UBD, Korea University finalise dual-degree programme

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds


UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Korea University are finalising details of an agreement to introduce a dual-degree programme for their graduate-level students.

The dual-degree programme is an initiative proposed by Korea University, and its introduction is part of the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment (iCube) activities for the next two years.

A senior lecturer at UBD’s Faculty of Science told The Brunei Times that UBD and Korea University have developed strong research links through iCube, and that life sciences was identified as a field that the two universities could link up on.

The dual-degree programme will specifically cater to students from the environmental life sciences and chemical sciences programme at UBD as well as those under the Division of Environmental Science and Ecology at Korea University, said representatives from both universities.

Dr Rahayu Sukmaria Sukri said UBD students who are eligible under the programme will spend their first year at UBD before spending the next year at Korea University to continue their research. She said the students will be jointly supervised by staff from both universities.

Jinho Jung, a professor from Korea University, said students at the university have shown interest in studying tropical regions.

“As you know, Korea is a country from the temperate region whereas Brunei has a tropical climate,” Jung said, noting Brunei’s interesting natural ecosystem, especially its forests.

Jung, who is also the director of the Institute of Environment and Ecology at the university, added that UBD offers several added benefits for Korean students.

He said that as the courses in UBD are conducted in English, it provides an opportunity for them to learn the language at the same time. The professor added that the students will also benefit from having a faculty, where the members have studied from various institutions worldwide.

On the other hand, Dr Rahayu Sukmaria said, “Korea University has a lot of expertise, technical know-how and scientific knowledge.”

The senior lecturer added that UBD students will benefit from the programme as they will learn the skills from their Korean counterparts and bring them back to the country.

She said that in addition to the research link, both universities will benefit because “we get skills from our Korean counterparts while they are able to study our ecosystem”.

“Korea University is a very important partner,” she said, adding that the introduction of the dual-degree programme will further strengthen the link between the two universities.

“We do not want it to just collaborate on research, we want to go further by ensuring that there is student mobility between the two universities.”

Dr Rahayu Sukmaria said both parties are currently working hard to finalise the details of the agreement, which they hope will be finalised by February next year, in time for an announcement at the next iCube workshop to be held at Korea University.

The Brunei Times