Call to evolve with times
By Aziz Idris

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, hopes that Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) graduates will take advantage of the newly acquired knowledge to continue to achieve greater success in order to contribute positively to the nation's development.

His Royal Highness made the sabda during the 20th Convocation Ceremony of Institut Teknologi Brunei at Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel and Country Club yesterday.

The Crown Prince congratulated the 384 Higher National Diploma graduates of ITB, an achievement that according to His Royal Highness is centred on domestic workforce who is highly educated, skilled and consider themselves as risk takers for the sustainable development of the nation.

"Before, post ITB graduates were the choice of employers. In the future, we want to see the new generation of graduates willing to engage in entrepreneurship and take a role as an employer who is able to generate employment opportunity for other locals," said His Royal Highness.

His Royal Highness also mentioned the challenges that we are currently facing in this era of globalisation including the economic turmoil, demographic changes, urbanisation, climate change, food security as well as a lack of resources whereby the readiness of each country is vital.

In this context, His Royal Highness urged ITB graduates to be vigilant and constantly monitor the changes in the environment to remain relevant. Therefore, as a centre for higher education, ITB ought to pass on the truthful knowledge that would sustain the development of the nation.

His Royal Highness outlined the various dimensions and dynamics of ITB based on four main areas, the first being education. "ITB's role is to provide an avenue for students and to ensure the number of intakes each year increases in accordance with the demand from local industries.

"Secondly, they should also increase the involvement in research activities…not only in academic research but also focus on applied research that can be used in practice," he added.

For the third role, His Royal Highness suggested that ITB should provide services, in terms of providing knowledge and information by organising conferences, forums and seminars.

The final role His Royal Highness stressed on was to provide a conducive and comfortable study environment in order to make room for promoting a broader mindset among students and academic staff.

In conclusion, His Royal Highness recommended that ITB reformulate its vision and mission as a university that is both responsive and adaptive, and able to continue to contribute to the development of human capital resource, which is economically viable and competitive. - Borneo Bulletin (26th May 2011)