Monday, November 2, 2009

Nov now.

Look beyond the scroll, UBD and grads told
Both the 1,241 graduates who received their academic honours and their alma mater, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) were yesterday reminded by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to continue honing their academic capabilities in order to pass on their skills in developing better future leaders or quality teachers.
His Majesty first framed his titah by pointing out, "although UBD will almost reach a quarter century, it has already given us cause for pride in its achievements, especially through its contributions in the development of human resource in Brunei Darussalam."
The monarch expressed his pleasure that "more and more local youths have obtained their graduate qualifications. I would like to see more continue on with their studies to post-graduate levels, especially if they decide upon UBD as a university of choice".
His Majesty further noted, "In UBD right now, there is a programme offered known as the 'GenNext Programme'. I believe this is a necessary step to further equip our graduates to face the future challenges."
"I would also like to see an increase in the number of local academia, such as senior lecturers and associate producers. However, we should not just encourage it just for the sake of it but an increase must be truly commensurate with the criteria of qualification, as practised by other prestigious international universities," the Sultan said.
In light of this, candidates for these senior lecturers and associate professor positions must truly fulfill the criteria required, in particular, the imperative for creativity and dedication to conducting research, as well as producing quality research papers. All these can become benchmarks with which to improve their level of quality, for without research or any creativity, it would indeed be difficult for us to speak of quality.
Emphasising on research, His Majesty underscored his keen interest in seeing "more of the university's community, be it the academic staff and its students, to be more immersed in research. "It is because of this that I am equally proud when UBD established its 'research clusters' in various fields. I am confident that UBD, with these clusters, will be better able to attract other researchers of calibre, both locally and internationally. It is also further hoped to be able to inject more interest within our local and foreign students alike to enroll in this programme at UBD and, at the same time, opt for one of the clusters as their basis for research."
The new initiative, dubbed 'Discovery Year', which is geared at exposing students to learning outside of campus grounds that will be introduced in 2011, also caught the attention of the university chancellor. "I have been told that it will be either run through community services, innovative projects, in-country or overseas work attachments for a duration of one or two semesters at recommended international universities or institutions," His Majesty added.
The monarch also recorded his approval with UBD's decision in setting up the Leadership, Innovation and Advancement Institute last January that offers training programmes for leadership, innovation, evolving mindset and executive development aspects. "I understand that these programmes are run by local and international experts and prominent professionals," said His Majesty, further highlighting the importance of the move to "our preparations for turning out good and quality future leaders".
The monarch went on to acknowledge "the fluid developments by UBD and one of the more interesting developments was the upgrading of the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Teaching Institute to a graduate-level status earlier this year," and with it, pinned his hope that it "would produce better qualified and matured teachers".
At the end of his titah, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam congratulated all of yesterday's graduates and diploma holders and wished them success in all their future endeavours. (Borneo Bulletin Sunday)

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