Internationalisation in Brunei’s Higher Education and Its Policy Implications: Case Study of Universiti Brunei Darussalam
The international dimension of higher education has evolved into a central feature of Brunei’s higher education sector for more than a decade. Despite the many benefits of internationalisation to students, host universities and host countries, challenges remain. While the internationalisation process has become the norm in the education sector, its outcomes and impacts are complex to measure as they manifest in a myriad of ways. One can argue that higher education has become part of globalisation and thus should no longer be strictly viewed from a national context. But the success of progress made in internationalisation depends on higher education institutions (HEIs)’ strategic goals and priorities operating within specific contexts and environments, and their rationales for internationalisation. Technology has not been adequately addressed in the literature as a rationale for internationalisation and no studies have looked into the internationalisation process and policy in Brunei context. This paper examines the motivations behind Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)’s internationalisation goals, and the ways UBD aligns their internationalisation strategies with the country’s planned vision (Wawasan 2035). Secondary sources of data and semi-structured interviews were employed to achieve the objectives of the study. Results showed that the growing needs for new and improved IT infrastructure, collaborative high impact research thrusts, and internationalisation of the curriculum, to name a few, have posed new thoughts and challenges to the landscape of Brunei’s higher education. Several recommendations were proposed to enhance current practices and the study highlights the need for a comprehensive internationalisation policy for Brunei’s HEIs.