Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed earlier this year in March, two Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students were signed to Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) as sponsored students during a ceremony held on 1 December 2016 at TelBru's Learning Centre in Lambak Kanan.
UBD's Faculty of Integrated Technologies (FIT) undergraduates fourth year Tan Chien Loong and third year Muhamad Afieq Rosle can see themselves undertaking professional technical responsibilities within the next three to five years as part of TelBru's localisation initiative. Under the sponsorship, the Engineering students undertaking their degrees in Information Communication Systems will be provided with practical training opportunities while on attachment with TelBru.
Signing on behalf of TelBru and UBD respectively were the Chief Executive Officer of TelBru, David Kay and UBD Assistant Vice Chancellor (Corporate & Administration) Hjh Rubiah Hj Yacub. Also present at the ceremony was the Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Technologies (FIT) Professor Liyanage DeSilva.
David Kay shared the company’s belief that educating the young is a shared responsibility. “That is why industry and academic partnership like ours is significantly important to us,” he said. “And as a potential employer for your graduates, this partnership will enable the undergraduates to attune themselves to the needs of this constantly evolving industry.”
As the graduates will be trained according to industry specifications and needs, this will broaden their experience and expose them to real problems and solutions, increasing their marketability in an ever-growing challenging job market.
In her speech, Hjh Rubiah said the sponsorship "signifies the importance of industry support and input as strategic partners in preparing and training the future workforce of the country to be future ready with the skills and expertise that are relevant for the new economy and at the same time realising Brunei Darussalam’s vision 2035 to attain highly-skilled and well-educated citizens." She lauded industry support as one of the essential components for the advancement of higher education as it generates creativity, innovation and enterprise. With the expectation for universities to be more self-sustainable, such attributes can only be attained by engaging the industry in curriculum development in order to inculcate the culture of creativity, innovation and enterprise among students and staff.
Conveying her thanks, she added further that sponsorship of the students demonstrates the dedication of TelBru as a key industry partner in shaping and producing future GenNEXT engineers. "I hope through our collective effort and commitment, UBD and Telbru will be able to achieve more, further develop and strengthen our relationship to maintain a successful and fruitful partnership."
Muhamad Afieq pointed out that the Faculty of Integrated Technologies (FIT) is “different from other faculties” as internship is compulsory for its students. Excited for the opportunity, he hopes to be able to put into practice what he has learned theoretically. “This is part of the learning journey, he added, eager to contribute not just to the company but also the nation.
Tan Chien Loong is from the first batch of students in FIT and embraces this upcoming new experience. “The faculty has always pushed students, providing opportunities for them to gain hands-on experience,” he said. Pointing out the nature of the job market these days, he hopes that such a partnership would be able to secure a job in the future.
With a focus on student experience, the GenNEXT curriculum gives student the freedom and flexibility to to choose their learning path. From the Discovery Year programme, students are able to work in multidisciplinary labs, contribute to community outreach programmes, immerse in internship with the industry and are exposed to first hand entrepreneurship.
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