Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has achieved another major milestone. It is the first university in Brunei Darussalam to be ranked for its engineering excellence by the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings, coming in at the 201-250 band. This positions UBD as the 4th ranked engineering school in ASEAN, along with the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Universiti Malaya in Malaysia.
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 peer universities, industry and government agencies as well as by prospective staff and students. In addition to the overall university ranking, THE ranks universities by subjects, focusing on excellence in the quality of teaching and research impact. This is the second subject ranking for UBD in which Physical Sciences entered the ranking for the first time last year.The success of UBD's Engineering programme is due in part to its emphasis on a high-quality design-centric, broad-based Engineering education with an innovative curriculum. The undergraduate GenNext Engineering curriculum has been developed through collaborative works with world leading technological universities such as Stevens Institute of Technology, USA and Zhejiang University, China. The Bachelor of Engineering programme spans a wide range of areas that cover most of the fields identified in the Brunei Vision 2035 Plan, focusing on producing high quality graduates with industry experience and in areas of economic importance for the country.
The quality and relevance of UBD's Engineering programme is validated and enhanced by being accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) based in the USA. This accreditation is a form of quality assurance for programmes in the areas of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. It is recognised globally as evidence that a programme meets the standards set by its technical profession. When enrolled in an ABET-accredited programme, students can be guaranteed that they will receive a quality education programme that satisfies requirements of professional organisations worldwide and have more opportunities to develop their personal careers after graduation.
In addition to General Engineering, UBD's Chemical and Process Engineering Degree is offered in collaboration with Zhejiang University, China and Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd where all the graduates from this programme have been successfully employed by Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, particularly at the refinery located on Pulau Muara Besar. As a result, the Faculty of Integrated Technology (FIT) is one of the main feeders of qualified manpower to the downstream oil and gas processing industry in Brunei Darussalam.
UBD's ranking in Engineering also attests to the highly impactful research conducted in the university, including applied engineering research. The university's research thrust include significant advancements in the fields of Energy, Healthcare/Health Sciences, Environment, Product Development through Advanced Manufacturing Processes, Electronics, Sustainable Engineering, Material Science, Food Security and Information/Communication Technology.
In addition, UBD's Centre for Advanced Materials and Energy Studies (CAMES) conducts research in the fields of energy and advanced materials for the purpose of attaining sustainable living. Offering graduate studies programmes in energy and material sciences, its core research areas also include engineering components such as nano-photonics, catalysis, gas/chemical sensors, solar fuels and solar photovoltaics.
The growing reputation for excellence in teaching and research has led to increasing collaborations with top international engineering universities. In addition to Zhejiang University, UBD has developed joint research programmes with Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea, in the field of Smart Manufacturing Technologies and Virginia Tech, USA in the field of Bioinspiration. These linkages are important as they enhance industry relevant and technology transfer as well as provide students with valuable experience and networks and student exchange programmes. UBD has plans to expand collaborations in the modern fields such as Smart Factory Convergence, Advanced Digital Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, 5G and 6G communication, Artificial Intelligence based Energy Generation and Agriculture and Civil Structures.
The success of the Engineering school in UBD draws inspiration and guidance from 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, who is also the Chancellor of UBD. In a Titah during the 25th UBD Convocation Ceremony in 2013, His Majesty expressed hope that the newly established FIT and reintroduction of the Engineering programme in UBD would become internationally recognised as a centre for Engineering excellence. Both the ABET accreditation and the latest Engineering subject ranking are indication that UBD, through its relevant faculties and centres as well as staff and students, is on the right track towards that goal.
When asked about this major achievement, the Dean of FIT, Dr Juliana Haji Zaini noted that the staff and students of FIT have always been committed and passionate about excellence in teaching and highly impactful research. Being ranked amongst the best engineering schools in the region is the result of the hard work and professionalism of staff and students in FIT. Dr Juliana added, "It instills great confidence in our current and future students of the quality and credibility of our Engineering programmes. I hope this continues to inspire and encourage Bruneians to pursue further education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)."
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