A total of 1,028 graduates, comprising 18 in PhD, 296 in Master’s Degree, 703 Bachelor’s Degree and 11 in Diploma were feted during the 34th Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Convocation ceremony yesterday.
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, Chancellor of UBD and His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Pro-Chancellor of UBD attended the event at the university’s Chancellor Hall.
His Majesty conferred PhD and Bachelor’s Degree certificates to graduates in the morning session, while Masters, Graduate Diploma and Diploma recipients received their certificates in the afternoon from His Royal Highness.
Yesterday’s ceremony began with the 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.
His Majesty was greeted upon arrival by UBD Vice-Chancellor Dr Hazri bin Haji Kifle.
The event continued with the recitation of Surah Al-Anbiya verses 78 to 81 by final year student from the Faculty of Science Ahmad Termizie bin Ahmad Baihakie, who participated in Al-Quran Reading Competition for higher learning institutions in 2019.
This was followed by a welcoming address from the vice-chancellor who highlighted the university’s academic achievements, including the implementation of UBD Collaborative Online International Learning (UBD COIL) to enable UBD academicians and friends from international universities to execute projects and module teaching online in a global, collaborative and effective setting.
He said, a short term programme – Global Discovery Programme (GDP) – was switched to e-GDP online that covers topics on culture, language, history, geology and public health.
“The implementation of this programme with the concept of experiential digital learning was challenging, however, the programme managed to draw high participation of international students.
On research, UBD has shown a significant upgrade from placing 311th in 2020 to 233rd this year for research citations impact category in Times Higher Education World University Ranking, the vice chancellor said.
He added, “In this region, UBD is placed 38th from 616 universities in Asia and 5th in ASEAN for research citations, while 80 per cent of academic journal published in UBD is in the Tier 1 and Tier 2.
In upholding His Majesty’s Titah to emphasise research focussing on current situation such as health, medical and environment, UBD and the Ministry of Health have and are currently implementing seven research projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic and two on Digital Public Health Development.
UBD has also collaborated with scientists from Virginia Tech, the United States (US) for an innovative research project across artificial intelligence (AI), biodiversity and bioinspired engineering involving scientists from renowned universities such as National University of Singapore (NUS) and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) as well as the participation of 23 students from various universities in the US under the International Research Experiences of Students programme.
On digital technology, UBD has signed a memorandum of understanding with EVYD Technology and Imagine Sdn Bhd for the collaborative upgrading in research, teaching, internship and industries training to ensure the curriculum and skills development of UBD students are relevant with the rapid changing digital landscape.
It is hoped that all these development signify that UBD is on the appropriate platform towards becoming an excellent university in teaching and research.
After the presentation of certificates, His Majesty and His Royal Highness viewed a special exhibition featuring the use of technology to elevate Bruneian culture and art.
This year’s Design and Creative Industries (DCI) graduate, Abdul Aliff Azizi bin Abdul Rahim from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) integrated augmented reality (AR) in the Rhythm of Brunei photobook.
It allows readers to learn about the culture of Brunei Darussalam while enjoying the beauty of Bruneian traditional music through animated elements.
Muhammad Irfan Awang, a fourth year undergraduate also from the DCl programme, showcased his capstone project ‘19th Century Brunei’ where the two-part art project incorporated a painting and a Virtual Reality (VR) environment depicting what Brunei Darussalam’s Kampong Ayer looked like in the 1800s. The project utilised computer generated imagery (CGI) to create the immersive environment, and for visual reference to create the painting.
The project referenced existing records that depicts the physical appearance of Kampong Ayer back then, from how the houses look like as well as how they were structured throughout the village.
The ceremony concluded with the recitation of Doa Selamat by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz.