‘Let foreign unis set up campuses here’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI welcomes foreign universities’ proposals to set up campuses in the country as a step towards turning the country into an education hub in ASEAN, the minister of education said yesterday.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman said the government will consider allowing foreign universities to establish campuses here should the need arise.
He said varsities here had signed a total of 178 memorandums of understanding with various foreign higher education institutions on student exhanges, joint research and other partnerships.
The minister was responding to YB Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin’s proposal to turn Brunei into Asia’s education hub during the 12th Legislative Council session yesterday.
YB Pehin Dato Goh suggested the Ministry of Education provide opportunities to established universities from countries like Australia, UK and Canada to set up their campuses here.
“Brunei should follow in the footsteps of Malaysia, Singapore and other countries that are already an ‘education hub’. If successful it can create economic spin-offs for the country,” he said.
The LegCo member said Brunei would be an ideal location to become an education hub due to its low crime rate, political stability and safe infrastructure, seen as positive factors that would appeal to foreign students.
He added that parents would also be more confident in sending their children to Brunei due to its safe and secure environment as the country is also strict on contraband such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and entertainment centres.
“This is one step to increase foreign direct investments and tourists (here),” he said.
The minister agreed that Brunei has the potential to become an education hub and vowed to continue efforts to achieve this goal, especially on higher education.
Aside from political stability and low crime rate, YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said Brunei possesses a niche as an Islamic country that offers courses in Islamic banking and Syariah law, which can attract students interested in studying or researching the said academic programmes.
“This is in line with the 2020 Higher Education Strategic Plan, which is to make the sultanate’s higher education as a hub for learning, research, innovation and entrepreneurship through teaching, learning and high-quality education,” he said.
The Brunei Times