UNISSA’s new Temburong campus crucial for further development, says rector
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
UNIVERSITI Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA)’s planned new permanent campus in Temburong will help meet an increase in the number of students as well as accommodate new faculties and programmes, said UNISSA’s rector yesterday.
Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal, in an interview with The Brunei Times, said currently the university has 889 students and 83 teaching staff. Out of the 83, seven are professors and the university will also hire more lecturers in various knowledge disciplines.
UNISSA saw a 24 per cent increase in students’ admission this year, he said.
A total of 324 students including postgraduates, undergraduates and diploma students were selected for the 2016/2017 academic session as compared to last year’s figure of 260 students.
The current campus can still accommodate more students but this situation might change in the next three to four years. Taking this into account, a new permanent campus is necessary to create a conducive environment for learning and teaching, the rector pointed out.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chancellor of Universiti Sultan Sharif Ali, in his titah at UNISSA’s 6th convocation recently, drew the attention of relevant parties to think about the construction of UNISSA’s permanent campus in Temburong.
“This is important to complement UNISSA’s progress in its capacity as a world class Islamic higher education institution,” the monarch said.
Dr Hj Norarfan said: “UNISSA needs to think about long term plans especially with planned establishments of new faculties, programmes and the Centre of Excellence for Halal Research in the future”.
At the convocation, the rector had announced that UNISSA established a Faculty of Islamic Development and Management which will begin operations in the next academic year. UNISSA also has plans to offer a bachelor degree programme on ‘Tahfiz dan Qira’at’ next year.
“The Centre of Excellence for Halal Research, which is also expected to be set up by next year, needs a comprehensive building at UNISSA. It is high time Brunei established its own halal research centre,” he said.
The halal research centre is a collaborative work with stakeholders which include the Global Halal Industry Development Division of the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO), Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
“We will make use of EIDPMO’s Global Halal Industry Development Division laboratories to its maximum capacities,” Dr Hj Norarfan added.
The centre will help make Brunei a major player in the global halal industry. Once the centre is established, it will aid the country’s halal industry through research and information published in academic journals.
The Brunei Times