￼Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has developed considerably since its establishment in 1985 as the country’s premier national university. The university houses eight academic faculties, eight research institutes and two academic service centres to provide multidisciplinary programmes, producing graduates with greater adaptability, independence and drive to succeed.
In 2017, UBD achieved a milestone of breaking into the QS World University Rankings, sitting at the 349th position. With over 26,000 universities, the ranking has placed UBD in the top 1.3 per cent of universi- ties worldwide. The university also sits on the 105th position in the QS Asian University Rankings and 37th position in the QS Top 50 Under 50 list.
UBD introduced ‘GenNext’ in 2009, an undergradu- ate programme which provides students with greater flexibility in tailoring studies. The programme places emphasis on broad-based learning, programmes that cross disciplinary boundaries as well as real world experiential learning through Discovery Year. Through the Discovery Year, students spend a year of their four-year programme outside of the univer- sity studying abroad, joining internships or being involved in community outreach programmes. UBD also offers diverse graduate studies with graduate research scholarships.
UBD’s research activities are largely supported by the government in funding and infrastructure. This enabled an increase in graduate students and col- laborators coming to UBD to conduct research. With significant academic mobility including increased joint academic programmes, research collaborations and networks, UBD’s active partnerships with insti- tutions worldwide have refined UBD’s teaching and research output at the university.
University Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) is Brunei’s second national university. It was estab- lished in 2007 by the consent of His Majesty, who expressed his wishes for the country’s next univer- sity to be an Islamic university.
The university seeks to be an international Islamic university offering a range of academic programmes in study, research and human development through holistic educational approaches in tandem with the latest technology to produce highly skilled Muslim scholars and intellects to contribute to Brunei’s vision of a Zikir Nation.
UNISSA offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in a range of courses such as Usuluddin (Islamic Studies), Shariah (Islamic Law) and Arabic Language among others. Apart from its core Islamic courses, other undergraduate and postgraduate pro- grammes pertaining to Islam are also available at UNISSA such as Business Management and Islamic Finance. Most courses at UNISSA utilise Arabic or English as its medium of instruction, with some offered in Malay.
Outside of its core curriculum, UNISSA also offers a variety of additional courses covering fields such as Al-Quran, Malay Islamic Monarchy, Islamic Virtues, Arabic Language, ICT and Entrepreneurship and Industrial Training.
As UNISSA upholds the significance of Arabic proficiency in its academic system, the university provides intensive three-month language courses in preparation for studying in its regular courses.
UNISSA recognises the importance of forging international partnerships, often signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with other international institutions for academic enhancement and collaboration.
In April, UNISSA signed an MoU with Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah (KUIPSAS), Malaysia promoting student exchange and aca- demic journal publishing. July saw UNISSA’s Rector Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal sign MoUs with a number of Islamic Russian institutions such as Islamic University of Kazan (IUK) and Russian Islamic Institute (RII) for strategic cooperation in Islamic education for both countries. In December, through the 5th ASEAN Universities International Conference on Islamic Finance (AICIF), UNISSA signed MoUs with six other Asean universities for regional strategic partnerships.
Currently, UNISSA operates at a tem- porary campus in Gadong. In the near future, it plans to move its operations in Temburong, where a permanent campus is in construction across 400 hectares of land. The establishment of a permanent campus will further promote and facilitate UNISSA’s aca- demic growth and development.
Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) was estab- lished in 1986 as a higher learning institution that offered Higher National Diploma programmes in Engineering, Business and Computing. It was upgraded to a University in 2008 and is a nationwide leader in Engineering and Technology. Currently, it offers programmes in the areas of Engineering, Business, Computing, Applied Sciences & Mathematics and Design.
UTB’s ethos is built around the philosophy of effective instruction with a hands-on approach in industry-based programmes which will equip their students with a working knowledge and fundamen- tal skills in their respective trades.
UTB has a tremendous network of strategic part- nerships with industries and universities at home and abroad, and continues to expand its academic programmes portfolio through international accredi- tation by professional bodies as well as the intensi- fication of research activities.
In the fields of research, UTB strives to become a university that can contribute to the enrichment of knowledge and the solving of contemporary issues through its research endeavours. Research activi- ties at UTB are aligned to the national agenda. The Centre for Transport Research (CfTR) is established to carry out research activities that include policy studies, transport modelling and intelligent trans- port system, and focuses on the areas of Transport Safety, Highway & Geotechnics, and Traffic. The Centre for Innovative Engineering aims to become a centre of excellence and to serve as a reference for collaboration between local and foreign agencies.
