A total of 100 Master’s degree and 351 Bachelor’s degree graduates received their certificates during Universiti Teknologi Brunei‘s (UTB) 7th Convocation Ceremony at the International Convention Centre yesterday.
Gracing the annual event was 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 UTB.
Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, and Pro-Chancellor of UTB.
Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Minister of Education and Chairman of the UTB Council Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman; Acting Vice-Chancellor of UTB Haji Ady Syarmin bin Haji Md Taib; and Registrar and Secretary of UTB Lim Chui Hua.
The ceremony began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned followed with the Procession of the Chancellor into the Plenary Hall led by the Bentara (mace-bearer) holding aloft a Mushaf Al-Quran.
A selection of verses from Al-Quran were recited by Abdul Qawi bin Haji Mohamed Hussain, a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) graduate in Mechanical Engineering, while the interpretation was read by Haji Abdul Haadi bin Haji Ali Hassan, a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) graduate in Mechanical Engineering.
In his welcoming remarks, the acting vice-chancellor highlighted UTB’s recent progress and development.
“The university is fully offering a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering for the 2019/2020 academic session, where previously, the programme was offered in articulation with the University of New South Wales in Australia,” he said.
He added that the development was the outcome of the continuous support from His Majesty’s Government, working in close cooperation with strategic partners among industrial stakeholders.
“Alhamdulillah, the Master’s degree and PhD programmes offered at UTB continue to attract those who wish to pursue further academic studies locally, where 191 students are pursuing their Master either in coursework or by research, while 102 students are currently pursuing the PhD programme in various fields,” he said.
“This indicates the availability of researchers and experts from among the ranks of academic and graduate students, who have the potential to work with the public and private sectors in solving contemporary issues through studies, research and development.”
“In terms of research, the university is restructuring its research focus, so that all research efforts will be more strategic, directed, relevant and capable of leaving a significant impact on the community. This is in accordance with UTB’s vision, aside from the fundamental purpose of research to promote wide knowledge in these areas.”
The acting vice-chancellor announced the introduction of six core disciplines in research: Energy, Sustainable Built Environment, Digital and Creativity, Wellness, Agrifood, and Society and Enterprise.
“Two research projects – where UTB is involved as a member of a university consortium and as a research institution for the projects – have successfully secured funding from the ASEAN ICT Virtual Organisation (ASEAN-IVO) for ‘Relay Station Network Based on Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technologies for Disaster Management’ and ‘AgriBKChain: a blockchain-based network for agricultural traceability and product advertising’,” he said.
“These projects will be implemented in collaboration with other institutions in ASEAN member countries and Japan.”
Afterwards, a titah was delivered by His Majesty, who also presented certificates to the Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree graduates.
Before departing the ceremony, His Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah had conversations with the new graduates and their family members.
UTB is an Engineering and Technology University in Brunei Darussalam specialising in the niche areas of Engineering, Business, Computing, Applied Sciences and Mathematics, and Design.
Since its upgrade, the university has seen tremendous development, including the expansion of its academic programmes portfolio, the establishment of partnerships with industries and universities, embarking on the process of programme accreditation by professional bodies and the intensification of research activities.
UTB achieved a milestone in the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QSWUR) at 379, being evaluated against 1,620 institutions from 82 countries.
Having climbed 63 places from its first appearance in the QSWUR last year at 442, UTB is now among the top 200 universities ranked at 181 and in the top 36 per cent among over 500 institutions across the continent.
UTB is the only local university to receive a five-star ranking from the QS Stars rating, and also the first to successfully acquire the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Certification by Bureau Veritas.