BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The reality of life after graduation — from the oversaturated job market to meeting employers’ expectations — means that local tertiary institutions need to help students by providing a holistic learning environment.

With this in mind, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), through its School of Business and School of Computing and Informatics, has designed modules and programmes which focus not only on meeting the challenges of the changing environment, but also tackle the demands of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 to make UTB students more marketable.

Providing students with real world on-the-job situations

The dean of UTB School of Business, Dr Hj Mohamed Saleem Nazmudeen, said in order to prepare students for the “turbulent and dynamic socio-economic environment”, the UTB School of Business is offering a module called Environment, Leadership, Technopreneurship and Social Innovation (ELTS)”.

The module is based on experiential learning and is compulsory for all students enrolled in UTB. The module will be taken during the second semester of their study, he said.

Through ELTS, students will be exposed to various real-world problems and are expected to propose innovative solutions to those problems.

“The structuring of the module is in the form of invited seminars from industry experts and site visits to government and private departments; small, medium and large enterprises and chosen communities,” he said.

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According to the dean, the module will allow students to understand, practice and encourage them to engage with real life on-the-job situations.

The module will also allow students to develop the ability to apply the concepts in a society or a business organisation environment and provide them with ideas for impactful projects which they will carry out during their study period, he said.

Coping with current technological challenges

“The Industrial Revolution 4.0 may impact the nature of jobs where it is replaced by advanced robotics and machine intelligence at a faster pace than they are being created. But at the same time the revolution can also empower individuals by giving them access to the digital networks to acquire knowledge, communicate with one another and conduct business,” said Dean of School of Computing and Informatics (SCI), Dr Au Thien Wan.

To meet the challenge of Industrial Revolution 4.0, SCI is offering programmes and courses that contain relevant knowledge such as big data, data mining, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, computer networking, cyber security and Internet of Things.

UTB’s School of Business is offering a a new module called Environment, Leadership, Technopreneurship and Social Innovation (ELTS) aimed at providing students with real world on-the-job situations. Photo: Courtesy of UTB

The school introduced BSc in Computing with Data Analytics in 2017, followed by BSc in Computer and Information Security and MSc in Information Security in 2018.

The dean shared that the curriculum at SCI was designed to encompass 20 percent breadth modules that prepare students with soft skills that emphasise working as a team, leadership, strong ethical values, environmental awareness, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“As the school is working closely with industry, graduates must be attached to the ICT industry for six months as interns, to get insight on how they operate and solve day-to-day problems.

“Students will also have the chance to work as interns at partner universities and research centers overseas, such as Network Media Lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, King Mongkut Universities Technology Thonburi in Thailand, University Malaya, and so forth.

“These are crucial for them to develop and form their initial ideas for the capstone project in the final year,” he said.

Dr Au said the courses are constantly reviewed by stakeholders through the SCI Industrial Liaison Committee.

“A large representation of the ILC are from the local ICT industry. The programmes are also accredited by the British Computer Society, where quality of the courses is kept to the highest standard and on par with most universities in the UK and in the world,” he said.

Providing pathways for further study

UTB, in collaboration with its satellite partners, have also created 14-week bridging programmes for prospective students who meet the university’s minimum entry requirement, but fall short on points for admission to specific business, computing or engineering undergraduate programmes.

To find out more about these study options, prospective students can visit the UTB website or visit the UTB booth at the Higher Education Expo at Bridex Hall, Jerudong from February 16-17.