1,033 graduates for UBD's 23rd year

Friday, September 30, 2011

A TOTAL of 1,033 graduates of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) received their degrees, diplomas and certificates during the varsity's 23rd convocation ceremony yesterday at the Chancellor Hall.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the University's Chancellor, personally awarded 801 graduates their doctorate, master's and bachelor's degrees for the morning session of the convocation.

For the afternoon session, Pro-Chancellor and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dr Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah presented the remaining 232 graduates their diplomas and certificates.

This year, four students obtained their PhD, 163 obtained their master's degree, 634 received their first degree and 232 were awarded their diplomas.

This year also saw more women graduates than men in all programmes except for doctorate courses where there were three men and one woman.

In total there were 728 women graduates and 305 men graduates. There were 121 women graduates for the master's degree where there were 42 men.

The bachelor's degree programmes saw 431 women graduate and only 203 men, and 175 women received diplomas while only 57 men did.

The Crown Prince's spouse, Her Royal Highness Princess Pengiran Anak Sarah Pg Hj Salleh Ab Rahman received a certificate for her master's degree in Public Policy.

Among the bachelor's degree holders is Pg Seti Aminah Pg Othman, who obtained first class honours in Primary Education.

The Chancellor Hall was filled with an energy of accomplishment, pride, relief and anxiety.

All the graduates were wearing smiles while shuffling in their seats in their graduation gowns.

And as the noise of shifting seats turned low, all the graduates and families, dignitaries, foreign diplomats and academic staff were waiting for His Majesty's arrival.

Also accompanying the monarch were His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik, Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah, Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna. Welcoming the monarch upon arrival were the university's chairman, Education Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong, UBD Vice-Chancellor Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi and other members of the university's committee.

This year has seen a "drastic increase" in the number of graduates pursuing post-graduate degrees, said Dato Dr Hj Zulkarnain while addressing the audience during the ceremony, adding that a total of 93 local and foreign graduates have achieved outstanding results.

This year saw a total of 547 students pursuing a post-graduate course, while last year was only 246.

"With this development, UBD aims to achieve 30 per cent of the whole student (population) to be at the graduate level where half of that number are at the PhD level."

The university, together with the Centre for Development Research, University of Bonn Germany, have jointly organised international workshops in the fields of Science, Technology and Society, he added.

He further added that UBD has established a new Creative Industries research cluster, which "Insya Allah will hold similar international workshops with experts from abroad".

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman confirmed that the new research cluster will be organising and hosting an international workshop in February, together with Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

She noted that UBD's Pesta Konvo is "a very good example" of the sorts of creative and innovative outcomes that the research cluster could produce.

"In the end of the day we want to (produce) creative and innovative (products) that become Bruneian, like textiles. Or like an equivalent of Japanese anime, we could make the same one for Brunei as well."

The Brunei Times