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Brunei Darussalam

This profile is represented by the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE). SEA-VET.NET shall supplement more information from Polytechnic Brunei, as well as other TVET line Ministries, private TVET institutions and relevant agencies in the course of time. Please click here to share relevant information to help us further develop the profile.

Key Indicators


  • Capital

    Bandar Seri Begawan

  • Main Industries/Sectors

    Oil & Gas; Construction


Economy

TVET

Overview

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was formally introduced in Brunei Darussalam in 1970 with the formation of two trade schools, namely the Sekolah Pertukangan Bagunan (Building Trade School) in the Brunei-Muara District and the Sekolah Kejuteraan Kerajaan (Government Engineering School) in the Belait District. These schools offered UK-based craft programmes to meet the needs of Form Three leavers.

The importance of TVET in Brunei has only grown ever since.

Brunei’s economy relies heavily on the oil and gas industry. With depleting oil reserves, the nation needs to prepare itself for the future and ensure its economic sustainability. In response to the new needs, the Government is working towards achieving economic diversification. Education, particularly, technical and vocational education and training is playing a strategic role in preparing a workforce that is diverse, skilled, employable and able to meet the demands of a future non-oil economy.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is the main Ministry responsible for TVET. The MoE continues to respond more effectively to the needs and expectations of the nation as ‘one system’. In line with the ‘whole-nation approach’, the MoE is strategising a unified pathway starting from education and training until entering the workforce.1

With the Brunei Technical Education Transformation strategic initiative and the establishment of Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) and Politeknik Brunei (PB), the MoE has already laid the foundations for preparing highly competitive and skilled graduates.

In addition, lately great emphasis has been laid on engaging the private sector in making the TVET programmes more relevant and graduates more employable. Resultantly, one of the main strategic decisions under the transformation initiative has been the shift from a supply-driven TVET system to the one that is demand-driven. Both public institutions strive to impart quality technical education that is in line with the demands of the industry so that graduates would be able to find employment upon course completion.

Mission

Brunei Darussalam is in need of a skilled and entrepreneurial workforce to spur economic development of the country as envisioned by Brunei’s Vision 2035. TVET must prepare learners for gainful employment and sustainable livelihoods.

Brunei Vision 2035 (Wawasan Brunei 2035)2,3 (fig. 1)33 aims to transform Brunei Darussalam by 2035 as a nation widely recognised for:

  • The accomplishment of its educated and highly skilled people as measured by the highest international standards;
  • Quality of life that is among the top ten nations in the world; and
  • A dynamic and sustainable economy with income per capita within the top ten countries in the world.                                           
Figure 1: Brunei Vision 203533
Figure 1: Brunei Vision 203533

Education plays a strategic role (fig. 2)33 in achieving the goals of Wawasan Brunei 2035. The Ministry of Education (MoE), with its mission to ‘provide holistic education to achieve fullest potential for all’4 considers the SPN-21 - National Education System for the 21st Century or in Malay, Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad ke-21 (SPN-21)5 to:

  • Act as the MoE’s platform for achieving Wawasan Brunei 2035;
  • Realise MoE’s Vision and Mission;
  • Add value and raise the quality of education in line with current/contemporary needs and the anticipated needs in future years;
  • Fulfil the needs and challenges of the social and economic development of the 21st Century;
  • Develop 21st Century skills amongst students; and
  • Uphold and develop desired values and attitudes amongst students in line with the Malay Islamic Monarchy or Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) concept as the national philosophy.
Figure 2: Process in achieving Brunei Vision 203533
Figure 2: Process in achieving Brunei Vision 203533

Vocational and technical education is one of the main pillars of the SPN-21 (fig. 3).33 TVET in Brunei aspires to achieve the following goals in the long term:

  • Develop a TVET system that is accessible, equitable and attractive to promote growth and work;
  • Create the conditions of quality TVET education system; and
  • Implement a transparent and efficient governance.
Figure 3: The three major changes in National Education System for 21st Century33
Figure 3: The three major changes in National Education System for 21st Century33

