UBD broke into the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asian University Rankings in 2014. Prior to that, UBD was an unranked university. Less rigorous ranking exercises placed UBD in the 2500 to 3500 range.
In the latest release by QS, UBD is now ranked 105 in Asia, 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 1% of universities in Asia.
UBD performed particularly well in several of the key indicators of teaching, being top 20 in Asia in 5 categories; 20th in international students, 11th in international faculty and 11th in faculty student ratio. UBD did particularly well in international exchange, ranked Number 1 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 internationalization.
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 a high of 324 in 2016. The impact of UBD's research is also growing; from only 633 citations in 2008 to over 2700 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, focuses on areas that will have an economic and social impact for the country and in 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 economic progress and our shared welfare as emphasized by His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor, in his Titah at UBD's 29th Convocation Ceremony in 2017, whereby His Majesty wish to see UBD produce more research and advised universities must plan holistically in order 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 to 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 realizing its vision of becoming a "world class" university.
Datin Dr Hjh Anita Binurul Zahrina bte POKLWDSS Hj Awg Abdul Aziz, the Vice Chancellor of UBD said, "Alhamdullilah, 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 continually seek 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 set. The holistic and multidisciplinary approach to education and personal development is integral in preparing them to bring Vision 2035 into fruition.
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 UBD 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.
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