GO BEYOND what you can learn from higher learning institutions and obtain skills and competencies that will help you become marketable for jobs not only in Brunei but also at "an international level".
Such was the challenge His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office raised for students of Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) during the school's Convocation Ceremony for 230 students who have completed their Higher National Diploma (HND) education.
"Graduates should possess skills and proficiency in English language, in addition to the training gained from higher learning institutions. These are some of the traits that should be addressed in order to make graduates more marketable in taking up more challenging jobs at an international level," said the Crown Prince.
They should also be fully prepared to seek gainful jobs "even though this may require leaving the country to seek employment", he added. This, he said, helps the government stem rising unemployment figures among recent graduates.
He reminded all graduates to consistently aspire to become citizens with a high sense of commitment, and contribute to developing the nation towards a model society, with pure values. They also need to strive to distance themselves from any negative elements, which threaten the well-being of the sultanate, His Royal Highness went on to say.
He also urged the graduates to strengthen their qualifications by going for "a more extensive acquisition of accurate and comprehensive knowledge".
His Royal Highness highlighted that the graduates should not be complacent with what they have achieved and instead remain determined to strive for excellence in their chosen fields.
Dr Hj Kassim Hj Daud, director of ITB, said 81 students completed the programme in commerce and finance; 26 in civil engineering; 20 in mechanical engineering; 17 in electrical plant and building service engineering; 28 in communication engineering and computer system; 23 in computer stream and 24 graduated in information system stream.
Eleven students belonging to the first batch of ITB's engineering and building management stream programme, which was introduced in 2005, have also completed the course.
He said that 45 per cent of graduates of ITB's 18th intake now work for the private sector. The figure rose to 58 per cent for its 19th intake.
"This shows private sector employers (have preference for) graduates of ITB."
Another programme will be introduced in ITB called Internet Development and Multi-Media for the 2007-2009 session, he added.
By January 2008, two more new HND programmes will be introduced Network Engineering and Electrical Power and Control Engineering, said the director.
Chua Kok Vee, who took up Electric and Communication engineering stream, was chosen as the 20th intake's best student award for his course.
Talking to The Brunei Times, Chua is very satisfied with the institution's facilities.
"Working on the given project was the most challenging period for him. He and his group-mates worked on the Stirling Engine Project and managed to get a distinction for it," he said.
"It was tough and enjoyable," said Chua, 24, who worked at the Public Works Department as a quantity surveyor.
"Even though mechanical engineering is just gaining its popularity amongst Bruneians nowadays, it is known as the toughest subject in ITB," said Chua.
Five more students received Best Student awards in their respective streams. Nursufizah Hj Mohd Amin in Computer and Information System; Dk Amie Wardina Pg Md Yusof in Commerce and Finance; Wong Kok Leong in Mechanical Engineering; Norul Atma Hj Mursadi @ Mursidi in Civil Engineering and Muhammad Rafiuddin Hj Sabtu in Extra Activities.
The Brunei Times