10 excellent UTB staff honoured

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds


UNIVERSITI Teknologi Brunei (UTB) yesterday handed Excellence Awards to 10 outstanding personnel for their contribution to the university’s strategic goals.

Each recipient received a plaque, certificate of recognition and a cash prize of $1,000.

Present to hand over the awards was Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman.

The university introduced the staff Excellence Awards last year.

This year, the university’s vice-chancellor announced the addition of the ‘Special Mention’ category under Teaching, Research and Administration Excellence.

This new category looks to give recognition to recipients who have been shortlisted in the finals for the Excellence Awards. The university received 58 nominations of staff to be shortlisted in the finals.

Selection criteria for excellent academics is not solely based on students’ feedback and peer review but also on their contribution to innovative teaching, including making effective and efficient use of resources.

Speaking to The Brunei Times after the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman said the awards were part of the varsity’s rewards mechanism for their staff to continue to excel.

“When you give people incentive, people will strive to work harder. It is important for both academic and non-academic staff to be recognised for their hard work. We are here as a university to support them. We try our best to provide a conducive environment for the staff to excel and develop their careers,” she said.

The vice-chancellor said staff must also consider UTB as a place to grow and develop their potential rather than just a place to work in.

Teaching Excellence award recipient Associate Professor Dr David Geraint Hassell said self-reflection on his teaching methods and students’ response were important to help him adapt and evolve.

The associate professor of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering said the university’s reputation and standards can continue to be elevated by uplifting the quality of the students.

He expressed hopes that a one-day workshop can be organised where staff who have various feedback from students can share their experiences and techniques.

“This is for those who wish to elevate their performance and hopefully through that, best practices will be filtered through to all the lecturers. If we improve the quality of the teaching, we will improve the quality of the students,” he said.

Another Teaching Excellence award recipient, Dr Ulaganathan Subramanian, said instilling practical exposure to all students is vital.

The principal lecturer at UTB’s School of Business said what his faculty does is teach what is practiced in the real world, not only in Brunei but also in other countries.

In moving forward, Dr Subramanian said his faculty plans to obtain accreditation from international bodies.

“We are in the process of doing this, and (we) want our faculty to be internationally recognised in a timely manner,” he said.

The ceremony held at UTB’s Multipurpose Hall was followed by a Hari Raya celebration, with the minister visiting the Hari Raya ‘open booths’, set up by the university’s various programmes and sections.

The Brunei Times