More seeking twinning programmes for higher education

National 2 minutes, 10 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE general manager of HRD Services has said that demand for twinning programmes in higher education has been on the rise among Bruneian students in recent years as they look for alternative higher education destinations outside UK or Australia, traditionally Bruneians’ main choices.

Speaking to The Brunei Times during a recent interview, Dr Smita Wimmer said that the choice of obtaining a degree from a UK or Australian university while living in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia is driven by several factors, including finance.

“An advantage is that it is easier to finance twinning programmes which are normally privately-funded or through the education loans given by the government,” she said.

“It is definitely a better way to get a quality education because you pay less but you still get the same education and same degree but the experience is completely different and it is up to the student to know how to make the best of it,” she said.

Many institutions in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore offer twinning programmes in hopes of getting a world class university certificate for a fraction of the price whereby students study the first two years of the course in those countries before spending the final year at the university itself in UK or Australia.

She said that the twinning programmes allow students to have a more cultural experience during their higher education.

“The main advantage of a twinning programme against spending all three years of the degree in the UK or Australia is that the students get to experience two different education systems and get to know neighbouring countries such as Malaysia really well, understand ASEAN better before they go and see the UK in the final year of their twinning programme,” she said.

“The potential value for personal growth is very good and does not limit students to merely studying,” she said.

She however said that the demand among students to further their education wholly in the UK or Australia have not diminished despite the alternative route to obtaining a UK or Australian university degree.

“I would say that interest to study overseas is as strong as ever and I think that the UK will always be right up there as the number one choice for Bruneian students if they can,” she said.

“You have to remember that the education systems in the UK and Brunei are similar and most of the students have parents who were students in UK before so there is that sense of familiarity ... given a straight-choice, most students will choose to study in UK,” she said.

The Brunei Times