By Azrol Azmi & Lyna Mohamad
Their Royal Highnesses Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall who were on a two-day official visit to the Sultanate visited Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday and consented to grace the Graduation ceremony of 26 Bruneian students who graduated from UWIC last year.
Upon arrival at the UBD Chancellor Hall, Their Royal Highnesses accompanied by the British High Commissioner to the country, Mr John Saville and Brunei Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi Hj Osman were greeted by the Minister of Education Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman Dato Setia Hj Mohamed Taib, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education Awg Hj Md Daud Hj Mahmud, and UBD Vice Chancellor Dr Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi, as well as senior members of the university community.
There was a cultural welcome for the royal guests at the Chancellor Hall where Their Royal Highnesses received in audience invited UBD students and Degree Ceremony participants of the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC).
From the lobby, Their Royal Highnesses then proceeded to the VIP Room 2 for a discussion session with selected students. They then continued to the Senate Room to witness the Prince's School of Traditional Arts Workshop demonstration by participants of the recently concluded workshop.
Following the demonstration, Their Royal Highnesses were then ushered to the Chancellor Hall for the UWIC Award Ceremony for the university's 2007 successful Bruneian students who had studied at UWIC.
The ceremony was an addition to the annual UWIC Degree ceremony held each summer in Cardiff. Their Royal Highnesses were invited by the Vice Chancellor of UWIC Professor Anthony Chapman on stage to meet some UWIC alumni.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales who is also the Chancellor of the University of Wales gave an opening speech.
Yesterday's ceremony saw 26 Bruneian students receiving their awards across a range of subjects including environmental health, sport and biomedical sciences.
Dean of International Students at UWIC and also Chair of the British Universities Brunei Association, John Phillips, said the university values its relationship with the Sultanate and is proud of the students' success and is honoured by the attendance of HRH the Prince of Wales.
UWIC is a confederate university founded in 1893 and has nine accredited institutions throughout Wales.
UWIC holds graduation ceremony in Brunei every two years and currently has over 70 Bruneian students enrolled in 24 different courses and it sends representatives to Brunei thrice a year.
The university also enjoys strong relationships with the Education and Health ministries here, as it is the only British university that has an award ceremony in Brunei and its own alumni association in the country.
Bruneian students have been very successful at UWIC, benefiting from the excellent school education system that is compatible with that of the UK and they also receive strong support from the government of Brunei.
Settling into life in Cardiff, the Bruneian students are also committed to their studies and there is a vibrant Brunei Students Association that organises important events such as the National Day celebrations.
- Borneo Bulletin
(2nd Nov 2008)