UBD achieved a major landmark in 2017. For the first time, it broke into the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, attaining a creditable 349th rank. With over 26,000 universities in the world, QS has placed UBD among the top 1.3 percent of universities worldwide. UBD is one of only 13 universities from Southeast Asia to be ranked in the top 400 in the world.
It is a breakthrough achievement for the 32 year old university, which made headlines the first year it participated in the QS Asia university rankings in 2014. UBD became one of the fastest rising universities in 2015 when it leaped 57 places to an overall ranking of 118 in the region. Prior to 2014, UBD was unranked in the leading university rankings exercises. A sign of continued progress, UBD has made it into the more prestigious QS World University Rankings for the very first time.
The QS World University Rankings compares the leading universities around the world. Based on six performance indicators, the ranking assesses university performance across four areas: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. It is regarded as one of the most influential and reliable university rankings in the world. Among the indicators, UBD performed particularly well in international faculty, coming in at 47th in the world, faculty student ratio, at 69th in the world, and international students, ranked at 210. .
QS has noted that there is a strong correlation between national investment in education and performance in the international rankings. UBD's development is only possible through strong support of His Majesty's Government.
In the latest release by QS, UBD is also 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 and to its highest position to date. With almost 12,000 universities in Asia, UBD is now among the top 1 percent of universities in Asia.
Being amongst the top institutions in the world was emphasised by His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Chancellor, in his Titah at UBD's 26th Convocation Ceremony in 2014, whereby His Majesty advised UBD that it is important to compete rather than being a spectator.
UBD developed an innovative and broad-based GenNEXT curriculum, with an emphasis on producing adaptable and entrepreneurial future-ready graduates with a passion for lifelong learning. Recently, UBD opened the Centre for Lifelong learning (C3L), offering a degree in Digital Economy, and introducing more pathways for higher education for mature students and the community. While the rankings attest to its growing international reputation, UBD remains fully committed to its primary mission of producing highly educated and industry relevant students with the necessary skills and expertise for the nation's future workforce and supporting Brunei Darussalam's Wawasan 2035.
Research activities in UBD has risen exponentially; the research publications in international peer reviewed journals rose almost tenfold and the citation index increased by fivefold between 2006 and 2016. UBD faculties and research institutes have focused on key areas of research relevant to Brunei Darussalam; Energy Studies, Biodiversity and the Environment, Islamic Studies, including Islamic Governance and Asian Studies. For the first time, UBD is now ranked as a "high" research intensive university by QS.
"Many congratulations to UBD on the results of their dedication and hard work," said Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Suyoi Haji Osman, Minister of Education and Chair of UBD Council, "Alhamdulillah, entering the QS World University Rankings for the first time is a tremendous achievement for UBD and for Brunei".
UBD is also actively growing its collaborations with agencies, prestigious institutions and industries, both within Brunei Darussalam and abroad, to grow its teaching capabilities, publication output and research. The rising international reputation of UBD is linked to its partnerships with top peer universities in the world. For example, UBD's Master in Public Policy and Management Programme is conducted in collaboration with Duke University, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, and the University of California, Berkeley. Similarly, UBD's Islamic Studies initiative has collaborative research with Oxford University, Kyoto University and the International Institute of Islamic Thought.
Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina POKLWDSS Haji Awg Abdul Aziz, the Vice Chancellor of UBD said, "Masya Allah, this is a historic milestone for UBD. This has been made possible with the hard work of our most important resource: our people, both past and present. Alhamdulillah, the combined efforts and dedication of all our staff – academic and administrative - as well as our students, have been instrumental in achieving this. I wish to acknowledge all the people who have been part of UBD's journey over the past 32 years since its establishment." She added, "UBD will continue to strive to become a world class university and fulfill its primary mission of producing highly educated and well trained students with the necessary skills for the workforce and nation building."
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