Record number of UBD graduates

National 3 minutes, 54 seconds


UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam has registered a record number of graduates in one academic year since it was established 31 years ago, with 1,477 graduates receiving their certificates at the 28th Convocation yesterday.

Graduates this year — the fourth batch of UBD’s GenNEXT programme — included 28 PhD graduates, which also surpassed last year’s record of 20.

There were 481 master’s degreeholders, 893 bachelor’s degree graduates, 62 diploma recipients and 13 advanced/graduate diploma recipients.

Among the graduating students were 109 international students.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of UBD, presented certificates to 921 PhD and bachelor’s degree graduates during the morning session of the convocation ceremony.

In his capacity as the UBD Pro-Chancellor, His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, presented certificates to 556 master’s degree and diploma graduates in the afternoon.

In her speech, UBD Vice-Chancellor Datin Dr Hjh Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abdul Aziz said this year’s convocation included UBD’s first cohort of Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Process Engineering graduates.

She said the programme — which had been carried out in collaboration between UBD, China’s Zhejiang University and Hengyi Industries — had seen students carrying out their studies and industrial placements over 18 months in China.

Alhamdulillah, all of the graduates have already received jobs from Hengyi Industries,” she said, adding that such tripartite collaboration between academia, industry and government agencies will be further developed.

Datin Dr Hjh Anita also said UBD earlier this year began offering a pharmacy programme under the Bachelor of Science course.

As part of its initiative to develop lifelong learning, UBD will begin offering a Bachelor of Science programme in Digital Business, beginning January 2017, she added.

On research, the UBD vice-chancellor said the university has carried out various multi-disciplinary research projects encompassing biology, phytochemicals and medicine for the growth of herbal plants and flora in Brunei.

These projects have allowed researchers to identify the biology activity of herbal plants and assess their benefits, and it is hoped they would result in the identification of herbal products that can be marketed both within and beyond the country, she said.

The said projects have also resulted in a number of publications and research papers, she added.

Datin Dr Hjh Anita went on to say that two former recipients of the Chancellor’s Scholar Awards have completed their PhDs and have started their service at UBD this year.

She said UBD has entered its first year of its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

“It is hoped that this Strategic Plan would lead to UBD becoming a university of international standing which is more innovative and entrepreneurial,” she said.

UBD was ranked the top university in Asia for student mobility in the Quacquarelli Symbols (QS) University Ranking for two consecutive years, holding first position for outbound students and third position for inbound students.

It was ranked 123rd top university in Asia overall this year.

Meanwhile, His Majesty also toured UBD’s 28th Convocation Exhibition, which showcased its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, and plans for the next four years to empower future leaders through innovative education and enterprising research.

Using augmented reality technology, the exhibition featured five exhibits on ongoing research projects that embrace UBD’s new innovative and progressive direction to meet the needs and demands of the local and global population.

The first exhibit displayed CAMES wind turbine technology, underscoring UBD’s desire to ensure innovation can be translated to enterprise and global humanitarian efforts.

The research is hoped to help Brunei achieve its environmental goal, which is to turn 10 per cent of its energy demand to renewable energy by 2035.

The second exhibit, which displayed health forest rehabilitation, peat swamp and herbal research projects, aimed to showcase the university’s collaborative research with multiple internationally recognised institutions on the rehabilitation and protection of peat swamps.

It aims to show how UBD mobilises its research centres for global impact, as well as to present the most updated herbal research to illustrate its medicinal properties.

In an interview, Masters by Research students Noor Fathin Maziyyah Idris and Wardah Hj Tuah — who presented the first and second exhibits — said they hoped their research projects would have an impact on the environmental future of Brunei.

“We think it’s important for us, as the youth of Brunei, to constantly search for and work on things which can be contributed or given back to our country, for all that it’s done for us,” they said, adding that it was important for Bruneian youth to aid in realising the country’s Vision 2035.

The Brunei Times