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIs)

Three main KPIs are used to measure the success of TVET in Brunei (fig. 4).33 They are:

  1. Employability Rate: It is a measure of the percentage of graduates being employed 6 months after graduation6;
  2. Employers’ Satisfaction Rate: It is the measure of the proportion of employers being satisfied with the work and performance of graduates being hired6; and
  3. Students’ Completion Rate: It is a measure of percentage of students completing their programmes.
Figure 4: The three Key Performance Indicators to measure the success of TVET in Brunei33
Figure 4: The three Key Performance Indicators to measure the success of TVET in Brunei33

In terms of aligning national goals with common development goals for TVET at regional level, Brunei has participated in regional dialogues and workshops on development of TVET initiatives that focus on the harmonisation of TVET in Southeast Asia covering topics such as TVET teacher standards, TVET quality assurance and more. The establishment of Regional SEAMEO Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training - SEAMEO VOCTECH in Brunei, reinforces the role that TVET has acquired for the region. TVET is one of the seven priority areas of SEAMEO 2016-2020.

Legislation

As stipulated in international political agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), TVET is central to the development goals of Brunei. It has the potential to address key issues such as core labour standards and occupa­tional health and safety, and plays a significant role in the effort to build sustaina­ble value chains. SDGs 4, 5 and 8 respectively are directly related to vocational education. The Education for All (EFA) goal, too, forms an im­portant frame of reference for Brunei’s TVET development pol­icy.7 At the policy level:

  • The Compulsory Education Order 20075 was promulgated in 2007. It stipulates that Bruneian children residing in the country, regardless of gender and race, shall receive formal education for at least nine years. This comprises a year in pre-school, six years in primary education and two years in lower secondary; and
  • SPN-215 was introduced in 2009 to bring about three main changes to: education structure; curriculum and assessment; and technical education. SPN-21 aims to reposition Technical Education as a ‘choice post-secondary education capable of producing highly skilled workforce in line with the needs of the industry’.
Strategy

In order to realise Brunei Vision 2035, eight strategies3 have been identified: (i) education, (ii) economy, (iii) security, (iv) institutional development, (v) local business development, (vi) infrastructure development, (vii) social security, and (viii) environment.

The education strategy in particular will ‘prepare the youth for employment and achievement in a world that is increasingly competitive and knowledge-based’.3 In moving towards 2035, it puts in place the following eight Outline Strategy Policy Directions (OSPD):

  1. Investing in early childhood education;
  2. Adopting international best practices in teaching and learning;
  3. Having first class secondary and tertiary education including vocational schools, that produce experts, professionals and technicians required in commerce and industry;
  4. Strengthening the competency in info-communication technology (ICT) for students, teachers and educational administrators including integration of ICT in school curriculum
  5. Devising programmes that promote lifelong learning and widen access to higher education;
  6. Promoting research, development and innovation both in government-funded institutions and through public-private and international partnerships;
  7. Adopting cost-effective methods of educating the people through the use of technology; and
  8. Improving the management of all educational institutions.

These are translated into education reforms and MoE’s Strategic Plan (2022-2018) (fig. 5).1 By focusing on three specific areas viz. leadership and governance, system-wide support, and teaching and learning, the strategic plan aims to:

  1. Transform the organization through a performance driven culture for growth and success;
  2. Provide equal and equitable access to higher learning for opportunities to quality education; and
  3. Engage and involve stakeholders for shared accountability in the learning development of our learners.
Figure 5: Strategy map of the Ministry of Education1
Figure 5: Strategy map of the Ministry of Education1

In order to achieve SPN-21, the Ministry of Education embarked on seven grand initiatives that lay the directions for its Education Strategy. These are (fig. 6)33:

  1. Literacy and Numeracy (Learners’ Proficiency)
  2. Model Schools
  3. Talent Pipeline
  4. Teachers Quality and Professionalism
  5. e-Hijrah projects
  6. Brunei Technical Education Transformation
  7. Leadership Development
Figure 6: The seven grand initiatives of the MoE to achieve SPN-2133
Figure 6: The seven grand initiatives of the MoE to achieve SPN-2133

The Brunei Technical Education Transformation strategic initiative led to the establishment of the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) and Politeknik Brunei (PB). Under the auspices of the MoE, both public institutions strive to impart quality technical education that is in line with the demands of the industry. In addition, one of the main strategic decisions under the transformation initiative is to shift the supply-driven TVET system to the one that is demand-driven so that skilled graduates are easily absorbed by the industry.