The university achieved its vision when it entered the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings 2018 at 165 on October 17, 2017 mak- ing UTB the best 9 Engineering and Technology
University in Southeast Asia before its targeted year. Over 600 institutions across the continent were evaluated and 400 were included in the published tables. The rankings analyses universities on four basic criteria, including global reputation, research impact and productivity, teaching commitment and internationalisation. UTB also debuted at four stars overall in the QS Star Rating after scoring five full stars in six out of seven categories. The rating was based on independent data collection and an analy- sis of the performance metrics as outlined by the QS Stars methodology.
In 2017, UTB had a cohort of 1,439 students and 241 staff, and has to date produced over 5,000 Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates, nearly 1,000 bachelor’s degree graduates and over 70 master’s degree graduates.
In August 2018, UTB will begin offering two more undergraduate programmes – Architecture and Product Design – in the hopes of changing the dynamics of the local workforce.
IGS College (IGS) was established in 2002, but only became operational in 2004, offering programmes in vocational education and training pertaining to business and information technology.
Recognising that many Bruneian youths struggle to continue education in higher education locally or abroad, IGS aims to offer stepping stone courses that would provide an opportunity for students to further their studies. The college provides an alternative pre-university education for ‘O’ Level leavers through certificate, diploma, and higher national diploma programmes. The college was the first to offer diplomas from the Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Education Council (BDTVEC) by developing their own courses.
Additionally, IGS offers undergraduate programmes. Introduced in April 2011, IGS received accreditation to offer three-year undergraduate degree programmes through its partnership with Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology (LUCT), Malaysia.
IGS also caters to mature students, providing part-time options, enabling educational advancement and professional development for working adults. Since its establishment, IGS has yielded more than 160 graduates from differ- ent programmes, now working in various public and private sectors.
Established in 2004, Cosmopolitan College of Commerce and Technology (CCCT) is a private higher education institution operating at Jaya Setia Square in Berakas.
CCCT offers a variety of courses in business and technology across differ- ent levels. In 2009, the college introduced pre-national diploma courses of BDTVEC. The college reached a new milestone when it began offering Pearson BTEC diploma courses in 2016.
CCCT takes pride in its approach to education, from a strong line up of indus- try-oriented lecturers who can adapt to modern and structured methods, pro- viding a varied and well-rounded learning experience to students to its coach- ing methods which produce employment-ready students at a faster rate.
Through a robust approach to student development coupled with their teach- ing methods, CCCT aims to cater to the growing business and technology industry by producing highly-skilled and versatile graduates.
Laksamana College of Business (LCB) was first established in 2003 and emerged from a partnership between Kensington College of Business (KCB) in London, United Kingdom (UK) and Abdul Razak Holdings, Brunei.
Through its partnership with KCB, LCB offers three pathways under KCB programmes: the BA Common Year One, a first-year degree course that equips students with a variety of business-related modules before continuing on their studies in the United Kingdom to obtain a degree; University Foundation, a pre-degree course preparing students to con- tinue on to higher education, and; Professional Pathways, a course offering a certificate and a diploma for those wishing to advance in a career in business management.
Apart from business courses, LCB expanded its offerings by launch- ing the Pearson BTEC (UK) Diploma. LCB provides a Diploma, Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Computing, catering to the growing ICT industry in the country. In September 2017, LCB expanded its line-up of computing courses offered at the HND level, adding on Application Development and Software Engineering. Additionally, LCB also offers ND and HND courses in Hospitality Management.
In 2015, LCB began offering three-year degree courses through its collaboration with University of Chester, UK. The degree courses available are BSC (Hons) in Computer Science, BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance, BA (Hons) in Business Management and BA (Hons) in Marketing and are awarded by the British university. These degree courses are available in both full and part-time study.
All of the academic courses offered in LCB are accredited by the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC).
In August 2017, the college celebrated 15 years since its incep- tion. The following October, LCB was awarded with an interna- tional recognition from Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC), a UK-based independent international educa- tional standards assessment agency. LCB is the first college in Brunei to receive a recognition from ASIC. The accreditation enhances LCB’s educational standards and provides students and parents with assurance of LCB’s quality in education.
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