UBD graduates share their journey, aspirations

Lyna Mohamad

Following her graduation in Master of Teaching yesterday at the 31st Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Convocation ceremony, Ruby Chong Hui Yong hopes to gain some work experience to help her decision in pursuing PhD as well as gain a better understanding of researches in Brunei.

Having done her degree in Physics at the University of Nottingham, she said that the preparations were very different for the coursework-based Master of Teaching.

She said, “Time management and planning ahead is important.”

International student Buba K Touray from The Gambia in West Africa graduated in Master of Public Policy and Management.

He pursued Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM) at the Institute of Policy Studies at UBD and was the second African student to receive a prestigious scholarship.

“As an international student in Brunei I was lucky to meet people who are supportive and willing to assist me. I am very grateful to my lecturers and classmates for creating a conducive and enabling environment for me over the past 12 months,” he said.

He chose to pursue his Masters in Brunei because of the standard of education as well as its conducive learning environment for international students.

His interest lies on Public Policy as there is a huge gap in his country on matters of drafting and implementation of public and related policies due to limited qualified manpower.

Awangku Anwar Ridhuan bin Pengiran Dr Haji Mohamed with his family members
ABOVE & BELOW: Nur Bazilah binti Zainal Abidin with her family members; and Buba K Touray with his friend

ABOVE & BELOW: Awangku Ahmad Sa’d Mubarak bin Pengiran Haji Hashim with his friends; and Mohamad Safwan bin Yusri with his family members

Ruby Chong Hui Yong with her family members. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

Having previously worked with a community NGO, managing a youth development and empowerment scheme, helping participants to build their own micro-business, writing business plans, managing micro-loans and providing advice on building an effective business, he considers shifting to the Central Government to improve the public policy standard of his country.

“If I have the opportunity to pursue my PhD or any further study I will choose Brunei again,” he added.

Nur Bazilah binti Zainal Abidin, who graduated in Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, said she chose environmental studies as she pursued pure science in high school and college.

“Environmental Studies focusses on the human aspects of the environment and the human-environmental interactions,” she said.

Asked about the challenging part of her studies, she said, “Mathematical equations and scientific processes were a struggle. We also have to be up to date with the current environmental issues on top of reading journal articles.”

Nur Bazilah said one of the most pressing environmental issues in the country is waste production, especially domestic waste and food waste.

“Improvements need to be made in proper waste management facilities and services especially e-waste.”

Mohamad Safwan bin Yusri from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who majored in Environmental Studies believes that graduating from UBD is a opener for him and he plans to seek jobs in the area.

Talking about exam preparations, he said that he engaged in group study, practising past year papers and research.

He expressed gratitude to his lecturers who helped him with the studies as well as his family who prayed for his success.

Mohd Safwan hoped to find a job in the government sector.

“For now, I would like to work with the government and give back what I can as my gratitude to the Government of 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 for giving me free education.”

As for Awangku Anwar Ridhuan bin Pengiran Dr Haji Mohamed, a graduate in Master of Teaching, the most challenging part of his studies was staying motivated.

“The course allowed me to explore and gain insight into different aspects of education and pedagogy to prepare myself for a teaching career where I would be able to make a difference.

“The school placement aspect of the course allowed me to experience teaching students and devise specific methods to teach them,” he said.

As for his research exercise, he looked into improving student engagement through social-emotional learning competencies in the English Language classroom.

“I am taking my research further by forming an organisation that can facilitate the incorporation of social-emotional learning programmes into local schools which will allow students to become more engaged, improve classroom environments and produce graduates who are competent in their chosen fields.”

Bachelor of Arts in Creative Technology graduate Awangku Ahmad Sa’d Mubarak bin Pengiran Haji Hashim said that he would like to apply the things he learnt in the art history class.

He shared that the main challenge of the programme was the process.

He plans to pursue in digital media platform creating a market with a user interface or user experience designer.

“To students taking the programme, my advice is to explore the current designs trends, find the most suitable application platform until you’re comfortable,” he said.