Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand attended a briefing session at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) on 31st October 2018. The session was followed by a visit to the UBD Botanical Research Centre (BRC).
Her Royal Highness was welcomed by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism as Deputy Chair of UBD Council, and UBD Vice Chancellor Yang Mulia Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz. Accompanying Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn were senior government officers, media, as well as military officers and 35 Year Four cadets from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.
The briefing was held at the Senate Room of UBD Chancellor Hall. In her welcoming remarks, Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita highlighted the active collaboration between UBD and higher education institutions in Thailand including student exchanges. This was followed by a briefing on "Sustainable Energy" by Yang Mulia Haji Azhar Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary (Energy) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry, and a briefing on "Initiatives to Develop and Promote Agribusiness in Brunei Darussalam" by Yang Mulia Pengiran Haji Kamalrudzaman Pengiran Haji Mohd Ishak, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. The briefing was attended by senior government officers, as well as staff and students from UBD. Upon departure from Senate Room, Chancellor Hall, Her Royal Highness was greeted by Thai nationals currently studying at UBD.
At the visit to the UBD Botanical Research Centre, Her Royal Highness planted a tree to commemorate the occasion. Her Royal Highness and delegation then proceeded to tour UBD BRC's nature trail and green house. They viewed the different types of timber species, iconic plants of Brunei, orchids, pitchers, medicinal plants and agarwood.
Mini-exhibitions were presented at the research centre to showcase UBD's latest innovative research. This included the Water Wheel in the UBD BRC pond which utilises sensor technology known as 'Droplet 2.0' to act as an automatic switch in the presence of rain. This oxygenates the pond water for fish, plants and bacteria that breaks down organic waste and keeps the water from stagnating which deters mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the pond water.
Another research project exhibited was UBD's recently commercialised coatguard with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal photocatalytic smart-coating technology developed from research work carried out at UBD, energy-generating water plants as well as an integrated sustainable energy system consists of solar, hydro, wind and kinetic energy which is then used to supply electricity to the UBD BRC and Simpur Herbal Cafe. Simpur Herbal Cafe is a UBD-owned cafe that operates in the UBD BRC premises. It offers cuisines incorporating fresh herbs grown from the UBD BRC.
In research collaboration, UBD's Centre for Advancement Materials and Energy Sciences (CAMES) currently collaborates with Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand looking into activated bamboo charcoal products as well as translating research to businesses for local communities in northern Thailand. Meanwhile, Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) also collaborates with researchers from Mahidol University on comparative midwifery education studies and genetic variation profiling. In addition, PAPRSB IHS researchers are also working with their partner hospital in Thailand, the Nopparat Rajathanee Hospital, on ASEAN diagnostic criteria for occupational diseases.
UBD partners with several leading Thai universities under the ASEAN University Network (AUN), including Chulalongkorn University, Mahidol University and Chiang Mai University. Under UBD's Discovery Year, an experiential learning year out of the university under the GenNEXT Degree, UBD students actively participate in study abroad programmes, internships and community outreach programmes in Thailand. UBD has also welcomed students from universities in Thailand for its student exchange programme as well as for its Global Discovery Programme.
In the recently released Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia Rankings, UBD is number one for outbound mobility for the fourth consecutive year since joining the rankings in 2015 and number one for the second consecutive year for inbound mobility.
The graduation ceremony for the fifth batch of 11 scholarship students from Universiti Brunei Daruss
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