UBD Hosts The Brunei Dialogue 2018

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) hosted The Brunei Dialogue 2018, the university presidential forum at the Royal Berkshire Hall, Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club on 27 July 2018. The Guest of Honour was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

The opening ceremony began with Welcoming Remarks by UBD Vice Chancellor, Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz. In her welcoming remarks, Datin Dr Dayang Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina shared that UBD launched the first Brunei Dialogue in 2013 with the aim to bring in key institutional leaders from top universities to hold high-level global dialogues around key issues in higher education and research.

The Brunei Dialogue 2018 brought together over 80 university presidents, rectors, vice presidents and participants from Asia. The theme of the dialogue was 'Universities as Drivers of Lifelong Learning and Enterprise' and consisted a keynote speech and three panel discussions. Sixteen distinguished speakers from top universities in Asia utilised the excellent platform to meet and exchange ideas on current and vital topics including lifelong learning, innovation and enterprise, the digital landscape as well as the development and cultivation of the quadruple helix collaborations between universities, industries, the public sector and the community.

In his opening speech, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti applauded UBD for providing a great platform for university presidents and senior university administrators to share thoughts on how universities map the future and impact society through innovating education and research as well as significant knowledge transfer. Yang Berhormat also urged universities to work not only with government agencies, but also the private sector to ensure future demand and supply of graduates are matching with each country's development.

Following Yang Berhormat's launching of The Brunei Dialogue 2018, the first keynote speech on 'The Role of Universities in Promoting Lifelong Learning' was delivered by Professor Tan Eng Chye, President of National University of Singapore (NUS). Professor Tan shared the NUS experience and commitment to lifelong learning for NUS undergraduates as well as alumni. Furthermore, he stressed lifelong learning is a fundamental mindset change where industry relevant education is crucial for the future job market.

This was followed by a roundtable session on 'The Role of Universities in the Digital Age' where discussions were centred around the impact, accessibility, adaptability and usability of digital revolution 4.0 on higher education. Panelists also highlighted challenges such as infrastructure and mindset towards the assimilation of technologies in teaching and learning.

A second roundtable session on 'The Role of Universities in Quadruple-Helix Collaboration' discussed the Quadruple-Helix relationship between university, industry, government and community and the increasingly critical role this relationship plays in the production, transfer and application of knowledge in the future, including how these collaborations are developed and fostered.

Challenges and trends impacting universities beyond 2020 was the closing panel in The Brunei Dialogue 2018. Panel members discussed vigorously the challenges, issues and trends facing as well as impacting universities in 2020 and beyond. Vast topics ranging from funding, philanthropy, teaching and learning, research and innovation to issues on infrastructure and employment were covered.

Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) is the premier university of Brunei and has continued steadily on its upward path, rising three places to 34 in the QS Top 50 Under 50 World Rankings and is currently 323 in the QS World University Rankings. UBD continues to focus on high quality academic research which is aligned with the national vision, Wawasan 2035 that not only has high academic value but also has economic and social impact, and applied relevance. This includes strategic areas such as alternative energy research, biodiversity and the environment including herbal and medicinal plant research, Islamic banking and finance, Islamic governance, data analytics and cybersecurity.

The Brunei Dialogue has provided a platform for university presidents to exchange ideas and brainstorm on issues pertinent to future universities. UBD has also hosted other similar platforms such as the President's Lecture and The Future Forum. The next Brunei Dialogue is scheduled to be held in 2020.

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