BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) is leveraging on its diverse campus environment, first-rate faculties and international reputation for innovation and research to address today’s challenges, making sure that its graduates are marketable and industry-ready.
For Masters by Research in Engineering student from Malaysia, Angel Tan Eng Hie, learning in UTB reduces the chance of job mismatch by facilitating smooth transition from academic life to the working environment.
Because of this, Tan saved for three years for her tuition fee to enroll into UTB’s Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil with Structural Engineering and continued on with her postgraduate study also at UTB. Tan also shared her satisfaction in the quality of education she is receiving from the University. To her, UTB not only have experienced lecturers, the students are also provided with invaluable industrial knowledge that enhance their theoretical understandings.
“The lecturers turned supervisors and mentors guide us constructively in our studies. Lecturers with prior work experiences often would share their hands-on knowledge and their perspectives and highlight points that are less discussed in the books”, she said.
“I believe UTB is equally competitive as any other regional and international universities. Furthermore, studying in UTB allows me to be closer to my family and the best part was I can complete my degree at a fraction of the cost. This is in particular an important factor for prospective students facing financial constraint,” she added.
Tan, whose son will be turning six in April, said the understanding of the lecturers and the flexibility given to her is important in her role as a mother. “I love the fact that both the lecturers and non-academic staff here are very understanding and supportive, because I am a mother and with the continuous support given, I can juggle family commitments,” she said.
Meanwhile, School of Design’s student Lu Shir Mao said it was UTB’s reputation as a ‘hands-on’ and interactive school that piqued his interest in pursuing his architectural studies in UTB.
The architecture student said that despite being a new cours — the School of Design was only launched in August 2018 — the school has been very active. Local and international industry practitioners are also involved as UTB’s adjunct staff, enabling students to benefit from first-hand knowledge and experience of the industry.
Lu is also excited to share and contribute his knowledge in developing Brunei’s architecture.
“So far what I particularly enjoy here at UTB is the people, where everyone respects each other and shares knowledge,” he said.
A Masters by Research student from the School of Applied Sciences and Mathematics, Nurhazirah Nurazmy, shared that UTB offers programme that allows her to pursue her passion in food sciences and technology. She also hopes to contribute to the development of the agri-food industry in the country.
“From my research projects, I would like to develop products for the local and export market. Once I graduate from UTB, I can see myself applying my research skills in developing the agriculture sector in line with His Majesty’s titah on developing agriculture in the country,”she said.
Nurhazirah added that besides having approachable lecturers, UTB has helped her to become more independent. She has noticed an improvement in her communication skills.
“UTB allows me to meet new people and improve my communication skills that are beneficial for my personal development. It also pushes me to become more independent that allow me to do my best in achieving my utmost potential and talents in research studies.
“Opportunity to attend briefings, conferences, workshops and site visits are some of the things I enjoyed best here at the University. UTB also has that calming environment unlike other universities that I have been to before,” she said.
Meanwhile, current PhD student, Nurul Izzati Naqibah Zaidi, a young entrepreneur, founder of Mayang Couture said that UTB has created a platform for her to be the best person she could ever imagined, venturing into areas she never thought she would.
“UTB and UTB School of Business helped me change my views and perspectives on what we can achieve especially for young entrepreneurs and as a student. While I was pursuing my Degree in Technology Management [in the] last few years, it opened up my eyes and encouraged me to build my own start-up company, and recently venture into oil and gas business”, she said.
“At UTB, we are encouraged to go beyond our comfort zone and see obstacles as opportunities. I must admit it is hard but it doesn’t stop me because in life we can always slow down, but we should never stop,” said the 25-year old entrepreneur. “I have also encountered failures several times, but with continuous support from the University I am still able to withstand the challenges. I am also grateful that UTB has helped me realise my dreams by opening up my own Mayang Couture Boutique at the University Campus last year,” she added.
“What I would like other students to realise is that starting a business is for everyone even though you are still a student and UTB provides the best foundation for this. This is the reason why I chose UTB and why UTB is different from others,” said Izzati.
UTB alumni, Naasiruddeen Abdul Wahab said UTB nurtured his leadership, decision-making and management skills, which helped throughout the process of applying for an engineering job with Brunei LNG. UTB was Naasirudden’s university of choice because of the high marketability of its courses especially in engineering. “UTB’s balance in education and non-academic activities are its strengths which I believe can create a lot of successful graduates,” he added. He was a Bachelor of Engineering graduate in Electrical and Communication Engineering. Naasiruddeen was also the President of UTB Student Council 2014/2015, and he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award in 2016.
Another alumni, Qamaruzzaman Affandy saw the potential from the prospects offered by UTB, as it matched what other universities offered globally.
“UTB has always been known for its capabilities in equipping students with technical abilities,” he said adding that with its numerous research efforts and co-curricular activities, UTB is known for producing well-rounded graduates.
Qamaruzzaman currently works as a Database Administrator in BIBD. “UTB has definitely provided me with a platform during the six years (from Higher National Diploma to Undergraduate Degree) of studies and helped me grow to be where I am now. Looking back and seeing where I am now, I definitely made the right decision,” he said.