Royal call for more innovative courses
By Sonia K.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in his capacity as the Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam, yesterday advised UBD to offer more innovative programmes that are broad-based and will cover more disciplines.

During the 20th Convocation Ceremony for UBD, the Chancellor in his titah also urged the university to make the existing research and analysis field more focused so that the results will be able to contribute to solving issues that are important to the nation.

UBD achieved its highest record of graduates this year with a total of 1,023. Also graduating yesterday was His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik who completed a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies with an Upper Second Class Honours.

Also present at the convocation were 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 UBD, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bulqiah, Her Royal Highness Princess 'Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bulqiah.

His Majesty said that the higher education landscape in the country has gone through various developments and changes, in particular the availability of three universities and a college university.

The people and residents of Brunei now have more opportunities to gain knowledge at a higher level and this step, which is in line with the Brunei Vision 2035, has made quality as its main focus, the UBD Chancellor said.

The Sultan added that as a premier education centre, UBD has to uphold its pioneering role among other local higher education institutions by displaying its higher competitive ability.

On this issue, His Majesty is very excited to see UBD taking the appropriate steps towards strengthening its capabilities, so that it can move forward in line with its strategic plans.

"A lot of efforts could be implemented to achieve this," said His Majesty and added "this includes conforming UBD's organisational structure to be more stable according to its needs.

"The close cooperation with government mechanisms as well as the private sector should not only be continued but should also be expanded," the monarch added.

The ruler is happy to note that the expertise found in UBD has been utilised by the relevant authorities and this covers research and analysis outcomes in biodiversity, food security and energy.

With that in mind, the Chancellor hoped that such activities could be expanded.

His Majesty acknowledged that the true strength of UBD also lies in its officers and academicians' empowerment and calibre.

"So it is only appropriate that UBD ensures that they are truly qualified and prominent in their respective fields," His Majesty added.

UBD must think of procedures or prepare suitable packages that can be made as motivators or attractions so that experts or academicians will truly want to be part of it.

His Majesty is confident that with good publications and international standards, as well as with prominent experts in academicians, UBD's image will be brighter and more convincing to international parties as a first choice university.

His Majesty also reminded that the government is ever committed to improving the country's educational facilities, which include doubling of efforts in increasing learning, teaching, research and recreational environment to a more conducive level in line with UBD's own educational development. - Borneo Bulletin (31st Oct 2008)