AFTER years of hard work and sacrifice, 952 students were rewarded in their relevant academic fields at the 25th UBD Convocation, yesterday.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to attend and present the graduates with their certificates.
Accompanying His Majesty to the convocation was the Pro-Chancellor of UBD, His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Ministerís Office.
The royals were greeted on arrival by the Minister of Edu-cation, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education and Vice Chancellor of UBD, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain bin Hj Hanafi.
The convocation ceremony began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah followed by singing of the national anthem.
It was followed by the recitation of verses in the holy Al-Quran by a graduate from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies, Hj Awg Md Fikri Hj Awg Metussin and a welcoming note by the Vice Chancellor (VC).
The VC observed that one of the efforts to develop UBD in the international arena was to make UBD a university that stressed on research. This yearís convocation witnessed a rise in the numbers of graduates of 71 per cent compared with last year.
He further highlighted that the Graduate Research Scholarship which was introduced in 2010 has contributed to the rise on research at UBD, where to date, the scholarship has been awarded at PhD level to 92 students from Asean, North and South Asia, Africa, Europe and Central Asia including 15 from Brunei.
The scheme has directly upgraded the research quality, help raise the reputation of UBD in the international arena and contribute in the capacity building of the nationís human resources and to date, the scholarship has contributed towards the increasing number of UBD publications.
In responding to His Majestyís advice, UBD has taken up several initiatives where the university has upgraded research on social issues including projects on crime amongst youth, health, obesity and ageing issues.
In upholding His Majestyís titah to support the nationís aspiration to have Bahasa Melayu as the mother tongue and official language, UBD hosted an international seminar on Malay language in March this year where it was hoped to encourage a more in depth and wider research in the future.
The VC further noted that towards moving into a higher education institute of superiority and excellence, UBD stresses on the quality of its academics as the main factor. In order to achieve this aspiration, one of the initiatives is through the Eminent Visiting Professorship scheme, introduced in 2011.
This scheme has brought in 80 well-known professors who have given mentorship through joint research with existing academic staff, particularly the local ones.
Apart from that, the visiting professors have also contributed towards an increase in quantity and quality research through the Academic Staff Publication and programme development at UBD aside from broadening the international collaboration network with top universities in the world.
To instil an entrepreneurship attitude, UBD has also worked together with other agencies including BEDB and iCentre in establishing the Entrepreneurship@Campus, which functions as a platform to expand entrepreneurship capacity and capabilities among youth and students of higher learning institutions, nationwide.
Apart from the academic aspect, the university also hopes to shape every student holistically and stressed on the spiritual instillation of the students.
The VC also pointed out that UBD has introduced a compulsory module, which is the Islamic Civilisation and Modern World.
This year also marks a significant milestone for UBD as the university reaches its 25th Convocation and at the same time, it also marks the first awarding of GenNEXT Degree programmes introduced in 2009.
The success of the graduates can be measured by their hard work and commitment and is meaningful to their parents and guardians.
He called on the graduates to take this as their first step to offer a significant contribution to the nation and prioritising services for the nation and community.
He further advised them to face the dynamic and challenging global situation with a positive attitude and view and to take all challenges as a lesson to advance further.
This can be achieved with a strong foundation by always maintaining high spiritual values.
Another highlight at yesterdayís event was the recitation of Surah Insyirah by a young Year 5 student of the Sg Akar Arabic School, 10-year-old Ak Mohd ĎAshim ĎAfiif bin Pg Hj Md Zin.
- Borneo Bulletin
(13 September 2013)