Swansea University has awarded an honorary degree to Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, alumnus of Swansea University and Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam.

The award was presented to Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof today (19 December 2018) at the University’s degree ceremony for the College of Science.  

Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof graduated from what was then University College Swansea in 1991 with an MSc in Genetics and its Applications.

In 1994, he became responsible for agricultural matters for The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and was the focal point for ASEAN Ministers at Agriculture and Forestry meetings.  

In 2005, he was transferred to the Department of International Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and he was involved in the Brunei-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.  He was lead negotiator for Brunei Darussalam and Chairman for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement until its completion in 2007.

In January 2008 he was promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary and within seven months, was appointed as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam.

In 2015, by command of His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Dato Erywan was appointed as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam.

He became Joint Deputy Chairman of the Brunei Strategy Council in November 2015 and Deputy Chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board in 2016.

He has received honours and awards including, in 2006, The Most Blessed Order of Setia Negara (Fourth Class); and in 2017, The Most Honourable Order of Seri Paduka Mahkota Brunei (First Class). He has received a Meritorious Service Medal (PJK) and a Long Service Medal (PKL).

On receiving his award, Dato Erywan said: “I studied Masters in Genetics and Its Applications (MSc) in 1990/1991 at the University, and in those days, genetics was the cutting edge of science and technology. All the discoveries and achievements were revolutionary and pioneering. 

Today, we are experiencing another revolution: the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and, very much like genetics in the last century, it presents new ways of understanding and approaching science and technology. 

This is where the value and strength of Swansea University is clear; in its ability to adapt, respond, and prepare for the next development in academia and research, and in linking graduates and scholars with forerunners of industry. 

I wish the students of Swansea University all the best with their endeavours and similar benefits of the experiences I had at the University which prepared me for my journey into working life. Thank you to the University for the deep honour of the award of an Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) and Fellowship, and to the lecturers, other staff, and students that enriched my time there.”