By Syafiq Affendy
A total of 452 graduates of the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) were lucky enough yesterday to receive their certificates from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor of KUPU SB during the inception of the college's first-ever convocation ceremony, held at the International Convention Centre, Berakas.
The ceremony saw His Majesty's receiving the Honorary Doctor of Letters (Islamic Education) from the Ra'es of KUPU SB, Dr Hajah Masnon binti Haji Ibrahim, who prior to the handing over said, "His Majesty's role of leadership and governance in carrying out the execution of the laws and teachings of the religion of Islam, emphasising the mastery of Islamic education and maintaining the life experiences as a Muslim for the country's prosperity through education; it is appropriate for the College University as a higher education institution in Islamic studies presents the highest honour to His Majesty."
His Majesty then consented to deliver the titah and then followed by the conferment of Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates to the recipients in the following fields and levels: Bachelor of Religious Education (Usuluddin) Session 2007-2011; Bachelor of Religious Education (Syariah) Session 2007-2011; Postgraduates Diploma of Religious Education Session 2007/2008; Postgraduates Diploma of Religious Education Session 2008/2009; Postgraduates Diploma of Religious Education Session 2009/2010; Postgraduates Diploma of Religious Education Session 2010/2011; Higher National Diploma of Religious Education (Usuluddin Session 2007-2010; Higher National Diploma of Religious Education (Usuluddin) Session 2008-2011; Higher National Diploma (Syariah) Session 2007-2010; Higher National Diploma of Religious Education (Syariah) Session 2008-2011; Diploma of Religious Education (Usuluddin) Session 2007-2009; Diploma of Religious Education (Usuluddin) Session 2008-2010; Diploma of Religious Education (Usuluddin) Session 2009-2011; Diploma of Religious Education (Syariah) Session 2007-2009; Diploma of Religious Education (Syariah) Session 2008-2010; Diploma of Religious Education (Syariah) Session 2009-2011 and Special Certificate of Teaching Session 2010-2011.
The Ra'es of KUPU SB, Dr Hajah Masnon spoke to the Bulletin elaborating on their plans to upgrade the status of the college university into a full-fledged university within the five-year strategic plan.
"Now the college university is currently in its five-year strategic plan which commenced last year. Among the plans includes upgrading our status into a full-fledged university alongside other universities in the country, despite KUPU SB already offering degree programmes which are on par with other universities, as well as to upgrade our status into a university," she said.
At the same time, the college university is also looking into increasing the quality of the available programmes such as offering the current degree programmes, as well as new doctorate programmes which are in the pipeline, Dr Hajah Masnon said.
The Ra'es added, "Other than that, upgrading of the teaching staff is also being done up until the acquirement of doctorate lecturers where currently more than 10 lecturers have undergone the doctorate programmes which is hoped to be able to lift the college university up to the university level in due time."
KUPU SB's plan to gain international recognition was also mentioned, as the college university has signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with universities from the region such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
"Even though we are doing this one university per year at least, we have reached six MoUs and we have already planned to stretch our cooperation with universities outside the region," said Dr Hajah Masnon.
Towards upgrading the college university, Dr Hajah Masnon also mentioned about the addition of new programmes commencing early next year, as well as the upgrade of several programmes.
"Several new programmes will be offered starting early next year. Four diploma programmes of religious education will be offered, which will see more changes with the decrease in programme duration from two years to one year offered to religious teachers with aims to increase their knowledge and skills in learning and teaching, in line with the role of KUPU SB to provide and upgrade the teaching quality for the participants. Third and fourth year students who are doing their teaching practice will have a chance to experience teaching in a different environment with the exchange programme," explained the Ra'es.
- Borneo Bulletin
(19th Octopber 2011)