Brunei keen on teaming up with India varsities
THE sultanate’s largest and oldest university is looking forward to greater collaboration with Indian higher education institutions, said its newly-appointed vice chancellor yesterday.
Datin Dr Hjh Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Aziz said Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) wants to establish closer links in research, teaching, student and staff mobility as India is set to become the world’s third largest economy after 2030.
“UBD is actively seeking cooperation in terms of education,” she said in her welcoming remarks prior to Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari’s special lecture at the university.
The vice chancellor also hoped Indian nationals will join the Master of Public Policy and Management, an 18-month flagship programme offered by UBD’s Institute of Policy Studies for middle-management officers of East Asia Summit member states.
“This is a programme which aims to provide a platform for leadership enrichment and regional networking,” she explained. Students on the programme will spend 12 months at UBD, followed by a final semester at a partner policy studies school in the United States namely Georgetown University, Duke University, University of Maryland and the University of California Berkeley.
“India has also contributed to Brunei’s economy and education system by providing much professional expertise,” said Datin Dr Hjh Anita. There are about 124 Indian nationals employed in various institutions and schools in the sultanate including seven academics at UBD.
In addition, there are 842 Indian nationals currently studying in the country with four undergraduate and two doctorate students in UBD.
The vice chancellor pointed out that Brunei and India also undertake active collaborations at the tertiary level.
Since 2003, Brunei has participated in training under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation in fields such as finance, accounting, auditing, environment, renewable, management as well as small and medium enterprises.
UBD also has an existing memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, which was ranked 179 in the QS World University Rankings of 2015-2016.
Datin Dr Hjh Anita added that UBD also developed a collaborative initiative with International Business Machine (IBM) India under UBD|IBM Centre, a state-of-the-art research centre focusing on regional climate-weather modelling research.
It also covers renewable energy and the impact of climate change on rainforests, agriculture and flooding.
In the three years since its founding, the vice chancellor said UBD|IBM Centre has published its findings in leading, international journals and produced eight joint patent applications with another four in the pipeline.
“As a result of the partnership... Brunei is now the first nation in the world to have a combination of national-scale, high-resolution, multi-purpose and integrated natural resources model,” she said.
The Brunei Times