Crown Prince officiates UBD's Pesta Konvo
Azaraimy HH

His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, and Pro-Chancellor Universiti Brunei Darussalam officially opened the Convocation Festival yesterday in conjunction with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) 24th Convocation.

Commonly referred to as Pesta Konvo, the event is held until October 28.

This year's Pesta Konvo carries the theme 'Ke Arah Kesempurnaan Insan' (Towards Human Perfection).

The official opening event was held at the theatre hall with the attendance of several foreign dignitaries as well as senior government officials.

Touching on the theme, UBD's Vice-Chancellor, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain bin Hj Hanafi said UBD has implemented a number of initiatives to fulfil the aspiration towards developing an all-rounder, including in relation to professional achievements.

He said UBD will always strive towards producing marketable graduates with high quality and potential- graduates that are creative, innovative and critical, capable of solving problems, possess rational and elite mentality.

Meanwhile, the Core Residential College, more commonly known by its residents as 'The Core', is run by the varsity's corporate arm UBD Corporation Sdn Bhd (UBD Corp).

The corporation was established in April 2011 as UBD's initiative towards promoting commercialisation and instilling entrepreneurial values. Consequently, the establishment is aligned with the university's effort to provide cost effective aides in government expenditure.

According to Rahimi Perdi, the General Manager, UBD Corp was mandated to manage the university's property with an aim for sustainable competitive advantage. Having said this, revenues generated from its hospitality business will propel the operational cost, such as property maintenance, housekeeping and other utilities existing within the establishment itself.

Furthermore, The Core aims to enrich the student experience in the hope that it becomes a venue for students to develop and showcase their creativity through educational activities. For instance, housed at The Core is UBD FM, the online radio station, which is solely run by students as an incubation initiative under UBD's Educational Technology Centre.

The Core also provides the opportunity for students to gain experience in the hospitality industry through its student part-time employee programme.

He added that staying at The Core will provide exposure to real life experiences after university. "The moment they (the students) leave university, there will be no surprises for them in terms of paying (housing) rent as well as other living expenses," said Rahimi, adding that nowadays, standard housing rentals are between $400 and $600 per month.

Rahimi also stated that residing at The Core is a 'unique experience' where students are encouraged to live life independently and gain insight from students who come from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

The Core currently provides accommodation to more than 120 international students coming from countries all over the world such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Uzbekistan, the USA, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

The distinctiveness of The Core accommodation is the multi-cultural experience found in its residents of many different ethnicities confined within the vicinity of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

After the launching of Pesta Konvo, the Crown Prince was led by the Permanent Secretary of Higher Education and UBD's Vice-Chancellor, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi on a tour of the student's Arts Installation Exhibition.

The exhibition is open for public viewing until September 19 from 8am to 8pm daily.

The contemporary artwork designed by UBD students includes a gigantic six-metre wide domed infrastructure located in the Courtyard of The Core Residential College. The tour concluded with the Crown Prince, together with foreign dignitaries and other senior government officials, visiting one of the student apartments located in one of the tower blocks which comprises five single bedrooms, a kitchenette and living area. The four high-rise towers consist of two male and two female towers, and can accommodate up to 440 residents.

This theme emphasises on UBD's roles and responsibilities to produce graduates that are holistic and competitively marketable, through initiatives namely: Excellence in the Professional Arena (high level of commitment), Excellence in Education (guiding students to excel in academia) and Holistic Excellence (sense of patriotism, awareness of current issues, and the understanding and practice of MIB).

A number of exciting activities have been lined-up for the Pesta Konvo 2012 such as Khatam Al-Quran and thanksgiving ceremony; Ulum Ad-Din Competition; Inter-Faculty Hafazan Yaassin and its translation; Inter-Faculty Basketball Tournament; Islamic Poetry Competition; RESCO's Mini Futsal tournament; UBD FM Local Flavours; UBD FM International Flavours and Explore UBD Camp. Activities are open to the public to strengthen the bond between the university and the community.

The finale of the Pesta Konvo will be the 2nd UBD Convo Run, a fundraising event, to be held on October 28. It is open to the public and will be divided into several categories - the 10km Open Category, the 10km Veteran Category (above 45 years of age), the 5km Category and the 'Fun-Run' Category and a short 2km route showcasing UBD's infrastructure within campus. - Borneo Bulletin (5 September 2012)