Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) continues its growth in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, moving up to 250th place. Since it broke into the QS World University Rankings in 349 place in 2017, UBD has risen to be in the top one per cent out of over 26,000 universities globally since last year.
The announcement by QS showed that UBD performed particularly well, improving in the six indicators. Its strongest indicator, International Faculty, was placed among top 50 in the world. This indicator along with Faculty-Student Ratio and International Students also sees UBD performing better than the global average. UBD has also made improvements in Academic Reputation and Employer Reputation.
Ranking exercises aid in gauging the success of the university’s efforts to ensure the highest possible quality of teaching and learning. The efforts by the university’s academic staff aim to produce graduates who are future-ready and relevant to the economy, imbued with Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) values. UBD emphasises on preparing students for the workplace of the future, focussing on real-world experiential learning. Learning objectives embedded in UBD’s flagship GenNEXT programme are leadership and innovation, entrepreneurship and environmental awareness.
This is in line with the titah of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor of UBD, at the university’s 31st Convocation Ceremony in 2019 emphasising creating job opportunities and future-ready graduates who are not reliant on existing jobs. His Majesty also called for multidisciplinary entrepreneurship projects that can contribute towards economic growth, supporting the development of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
UBD established the Entrepreneurship Village (EV) in 2014 to equip students with the skills to turn their talents into viable businesses. As an entrepreneurial platform in UBD for start-up growth and entrepreneurship education development, it ensures the implementation of entrepreneurship education across the university.
The recently officiated UBD Startup Centre (USC) is a platform for UBD alumni to explore entrepreneurial ideas and work with other alumni or current students from multidisciplinary backgrounds and interests. This initiative also aims to develop UBD research project ideas with the intention of elevating them further towards commercialisation, in line with UBD’s vision to be a University of Innovation and Enterprise.
UBD believes that innovation and entrepreneurship play a role in accelerating economic growth and creating employment opportunities. It provides students with the skills and knowledge through the Bachelor of Business, major in Entrepreneurship, under the UBD School of Business and Economics (UBDSBE). This aims to equip students with the skills in entrepreneurship, innovation management, entrepreneurial finance, starting up new ventures, venture growth strategies, and the key skills needed to be self-employed or for taking up employment as entrepreneurial or innovation managers within larger private or public sector organisations.
Focussing on the study and practical application of the key issues surrounding entrepreneurship and innovation, the programme particularly focusses on the new venture creation process but also innovation management within existing private and public organisations. Students study entrepreneurship modules, such as Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, Innovation Management, Entrepreneurial Finance, Venture Growth Strategies, Social Enterprise by Design, Environmental and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Incubation, Startup Growth and Sustainability Project and Research Project. In addition, students learn traditional business modules such as Introduction to Accounting, Principles of Business and Management, Principles of Economics, Business Information System,
Business Ethics among others.
Through a multi-disciplinary approach, even non-business programmes from faculties such as the Faculty of Integrated Technologies (FIT) incorporate specific modules on innovation and entrepreneurship into its curriculum so that students can fully reap the benefits of obtaining an entrepreneurial mindset.
Workshops have been conducted to help faculties and academic staff to create entrepreneurial learning content in their modules. With a myriad of possible applications in the real world, students may realise hidden potential that they can develop further after graduating.
“Alhamdulillah this achievement is only possible by the grace of Allah the Almighty and the strong support and vision of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor of UBD as well as the sustained support of His Majesty’s government,” Vice Chancellor Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz said in response to the ranking announcement.
“UBD’s consistent progress, climbing up to be one of the top 250 in the world now, is a result of the combined efforts of its dedicated staff and students. We hope to see even more initiatives from our staff and students that will not only bring the university to greater heights but also play a role in improving the lives of Bruneians and contributing to the development of the country.”