With rapid technological advances that are becoming more apparent, especially in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) emphasised the need to constantly improve the education system and to keep abreast with the country’s current and future needs.
Delivering a titah on the occasion of UBD’s 31st Convocation Ceremony at the Chancellor Hall of UBD yesterday, His Majesty said, “I believe that our graduates are capable of embracing changes in the paradigm of economics and current challenges. One example is the explosion of technology that has brought drastic changes to the history of human civilisation.
The application of this technology is becoming more apparent in this era of the fourth industrial revolution. “In this era, the benefits of technology are such that we cannot afford to be left behind.Among the main necessities is to generate skills vital for competition. Without skills, we will remain merely as bystanders.”
His Majesty noted that UBD has launched digital initiatives, such as the introduction of digital perspectives in all Bachelor programmes and also the improvement of its Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, which will be augmented to embrace different digital sciences majors such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.
“Apart from those, I am given to understand that UBD has also introduced a dual degree with digital perspective in engineering, particularly Smart Manufacturing Technologies in Masters and PhD levels, in collaboration with the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University in Korea,” said the monarch.
“It is my hope that these initiatives will not only produce future-ready and digital technology literate graduates, but also those with the ability to contribute to the country’s economic development.”
His Majesty also advised the graduates to create their own employment opportunities, apart from seeking out available job vacancies.
“I understand that the Entrepreneurship Village in UBD has been expanded with the establishment of the UBD Start-Up Centre, which is a collaboration with DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) that involves multi-disciplinary entrepreneurship projects with Industrial Revolution 4.0 perspectives,” said the monarch.
“This is an exploration, which, if well-managed, can contribute to economic growth, especially in support of the development of micro and small, medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).”
His Majesty also stressed the importance of instilling leadership qualities in human capital development, whether in terms of staff or students, because both are equally important to generate quality and visionary leaders with constructive ideas.
“This can be achieved through the update of curriculum and the introduction of specialised programmes such as executive programmes,” said the monarch, while also reminding that Islamic leadership should not be overlooked as a means of cultivating leadership and the main way of life at UBD.
“UBD needs to maintain its own ethics and refrain from imitating others.
“For instance, the awarding of degrees to students or anyone else must be 100 per cent based on the acknowledgement of learning, rather than being conflated with political interests, because then the degree may be comparable to a merchandise or a tool that could compromise its recipient. This was the case when an awarded degree was revoked for political reasons.
“UBD and all our higher education institutions should refrain from emulating this approach, which is not Islamic.”