| Siti Hajar |
EXCITING times lie ahead for Brunei’s potential students with the Ministry of Education’s recent approval for Laksamana College of Business (LCB) whose administration has set the foundation for a comprehensive learning experience aimed at convenience without compromising quality.
During a press conference yesterday at LCB in the capital, Chief Operating Officer Mr S Sivarajah explained that the higher education institution, with the necessary facilities to cater to LCB’s offered courses, has been accredited to provide students with the opportunity to obtain degrees under the guidance of University of Chester-trained teachers.
Prior to the approval, it was explained, that LCB had offered twinning programmes with a number of other British universities that allowed for students to complete their first year degree’s in Brunei and the remaining year’s overseas.
However, though these prior arrangements provided students with the added advantage of experiencing life overseas, there have been instances when students could not afford to continue with their studies, which proved to be a disappointment to those who want to pursue their education.
The approval, seen as an incentive for students to continue their education with LCB “will open up doors for our students to pursue their degrees” explained Sivarajah.
“We have seen a number of students who want to continue their studies but are not able to afford the tuition fees and their dream then comes to a stop and we don’t want that to happen,” he empathised.
As of February next year when LCB’s new intake of undergraduates begins their new chapters, potential students will be presented with four Degree programme options including BSc in Computer Science, BA Honours in Accounting and Finance, BA Honours in Business Management as well as BA Honours in Marketing awarded by the University of Chester.
“We see this as a milestone in Brunei and ever since the beginning in 2003 we wanted to engage a British university as part of our courses and now students in the country are able to do all three years of their degree here,” Sivarajah said, adding that students can still opt for the twinning programme based on their preference.
It was explained that LCB’s introduction of these programmes was also in response to students’ demand, and ensuring them that there is enough demand in the market to justify investments for a commitment that they plan to keep for the years to come.
“The Bruneian market is small and so we had to first establish ourselves and that took about five to 10 years. There was a lot of hard work that was devoted into convincing a big university to come to Brunei,” Sivarajah noted, adding that part of that convincing included LCB’s reputable stance in the Bruneian community as a high-quality education establishment.
“We had to prove ourselves that we can deliver and the work that we have done over the 10 years shows that we are able to deliver and we will be here for the long-term,” he said.
With educational partners totalling 10 – and all from the United Kingdom – LCB distinguishes itself as an institution that has strong links with the UK and has always focussed on providing British qualifications at every turn.
“We have a niche in terms of the qualifications that we offer which will bode well with those looking to obtain internationally-recognised credentials here at home without having to break the bank,” he added.
Taking into consideration that LCB’s Degree programme would still be at its infancy when the first undergraduate intake begins next year in February, Sivarajah explained that only limited placements will be offered – ranging from 25 to 30 students per programme – and added that entry forms will be made available towards the end of the month.