Her Royal Highness, Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, the Queen (Permaisuri) of Johor, was conferred with an honorary degree from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus during a graduation ceremony on Saturday 22 July 2017.
The award was presented by Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, at the first of 10 graduation ceremonies for students from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering and Science.
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus CEO and Provost Professor Graham Kendall said how proud the University was to present the honorary degree to HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah.
He added: “Her contribution to society and education is immense and today we want to recognise her contribution in advocating related causes for the betterment of society.”
HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah is currently the Chancellor of the University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM). She is also the Royal Fellow at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia/UKM); and Royal Patron of the Malaysian English Language Teachers Association (MELTA).
HRH has delivered keynote addresses at academic international conferences including those organised by the Malaysian Association of Modern Languages in April 2002, the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia School of Languages and Linguistic Studies (SoLLS) in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, and at The Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE) Forum, in 2010 and 2013. At the PCORE 2013 Forum, HRH spoke on ‘Unity and Multiculturalism: Building a Future Together.’
HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah is a prolific writer and wrote two newspaper columns between 2000 and 2012; ‘On Common Ground’ in the New Straits Times and ‘Mind Matters’ in The Star. A book compiling 80 of her selected articles was launched in October 2013 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muádzam Shah. She also authored four children’s books in 1995.
HRH’s education includes Davies’ College in London in 1977 where she sat for the Oxbridge Entrance Examination. In 1978, she was offered a place at Somerville College at the University of Oxford. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies in 1983.
She inherited a love for painting from her father, and has taken part in a number of art exhibitions.
Tuanku Raja Zarith Sofiah married HRH the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar in 1982, who was, at that time, the Tunku Mahkota Johor. The royal couple have six children — five princes and a princess. HRH was given the title of Permaisuri of Johor at the Royal Coronation of both the Sultan and herself in March 2015.
As the consort of HRH the Sultan of Johor, she works with many charitable organisations and NGOs. She is the Royal Advisor of the Malaysian Red Crescent, Royal Patron of the Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor Foundation, Chairman of the Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation, Royal Patron of the Johor Cerebral Palsy Association, Royal Patron of the Malaysian English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) and Royal Patron of the Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE). HRH is also Patron of the Paediatric Palliative Care Programme, Malaysia, Patron of the Johor Girl Guides and Patron of the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM) Johor.
In May this year, HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah launched the ‘TinDak’ campaign by the Johor Women’s League (JEWEL) — a campaign focusing on protecting children from sexual abuse.
In his oration, Professor Kendall said:
“It is a great honour to welcome Her Royal Highness to our family — the University of Nottingham. We hope that you can draw on our resources and expertise as you continue the important, far reaching work, for which you are known.”
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