More cooperation within iCUBE sought

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

THE Vice chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) said she hopes to see more multilateral cooperation in research and education within the Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment (iCUBE).

The consortium, which was spearheaded by UBD and inaugurated in 2011, comprises eight prestige universities – King’s College of London, University of North Carolina, Korea University, University of Auckland, University of Bonn, Monash University, National University of Singapore and UBD.

Senior staff at these respective universities yesterday gathered here at the varsity for its third biennial iCUBE governing board meeting.

“iCUBE has been here for about five years and there has been a lot of good initiatives that covers education, training and research at various levels. There have been several multilateral cooperation between UBD and three or more universities involved,” said Datin Dr Hjh Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Aziz.

The vice chancellor explained this multilateral cooperation also extends to education.

Currently, UBD has developed a dual degree programme both in Masters and the PhD level between UBD and the Korea University.

“It will be good if at both levels, they (students) can spend time at different universities so that means more universities being involved.”

She added UBD currently has existing multilateral collaborations but they would like to see more of that.

Datin Dr Hjh Anita said there is plenty more to do for iCUBE, with more emphasis on research, multilateral collaborations, publications and joint programmes.

“After all, research is one of the core businesses of the university. We started exploring into the social sciences, and we want to move into more disciplines. We want to explore more into economics for example. We have also started going into marine biodiversity, and this has potential for collaboration,” she said.

According to a press statement by UBD, this year’s iCUBE governing board meeting will report on existing and future bilateral or multilateral cooperation in the areas of biodiversity, climate change and environment, as well as in social science and policy aspects.

There are also plans for an expedition to Bukit Teraja to study its diverse flora and fauna, joint workshops and energy projects in a biodiversity perspective.

Today, the third governing board meeting will continue with the launch of the iCUBE Pagon Expedition Coffee Table book and iCUBE report, as well as several joint workshops.

Tomorrow, members of the consortium will be taken on a field trip to the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre.

The Brunei Times