UBD Universiti Brunei Darussalam Mega Leap to 105 in Asian Ranking

UBD provides a supportive and conducive environment for academics and students to enable and enhance the teaching and learning as well as research activities

The Centre for Advanced Materials and Energy Sciences (CAMES) provides a platform for researchers from various fields to come together to conceptualise ideas and find solutions to problems pertaining to energy and advanced materials, collaborating closely with government and private agencies as well as local industries. – PHOTOS: UBD

As researchers, both academics and students encounter novel solutions that can have massive impact globally. The 36 PhD graduates this year is a testament to growing interest in research among Bruneians and the trust from international students in UBD’s infrastructure, facilities, expertise and support as they pursue an even deeper understanding of their fields

Mega Leap: UBD ranked 105 in QS Asian Ranking

October 18, 2017

UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) is now ranked 105 in Asia in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asian University Rankings, up from 123 last year. This makes UBD one of the fastest rising universities in Asia, moving from 171-180 in 2014, 118 in 2015, to its highest position to date at 105. With almost 12,000 universities in Asia, UBD is now among the top one per cent of universities in Asia.

UBD broke into the QS Asian University Rankings in 2014. Prior to that, UBD was an unranked university. Less rigorous ranking exercises placed UBD in the 2,500 to 3,500 range.

UBD performed particularly well in several of the key indicators of teaching, being top 20 in Asia in five categories – 20th in international students, 11th in international faculty and 11th in faculty-student ratio. UBD did particularly well in international exchange, ranked number one in Asia for both inbound and outbound students.

Regarded as one of the most influential and reliable university rankings in the world, QS compares leading universities based on six performance indicators and assesses their performance across four areas – research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.

As part of the ranking exercise, QS measures research productivity. Research activity in UBD has increased exponentially, with the number of papers being published growing annually. The number of papers published by UBD staff in top international journals went from just 57 papers in 2008 to as high as 324 in 2016. The impact of UBD’s research is also growing – from only 633 citations in 2008 to over 2,700 citations in 2016.

For the first time, UBD is ranked as a “high” research intensive university this year. In its research strategic plan, UBD in addition to basic research, focusses on areas that will have an economic and social impact for the country and on key research niches relevant to Brunei Darussalam, including Energy Studies, Biodiversity and the Environment, Agro-technology, Islamic Studies, including Islamic Governance and Asian Studies.

Research is a significant contributor to Brunei’s economic progress and shared welfare as emphasised by 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 and Chancellor of UBD, in the monarch’s titah at the university’s 29th Convocation Ceremony in 2017. In the titah, His Majesty wished to see UBD produce more research and advised universities must plan holistically to achieve their targets and involve themselves in strategic planning processes.

UBD’s growing list of collaborations with agencies, academic institutions and industries, both within Brunei Darussalam and abroad, has helped develop its teaching capabilities, publication output and research impact. Its partnerships with top peer universities in the world have paved the way for better staff and student exchanges. With its growing international reputation, UBD is fast realising its vision of becoming a “world class” university.

Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Abdul Aziz, the Vice-Chancellor of UBD said, “Alhamdulillah, we have done well in the QS rankings exercise, particularly on indicators of teaching and learning. This has always been the focus of the university, to prepare graduates who are ‘future ready’, who are relevant for the workplace, and who will contribute to the economic development of the country.”

She added, “UBD continuously seeks to produce highly employable graduates who will be innovative future leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset.”

UBD also promotes lifelong learning where graduates are encouraged to continue pursuing knowledge that can add value to their existing skill sets. The holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to education and personal development is integral in preparing them to bring Brunei Vision 2035 into fruition.

The year 2017 has been a very good year for UBD. In June, for the first time UBD broke into the QS World University Rankings, coming in at 349th, placing the Brunei’s prestigious university among the top 1.3 per cent of universities worldwide. Also in July, for the first time in its history, UBD made the QS Top 50 under 50 rankings, ranked 37th in the world for universities founded less than 50 years ago.

Established only 32 years ago as Brunei Darussalam’s first national university, UBD is relatively young but is rapidly gaining an international reputation in higher education circles.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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