In the latest announcement from the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has successfully maintained its last year’s position within the 351-400 band. UBD entered THE World University Rankings for the first time 2 years ago in the 401-500 band. This year, UBD also saw a significant rise and improvement in the impact and quality of research citations, moving from a world ranking of 311 in 2020, to 268 in 2021, and reaching a high of 233 in 2022. Progress was also observed in the number of publications per staff, doctorates awarded, number of international students, staff student ratio and industry income. The rankings place UBD among highly regarded and reputable universities worldwide. UBD is also ranked 4th in ASEAN after National University Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Universiti Malaya in Malaysia.
The THE World University Rankings is one of the most influential university rankings in the world and is widely used by many of the world's top universities, industry and government agencies as well as by prospective staff and students. It is regarded as an objective, robust and transparent system which uses a global performance table that judges research intensive universities across all their key missions, including Teaching, Research, Research Influence, Knowledge Transfer and International Outlook. UBD is currently placed in both the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the THE World University Rankings, a major milestone for the 36-year-old university.
UBD is guided and driven by the Titah of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and UBD's Chancellor during UBD's 29th Convocation Ceremony in 2017, which called for continuous improvements in research and innovation, especially those involving collaborations with other universities and relevant agencies, which includes the government and private sectors. His Majesty highlighted the importance of research activities which contribute to the enrichment of knowledge and which help to develop the country's economic growth.
UBD believes that continuous dialogue and collaboration with universities, government agencies, private sector and the community facilitates technology transfer and hands-on training for students, opening up opportunities for academics and graduates to explore commercialisation ventures. UBD’s active links with both Bruneian and international partner agencies and industries is a key feature of its GenNEXT curriculum, ensuring that students receive industry-relevant job training, experience, and industry-recognised certifications, maximising their employment potential through real world experiential learning.
For example, UBD is currently collaborating with Dynamik Technologies Sdn Bhd to develop the Headstart apprenticeship programme, which is part of the Bachelor of Digital Science degree, designed to produce industry-ready graduates in the field of info-communication. UBD also collaborates with Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd in a joint training programme for Chemical and Process Engineering students with Zhejiang University in China. Graduates from the programme are all currently employed by Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd.
Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, UBD has continued its dialogue with industries through online programmes including virtual internship projects. Involvement in collaborative, applied research and development projects with private sector industries also enhances student training. In the past year, UBD has undertaken 16 consultancy projects with industries, drawing on the expertise of UBD staff and graduate students, as well as establishing 5 new industry research projects. One ongoing research collaboration is with Pahaytc Sdn Bhd, which is investigating Bruneian flora with the potential for large-scale production and commercialisation. A commercial licensing agreement was reached with Pahaytc Sdn Bhd in 2020, and is UBD’s second commercialisation agreement after a successful first one with Smart Coating Technologies Sdn Bhd in 2018. The focus on industry collaboration and entrepreneurship training in UBD has also resulted in 78 startups established by students and graduates in the past year. In addition to developing successful entrepreneurs, each startup has the potential to generate job opportunities for Bruneians. Indeed, UBD has recorded a significant increase in the number of its graduates employed in the private sector.
Collaborations with university partners and industries such as these have contributed to UBD's international recognition. Its latest achievement includes receiving the Clarivate South and Southeast Asia Innovation Award. This award is based on the analysis of inventions and patent volume, patent success, patents granted, and patent investment. Receiving the Clarivate Innovation Award places UBD as a top innovator, on par with 6 other prominent universities in the South and Southeast Asian region, including the National University of Singapore, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. To date, UBD has filed a total of 60 patents worldwide, of which 40 have already been granted. 38 patents were filed in the United States of America, of which 33 have already been granted.
“Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah Subahanahu Wata'ala and the ongoing support of 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 Brunei Darussalam, this achievement has been possible," UBD’s Vice Chancellor Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz said. "In addition, the combined efforts of our staff and students have contributed to UBD's consistent progress and international recognition over the past years. We hope that this will encourage our staff and students to continue looking into ways where academia and industry can collaborate to transform ideas into innovative enterprise and contribute to the growth of the Bruneian economy insha Allah."
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