ITB: No compromise in quality amid budget cuts

, National 2 minutes, 17 seconds


INSTITUT Teknologi Brunei (ITB) will not compromise the quality of its courses despite feeling the pinch from budget cuts due to spiralling oil prices, its assistant vice-chancellor (academic) said.

Pg Dr Hj Md Esa Al-Islam Pg Hj Md Yunus said the current economic downturn may be a challenge, but it will not deter the university from getting its priorities straight.

“In terms of the budget, we have to be prudent in terms of spending because that affects us as well in thinking about how to solve the problems without compromising these goals. We set our priorities and work on those priorities first,” he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of ITB’s new logo launch yesterday, he said ITB has drawn up its strategic plan, of which the quality of its programmes is one core element.

“We anticipate having accreditation for all our programmes, which is very important. The goal is to achieve accreditation for all these programmes by 2017 or latest 2018,” said Pg Dr Hj Md Esa.

Accreditation of the programmes at ITB’s School of Business, School of Computing and Informatics and Faculty of Engineering are already in the process, he added.

To achieve the vision of being among the top 10 engineering and technology universities in Southeast Asia by 2018, he said ITB has also been introducing “value-added courses” to equip its students with marketable skills and knowledge to prepare them for future job prospects.

These professional advancement courses and strengthening employability are compulsory for the students to produce best quality students that will set ITB graduates apart from those of other institutions, he said.

ITB Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman said: “Everything we do at ITB is about quality and I cannot afford not to have quality”.

“We need to be relatable to what is happening around the campus and for people to see we are no longer the old ITB few years ago,” she said.

ITB was established as a higher learning institution in 1986 that offered Higher National Diploma programmes in engineering, business and computing.

It was then upgraded to a university in 2008, which also saw the expansion of academic programmes and establishment of strategic partnerships with industries and universities.

The vice-chancellor said everyone on campus understands that the dynamics have changed and that they are now offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

“Since I started working here in 2012, I have worked towards helping my staff see things differently. With the Public Higher Education Institutions Academic Staff Service Scheme (SPTA), we can become the best, and that is really an advantage we have and which we appreciate,” she said.

The scheme, which outlined performance requirements for future job promotion, was introduced in 2014 for academic staff at public higher education institutions.

The Brunei Times