In an address at the commencement of the orientation week for the 2023-2024 academic year, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), Datin Paduka Professor Dr. Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, emphasized the importance of not disregarding or denying personal and academic problems. She encouraged students to address their issues promptly, as problems tend to worsen when left unattended. The Vice-Chancellor advised students to seek help from various sources, including deans, program leaders, counselors, and their parents or guardians. Additionally, she emphasized the significance of seeking guidance from Allah the Almighty in all aspects of life, regardless of their magnitude.
Highlighting the university’s achievements, Datin Paduka Professor Dr. Hajah Zohrah revealed that 1,439 students had expressed their interest in joining UTB. Out of these, 525 students were offered places in undergraduate programs, while 183 were accepted into postgraduate programs. She also shared the university’s accolades, such as being rated as a 5+ Stars University by Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QSWUR) and ranking among the top 20 universities in Southeast Asia. UTB’s commitment to student career preparation was reflected in its 226th position in employment outcomes.
The Vice-Chancellor expressed pride in the accreditation received by UTB’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering programs, the School of Computing and Informatics, and the UTB Business School. She mentioned that other programs were undergoing accreditation or preparing for the process. Datin Paduka Professor Dr. Hajah Zohrah encouraged students to explore new opportunities and develop their soft skills through the university’s campus and facilities.
Emphasizing the importance of community engagement, the Vice Chancellor outlined 12 community outreach activities integrated into the orientation program. These activities include clean-ups at mosques and beaches, spending time with children from organizations such as Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and the Down Syndrome Association, as well as engaging in activities with senior citizens and donating items to underprivileged families. She stressed the significance of acquiring a range of skills, personal qualities, and experiences, as employers actively seek well-rounded graduates.
Finally, Datin Paduka Professor Dr. Hajah Zohrah expressed her support for the concerns raised by 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, regarding the increasing mental health issues in the country. She assured students that their well-being was of utmost importance to the university.