UBD, APEN exchange MoU documents

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) will be collaborating with the Asia Professional Education Network-Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (APEN-JAIF) to study how education systems can support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to map out the education system.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between UBD and Japan’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology (AIIT) on these two projects was signed on March 30. However, the formal exchange of the documents took place yesterday at the varsity.

The MoU for the two projects was exchanged between UBD Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs Dr Joyce Teo and the chairperson of APEN, Dr Shintaro Ishijima, who also represented AIIT.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony, UBD’s Dean at the Faculty of Integrated Technologies Pg Dr Mohd Iskandar Pg Hj Petra said the two projects – Credibility Index for SMEs and the mapping of the education system – will entail working and studying with ASEAN countries and Japan to understand the landscape of SMEs in each of the countries, including Brunei.

“With our curriculum based on GenNEXT, we emphasise on entrepreneurship which is linked to enterprise. This data will be useful for us because if you look at smart cities, they start from SMEs,” he told The Brunei Times.

As a university, Pg Dr Mohd Iskandar said they want to use data gathered from the project as a reference to review their curriculum if needed and how the education system can support the growth of SMEs here.

“This project has already begun, and UBD will be gathering data from our local partner agencies related to SMEs. As for the mapping of our education system, we need to compare and understand (the different) higher education systems and model it. We want to see what is still missing in the puzzle. In UBD, we don’t have any issues because we’ve already nailed the fact that our system is to be more enterprise focused.

“Nevertheless, we want to see if there are any gaps to be closed, and this will be done through data gathering from the Credibility Index for SMEs, which will enable us to tweak components in our education system if needed.”

To move forward, he said understanding the education system offered in each of the institutions in ASEAN countries under this collaboration is essential as a baseline.

“There are always three things we talk about as an academic in a university. They are service to the university, our responsibility in teaching and our research. At least two of these components are supported by this project,” he said.

Data and information obtained from these projects could also be used for research findings for publications, a statement from UBD said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ishijima in his speech said the exchange of the MoU was meaningful in confirm-ing the significance of the project.

“The mission of APEN is to promote the industry in Asia through human resource development and the vitalisation of SMEs. Hence, the APEN-JAIF project is the key project of APEN. We believe that the success of the project will be of great help for the prosperous and promising future industry in both ASEAN states and Japan,” he said.

The ceremony was held at UBD’s Integrated Science building. Also present were Faculty of Integrated Technologies staff, senior management and students.

The Brunei Times