Kolej International Graduate Studies College (KIGS) is set to add more programmes to meet the interests of students, said its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Haji Azahairani bin Haji Mohd Jamil at the opening of the college’s orientation for the new intake yesterday.
He said a list of new programmes has been submitted to the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC) for approval, which include Level 2 and 3 of Skills Certificates for business, information technology, arts, multimedia and broadcasting, which he hopes to receive the green light by the next intake in April 2021.
He urged the new intake to take advantage of the next three days to familiarise themselves with the college’s faculty members, administrators and counsellors while making use of the briefings to make clarifications regarding the study culture at the college.
“Students will be given a range of information, from academic matters to extra-curricular activities (ECA) and work attachments,” he said. “It is important for new students to have such information at the start of the semester, so that they will be able to be more organised in their academic planning, such as adding and dropping modules.”
This year, the college has made ECA compulsory to ensure there is “a balance between academic and other aspects of student development”.
The CEO told the new intake, “We believe that ECA provides opportunities for leadership development among students.
“Therefore, all of you should participate or engage in ECA throughout the year or years that you are going to be with us.”
Dr Haji Azahairani cautioned against treating higher education as similar to secondary school.
“At the higher education level, you need to make your own notes and learn to work independently,” he said. “The staff members of the college have been asked to do away with ‘spoon-feeding’.”
He also said at KIGS, there is an emphasis on industrial experience, which he believes to be “a very important component of a programme because it provides a smooth transition from school to work. It provides a meaningful connection between theories learnt in college and the application of them in a work setting”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced education institutions to rethink their approach to learning. As such, the CEO said, the college aims to implement “blended learning in the near future” by ensuring “at least 30 per cent of the content is to be delivered online”.
Dr Haji Azahairani also called on the new students to be more vocal in the classroom.
“You must not be afraid to challenge your teachers or ask questions,” he said. “If the teachers cannot answer your questions on the spot, then they will have to come back to you the next day to give you the answers needed.”
At KIGS, he said, teachers are “more of facilitators of learning than imparters of knowledge via the traditional way of lecturing. Our teachers have been selected from among the best applicants and their appointments checked and approved by the Ministry of Education (MoE)”.
The CEO believes that learning is a two-way process where “students learn from teachers, and teachers learn from students”.
He also urged students to voice concerns to the administration without fearing repercussions.
“The college takes into consideration the needs of the individuals and try to make adjustments without jeopardising the established academic standards and quality,” he said, adding that “the more complaints we receive, the better it will be for us to do something to make the environment more conducive for teaching and learning”.
Meanwhile, 50 new students of KIGS began their three-day orientation yesterday.
The event began with a recitation of Doa by Head of Social Welfare and Community Services, KIGS Students’ Council Md Ishamudin bin Haji Bahrin, following by welcoming remarks from the CEO and a video presentation of the college.
Yesterday morning saw briefings from heads of Faculties of Business, IT, Media and Broadcasting, and Arts and Humanities, as well as officers from the Departments of College Counselling, Examinations, Quality Assurance, Management Information System, Learning Management System, General Studies and Extra-Curricular Activities.
In the afternoon, the students were introduced to the KIGS Students’ Council, before attending an ice-breaking session, conducted by members of the Students’ Council, and a tour of the college.
The first day also featured team-building activities, a rehearsal of the school anthem and a cybersecurity awareness talk.