Alumni network motivates advanced learning

Second and Final Part

Staff Reporter

A senior member of the community says that maintaining contacts with educational institutions after graduation would be helpful in a number of ways, the most important of which is fostering a successful career.

Auckland based Thilliar Varnakulasingham has more than 80 qualifications (including Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees) earned from institutions in various parts of the world and as a true alumni, he has established a network of contacts.

Among them is Massey University, which nominated him to the Massey University Council election in 2002. While his candidacy helped him and others to add value to the institution, he remains an active part of the alumni community, more than 30 years after he completed his studies there.

Record breaker

He has been our Health Columnist for more than 12 years and as we mentioned in our profile in the previous issue (Indian Newslink, February 1, 2015), he has pursued education at various levels, acquiring qualifications and expertise in areas that have brought pride and joy not only to the members of his family but also the communities around him.

He has been an examination supervisor at the University of Auckland for more than 12 years. Last year, he completed a 100-day-100 hours online Mini MBA as well as the Mini Medical School course offered by the University of Colorado. This was in addition to completing 25 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) of the University.

He created history in 2014 by completing all 48 courses offered by Open2Study in four months. He has plenty of energy and time to undertake several more courses.

Mr Varnakulasingham is only 75 years of age.

Source of inspiration

He completed five courses conducted by BioPharma Institute, a New Jersey (USA) based world-class training organisation last year to keep pace with the latest trends in applied science.

Following the successful completion of Administration, Organisation, Economics and Management Graduate Diploma at Curtain University (obtained in 1987), he is now pursuing the core curriculum of a top-notch MBA programme in America.

Astronomy and Cosmology

Mr Varnakulasingham has not spared Astronomy and Cosmology either! He has a number of successful courses to his credit. These include ‘Astronomy: Discovering the Universe and Astronomy and Space’ aiming to join astronomical societies such as the ‘National Space Society of Australia’ and ‘Astronomy without Borders’ to gain an insight into these sciences.

He is the author of ‘The Science and Hindu Philosophy of Navagrahas,’ a book detailing the influence of the Nine Planets on earthlings.

Professional bodies

Mr Varnakulasingham has a long list of professional and specialist organisations, commencing with the Royal Society of Arts to which he was admitted as a Fellow in 1971. Since then, he has received membership to many others including the Society of Commercial Teachers, the Faculty of Teachers in Commerce, the British Society of Commerce, the Institute of Management Specialists and the Institute of Business Administration.  His professional status in the Managing and Marketing Sales Association stemmed from his qualifications in Sales Marketing, Export Marketing, Salesmanship, Shipping and Freight Forwarding.

He is a member of the Indian Medical Journalists’ Association and has been involved in Science and Medical Journalism for more than 40 years.

Inexhaustible Account

He wrote four quiz books in Science and received multicultural awards from ‘Indian Brisbane Times’ in 2006 and 2009.

He recently completed many courses, including Being Human: Anthropology; Sociology; Origins of Crime; Language and Culture; Digging up the Past; Digging Deeper and History of Anthropology.

He is an Associate Member of the Royal Archaeological Institute, London.

He was a professional coach of the International Coach Federation in 2012.

Earlier (in 1990), he received an award from Pope John Paul II for his contribution to Sport and Science at national and international levels.

Editor’s Note: The above is by no means an exhaustive account of the educational achievements of Mr Varnakulasingham. This exercise has certainly exhausted us (!) but we hope to include more of his qualifications as footnotes to his articles in our future issues.

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