Higher education institutes note rise in number of int’l students

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds


LOCAL higher education institutions are drawing more international students now compared to previous years, said representatives from Brunei universities recently.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Norlela Ali, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) admissions and students records officer, said about 600 foreign students applied for undergraduate and post-graduate programmes at UBD last year.

Out of this figure, she said around 100 were selected under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s scholarship programme.

Degree programmes are more sought after among foreign students, compared to other programmes offered by the institution, she said on the sidelines of a higher education and career fair held at Maktab Duli in Gadong recently.

According to the UBD staff, more than 100 international students applied to study at UBD in January this year, but only around 30 to 50 students were accepted.

She added that 10 foreign students enrolled to do their masters programme and PhD course at the university.

Meanwhile, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Administration Officer Hayatuddin Moksin said UNISSA saw a surge in international students compared to previous years.

He said a total of 30 foreign students enrolled at the university in 2015, an increase from the previous year with only 16 international students.

Hayatuddin said some of the foreign students are from Palestine, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Ghana and some ASEAN countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

He added that UNISSA has received over 200 applications from local candidates through the Higher Education Centralised Admission System this year.

National varsity Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB) has also seen an increase in international students.

Rohana Hj Abdul Wahab, academic affairs officer at KUPU SB said there are currently four international students doing their degree programmes at the university, an increase from just one in 2014.

She said there are currently three students from Indonesia applying to do their studies at KUPU SB, adding that there is a growing interest in Syariah and Usuluddin courses among foreign students.

Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), previously known as Institute Teknologi Brunei, has also attracted more international students under the MoFAT scholarship programme, said Assistant Registrar (Academic) of UTB Dk Hjh Siti Nashrah Pg Hj Md Yusof.

She said UTB now has 27 foreign students studying, out of which seven are females.

According to the UTB officer, 11 international students registered during the 2015 intake, while there were only seven enrolled in 2014.

Dk Hjh Siti said international students comprise of students from Gambia, Pakistan, Ghana, Yemen, Bhutan, Cameroon, Bosnia and Uzbekistan.

She said the increase in international students not only reflects the university’s notable position in the university rankings but also gives more foreign students an opportunity to build closer relationships with the people and communities in Brunei Darussalam.

The Brunei Times