The 1,182 graduates of Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) 32nd Convocation had mixed feelings as the ceremony this year saw parents, guardians and family members witnessing the event remotely from the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA)
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, the Chancellor of UBD graced the event.
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 UBD was also present.
His Majesty was greeted by Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman and UBD Vice-Chancellor Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz.
The ceremony began with the recitation of Surah ‘Ali-Imran by second-year undergraduate Muhammad Izzuddin bin Haji Nor Hisham who participated in the Higher Learning Institution Musabaqah Tilawah Al-Quran in 2019, National Youth Musabaqah Tilawah Al-Quran in 2017 and Musabaqah Tilawah Al-Quran Mosques Level in 2015.
The event continued with welcoming remarks by the vice-chancellor who touched on academic quality of UBD.
The vice-chancellor said the university transitioned to full online learning just three days after the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country. Beginning August, as a new normal, UBD implemented a structure of online and normal classroom learnings.
She said the university’s general engineering programme introduced in 2012 was recognised by the Accreditation Body of Technology and Engineering (ABET) in August this year and backdated to October 2017.
She highlighted that the Physical Sciences in UBD was listed in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Universities Ranking for the first time. Programmes under Physical Sciences include Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Geology.
His Majesty then delivered a titah and presented certificates to the graduates.
His Majesty first presented certificates to 40 Doctor of Philosophy graduates and 521 Bachelor’s degree graduates.
The event concluded with a Doa Selamat read by Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar.
After the convocation, His Majesty toured an exhibition featuring a research project by graduating student Nurbazilah binti Haji Metussin on a hand gesture recognition device. The project was aimed at developing a natural user interface (NUI) using hand gesture to control different devices and systems.
Developed to control smart home appliances using a video camera and machine learning models, NUI can help those with different abilities to carry out daily activities such as switching on and off lights or sounding an alarm.
The convocation was organised and coordinated with the Ministry of Health (MoH) with precautionary measures including swab tests and self-quarantine for graduates, guests and the organising committee.
Graduates and guests at the Chancellor Hall underwent body temperature check and used BruHealth app. Parents and guardians were accommodated at satellite sites on campus where they viewed the ceremony via live broadcast.