and knowledge that are vital to succeed in the food industry.”

Massey staff joined in virtually to share in the celebrations and a video message congratulating the students was also played during the ceremony. In it, Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said there has never been a more important time to be working in the food and nutrition sector.

“The pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for food systems worldwide – but also enormous opportunities. We need to respond with creative, ground-breaking thinking and strategies to address the complex issues the pandemic has exposed.”

School of Food and Advanced Technology head Professor Julian Heyes says while it is disappointing the students were unable to complete their final placement in New Zealand, the current circumstances only make their achievement even more special and impressive. 

“The flexibility, resilience & determination they have shown in completing their studies during a challenging year of online learning will have a far reaching and positive impact. We are proud to partner with the Singapore Institute of Technology to help produce an extremely high calibre of students.  Sharing research knowledge with other countries is an important part of building a strong network of global expertise that has a positive impact on communities.”

Despite Massey staff being unable to attend graduation due to travel restrictions, the Massey Tewhatewha mace was on stage at the graduation. Its name was chosen to symbolise the strong relationship between the two campuses. The Tewhatewha remains in Singapore as a permanent reminder of that link.

The Class of 2020 is the second cohort to graduate from the honours degree programme in food technology at SIT’s Dover campus in Singapore.

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