UBD Now Top 100 in Asia

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) continues its sustained climb up the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings, rising five places. UBD is now in the top 100 in Asia and maintains its place in the top 1 percent among universities in the region.

UBD first broke into the rankings at 171-180 in 2014, then rose rapidly to 118 in 2015, 105 in 2017 and now at 100th place.

The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam has strongly supported and ensured the bountiful resources to ensure UBD’s high quality teaching. In a titah during UBD's 30th Convocation ceremony last month, His Majesty, Chancellor of UBD lauded the university’s emphasis on sophisticated 21st Century skills for education and research as academicians and graduates need to collaborate with the public and private sectors to build the nation through a knowledge-based economy.

UBD performed particularly well in several key indicators. The university is among the top 25 in Asia in five areas. It ranks number 1 in Asia for Outbound Students for four consecutive years and number 1 in Asia for Inbound Exchange Students two years in a row. These indicators offer insight into internationalisation activities, ensuring that students receive real world experiential learning.

It also placed 13th in Asia for International Faculty and ranked 15th for Faculty-Student Ratio, which measures the ratio of full-time academic staff per student. This is indicative of the high quality of teaching UBD students receive. For International Students, UBD ranks 23rd, attesting to a dynamic campus that offers a diverse learning and cultural experience. UBD’s Academic Reputation also continues to climb up and it now sits proudly at 148, reinforcing its strong academic reputation within the international community.

As part of the ranking exercise, QS measures research productivity and impact. Research activity has increased exponentially in UBD, with the number of high quality papers published in top peer-reviewed journals. UBD published only 26 papers in 2006 and the number continued to grow throughout the decade, hitting a peak of 340 publications in 2016, attesting to the high impact of UBD’s publications. Furthermore, over two-thirds of UBD publications in top tier journals have at least one international collaborator.

In the short span of ten years, QS recognised UBD as a “moderate” research university in 2017 and a “High” research university in 2018. For the first time ever in 2019, QS has now classified UBD as "Very High" Research Intensive, the highest level of recognition for this category and a trait possessed by other top universities in the world. It continues to focus on key areas of research which have academic and economic relevance, impactful and important in national development. UBD’s peaks of research excellence include Biodiversity, Energy, Asian Studies, Islamic Studies and Governance, and the latest addition of Herbal and Medicinal research. The recent opening of the Botanical Research Centre and establishment of research groups studying local plants have expanded UBD’s reach, providing valuable data on flora which carry great pharmaceutical potential. 

This year, QS introduced a new "International Research Network" indicator. This assesses the degree of international research collaboration and transnational research partnership among institutions. UBD did very well in this measure, ranking 108 in Asia, placing it at the very high 73rd percentile of universities in Asia.

UBD conducts joint-research with some of the top universities in the world. In Biodiversity and Environmental Studies, UBD maintains close ties with top institutions such as Korea University, Monash University and National University of Singapore (NUS). In Asian Studies, UBD has strong connections with Fudan University, Oxford University and Kyoto University. In Energy Studies, UBD has formed solid links with Osaka University, Australia National University and Ecole Polytechnic Lausanne. A key area of research emphasis, Islamic Studies, UBD links with Columbia University, Cambridge University and Islamic International University of Malaysia. In Data Analytics, UBD works closely with University of Tokyo and Imperial College London. These international linkages are part of UBD’s long term developmental plan with collaborative research that spans the globe and contributes significantly to the teaching and academic training of its students.

While UBD participates in the ranking exercise, the institution’s critical focus remains on high quality teaching and the training of its students through state-of-the-art education which prepares its graduates for the workforce. UBD continues to produce high quality graduates who are relevant and employable, capable of contributing to the future of Brunei Darussalam’s economy. Placing in the top 100 in Asia will be able to continue attracting high quality faculty members for its students.

"Alhamdulillah, it is a great honour and achievement for UBD to break into QS Asia Ranking's top 100," UBD Vice Chancellor, Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz said. “This could only be possible with the unwavering support by the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam. I would also like to acknowledge all staff and students who have contributed to UBD’s continued rise in international standing.”

"While the ranking exercise helps us to gauge our ability to provide quality teaching to our students, we have to continue to ensure that our main objective remains in effectively equipping our graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge that will secure their future in a challenging, ever-growing job market,” She adds. “Insya’Allah high quality graduates will contribute greatly to the nation’s development and in the realisation of Brunei Darussalam’s Wawasan 2035."

Earlier this year in the QS World University Rankings, UBD rose 26 places to 323 in the world. It also rose three places to 34th in the world by QS for young universities globally.

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