| James Kon |
BRUNEI Darussalam is set to launch its Higher Education National Strategic Plan by the first quarter of next year, providing a clear direction for these higher education institutions.
Minister of Education Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong disclosed this yesterday at the opening of 8th Review Meeting of the Asean International Mobility for Students (AIMS) Programme held at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
“The higher education system in Brunei is going through transformation.
“We recognise the world as being dynamic and higher education needs to keep abreast of this constant shift.
“We are currently revolutionising the higher education system so that we can stay adaptable to be at par with the rest of the world,” the minister said.
The Higher Education National Strategic Plan “will aspire to create a nation of knowledgeable, highly-skilled and educated Bruneians who would live a high quality lifestyle with a sustainable economy,” he added.
Touching on internationalisation of students, he noted, “Internationalisation is a crucial element embedded within the Brunei Darussalam Higher Education Strategic Framework.
“I know great effort has been made on this front by our universities.
“They have not just been mobilising students across the region but research collaborations have also been established all through different continents by our university acad-emics.”
He reassured Brunei universities will continue to partner with industry leaders like Hengyi Industries, IBM and Microsoft to create cycles of inventions and innovations to achieve the Brunei Vision 2035 and also in supporting the aspirations of Asean.
Lauding the various achievements of AIMS, he said, “2014 has seen AIMS surpassing a milestone when over 700 students from 60 Asean universities participated in this exchange programme, including 11 universities from Japan.
“This is beyond the expected figure of 500 students to be achieved in 2015.
“It is crucial to reflect on achievements of our true objectives, but more importantly we need to see if we have managed to develop highly-skilled Asean youth together who, at the same time, have a global outlook.
“We need to evaluate how successful we have been in creating innovative networks through higher education environs in catalysing economic integration, ultimately taking us closer to creating a strong Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.”
Also present at the ceremony were UBD Vice Chancellor Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain bin Hj Hanafi who is also the Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education, as well as senior officials from UBD and the ministry.