UBD aims to become varsity of first choice
By Sonia K.

His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Pro-Chancellor of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) launched the 20th UBD Convocation Festival yesterday.

The launching, held at the Chancellor's Hall, kicked off a month-long of festivities, which will include the 20th Convocation of UBD graduates on October 30.

In his opening remarks, Vice Chancellor of UBD Dr Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, said this year's convocation is the most significant for UBD. Carrying the theme "Celebrating the past, anticipating the future", this year's convocation will be different from previous years.

In line with the theme and UBD's rebranding efforts to become a university of first choice, a significant section of the festival will involve activities outside the campus and outreach programmes.

This is to provide opportunities for members of the public, private sector and stakeholders to provide feedback and at the same time strengthen relationships to ensure that the development of UBD is always relevant, he added.

Dr Haji Zulkarnain said hopefully these various efforts would give meaning and show members of the public how UBD grew since 23 years ago. He also hopes that the convocation festival will show how the university needs the support and cooperation from the public and private sectors, industries and related agencies for continuous success.

UBD's role in the development of socio-economy of the country and in this region, its contribution among competitors in the international level, its efforts towards successful research, financial stability and opportunities that are ready for graduates strongly depends on the strength of relations with the commercial world.

This cooperation will produce strong relations that will benefit the two agencies and hopefully will play a big role in the development and success of the country, the vice chancellor added.

The university will continue to cooperate with relevant authorities in ensuring that it will always be thoughtful and responsive towards development and the job market needs as well as efforts to prepare quality graduates with high potential for jobs that are available in the market, Dr Zulkarnain added.

The exhibition includes expositions, career exhibitions from companies such as Total E&P, BIBD and BAG Network. It also showcases major sponsors including Royal Brunei Technical Services (RBTS), AIA, Baiduri Bank and BRIDEX. During the three days, UBD will also have booths from Academy of Brunei Studies, Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre and the Language Centre and UBD Student Clubs Demonstration.

The last 19 years, the convocation festival has always been aimed at instilling the spirit of cooperation, dedication and commitment among UBD students in conducting activities within the timeframe of one week. This year, being the 20th year, UBD's main objective is to celebrate its achievements in the past, the present and hopefully the future.

According to the university, to celebrate the future, UBD is currently re-establishing its image by allowing this festival to be a platform for marketing and branding of UBD and most importantly establish partnership with the market in trying to ensure the relevance of the university.

The festival has always been held at the Chancellor's Hall but to be in line with its objective, they have other major events such as the beach carnival expected to be held on November 9 at Pantai Muara and a Public Outreach Programme on November 11 and 12 at The Mall, Gadong where UBD will be brought to the public showcasing the talents of its students and other activities.

UBD's staff and students will actively work closely together in terms of fund raising activities, sports competition, student leadership forums, executive development programmes, Islamic parenting workshops, cartoon drawing and photography competitions. - Borneo Bulletin (17th Oct 2008)