BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) has established a new Faculty of Islamic Technology, which focuses on scientific advancements from the Quran and Hadith.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah announced the establishment of the new faculty during UNISSA’s 10th convocation ceremony at the International Convention Centre on Monday.

The monarch, who is also UNISSA’s chancellor, said the faculty is based on Al-Quran as a source of knowledge for science and technology.

He hoped that the new faculty will produce “high value research” and uncover more scientific developments from the Quran and Hadith.

UNISSA currently has five faculties – Usuluddin, Shariah and law, Arabic language, Islamic economics and finance as well as Islamic development management.

Noting that education is dynamic and progressive, the sultan said the education needs in the last decade have changed in the current digital era.

“In the digital age, the world of education requires different approaches to teaching and learning than ever before,” he said.

His Majesty reminded graduates to be more proactive and not just merely be observers. 

“Seize all the opportunities available, instil in [yourself] the attitude of wanting to continuously develop because earning a degree is not the end to one’s quest to learning,” he said.

A total of 292 graduates received their certificates this year, including eight PhD graduates, 44 master’s degree holders, 187 undergraduates and 31 graduates of National Higher Diploma in the Syariah Criminal Justice System.

The convocation also awarded degrees to the first cohort of graduates – two master’s degree graduates in Tahfiz and Qiraat and seven Bachelor of Halal Science recipients.

UNISSA rector Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal said the programmes are significant in the government’s efforts to develop the potential of individuals and the country’s economy based on the Quran and Sunnah.

Out of the total number, 26 graduates are international students from Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Palestine, Singapore, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.

Similar to Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s convocation last week, UNISSA graduates and guests were required to take the swab test for coronavirus and isolate at least five days before the ceremony as part of public health control measures.

This year’s convocation ceremony also saw the handwritten UNISSA Mushaf Al-Quran used as the ceremonial mace for the first time.

The Mushaf writing project was officially launched during the Islamic university’s first convocation in 2011.