Number of private higher learning institutions climbs in Sultanate

Lyna Mohamad

Globally, private education at the higher learning level has developed rapidly, and this is also the same in Brunei Darussalam, said Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry Education Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad.

Ministry of Education (MoE) statistics revealed that the number of private higher learning institutions in the country (registered under the MoE) has risen by 33 per cent between 2009 and 2019.

Dr Haji Azman was speaking as the guest of honour at the Kolej International Graduate Studies (KIGS) Convocation Ceremony 2019 at the International Convention Centre in Berakas last Saturday.

In meeting the Brunei Vision 2035 (which is geared towards highly educated citizens), private higher learning institutions also play significant roles, particularly in developing the nation’s education system, by providing quality training and education services in line with the 21st Century needs.

He said, like government higher learning institutions, private institutions also join hands to provide opportunities to high school students to follow courses and training in various fields, apart from producing skilled manpower to meet industrial needs.

Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry Education Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad delivers his speech. PHOTOS: MUIZ MADANI
Dr Haji Azman hands over a certificate to a graduate

The rising need for skilled and professional manpower is the result of globalisation challenges. Employers now see educational institutions as a specialist centre to prepare students to be skilled, knowledgeable and job-ready human resource, Dr Haji Azman.

“However, every effort to produce marketable graduates needs commitment from private higher learning institutions. They must plan a more effective strategy by focussing on upgrading graduates’ quality by diversifying programmes, broadening the network with the industry and stakeholders, as well as strengthen their role in career guidance,” he said.

“I believe focussing on the quality of upgrading graduates will provide a path for graduates to make school-to-work transition more effectively,” he said.

Dr Haji Azman said in facing the current rapid development of technology changes, an education institution’s role is seen more challenging, particularly in producing individuals that are not only knowledgeable and skilled in line with technology development, but also are of high moral character and perfect self-esteem.