Governance

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is the sole body responsible for overseeing education. Quality assurance, qualification framework, accreditation, certification, curricula development, and the like fall under its jurisdiction.

The organisational structure of the MoE is divided into core and higher education.8 TVET is placed under the purview of the higher education portfolio. As stated above, currently the two main public TVET providers that fall under the auspices of the MoE include - The Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) and Politeknik Brunei (PB).

In addition, government agencies from other TVET line ministries include the Centre for Capacity Building (Pusat Pembangunan Kapasati - PPK) under the purview of the Ministry of Energy and Industry (MEI), as well as the Youth Development Centre (Pusat Pembangunan Belia - PPB) under the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports (MCYS).

Financing

A national total budget of BND 5.3 billion was passed for the financial year 2018/2019.9 This is in line with the theme of ‘Productive and Innovative Expenditure to Maintain Nation’s Prosperity’ that focuses on five focal elements for its expenditure; these are10:

  1. Prudent spending;
  2. Establishing job opportunities and building capacity;
  3. Enhancing productivity through innovation;
  4. Facilitating business; and
  5. Upholding public welfare.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for financing technical and vocational education and training. Besides the highest allocation of BND 900 million for National Development Plans for current and new projects, the MoE has been allocated BND 695.8 million - an increase of approximately BND 30 million from the previous financial year. This is the third highest allocation after the Ministry of Development (BND 807 million), and the Ministry of Finance (BND 747 million).9

With this budget allocation, the MoE aims to improve the quality of education, including teacher development at all levels - from primary through to higher education. This financial year, the MoE focuses on four priority areas11:

  • Strengthening the quality of school leaders through the Brunei Darussalam School Leadership Standard;
  • Strengthening the quality of teaching and learning for 21st century skill sets;
  • Implementing a “school-home link” between parents and schools to help institutions monitor the students’ progress at home; and
  • Enhancing students’ literacy and numeracy skills through the Literacy and Numeracy Coaching Programme (LNCP).

Moreover, out of its total budget, the MoE has assigned BND 14.7 million for projects in three technical education centres, 76 primary schools, 26 secondary schools as well as three sixth form centres.11

System

21st Century National Education System

In 2009, the Ministry of Education (MoE) introduced a new educational system in Brunei Darussalam referred to as Sistem Pendidikan Negara Abad Ke-21 (SPN-21),5 or The National Education System for the 21st Century. Its main aims are to:

  • Meet the social and economic challenges of the 21st Century;
  • Realise the Ministry of Education's vision and mission;
  • Equip students with 21st Century skills; and
  • Fulfil the strategic themes as outlined in the Ministry of Education's Strategic Plan.

The SPN-21 (fig. 7)12 follows the ‘6-5-2 school system’, which comprises 6 years in primary school, 5 years in secondary school and 2 years in preparatory school. The first three years in the five-year secondary school and six-year primary school are compulsory. Nearly one-fourth of the student population joins university; it is also possible to accelerate and enter a university during the preparatory school years. Since 1984, English education (as a second language) is imparted in order to develop bilingual human resources.13,p179


Timeline:

1993: 12-Year Education Policy replaced the 9-Year Education Policy introduced in 1972. It stipulated every student to be provided with 12 years of education, 9 of which would be free. The new provision advocated 7 years in pre-school and primary, 3 years in lower secondary and 2 years in upper secondary.

1994: Brunei Darussalam embraced the concept of inclusive education.

1997: Special Education Policy was implemented. This policy made provision for the inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream schools.

2003: The new Education Order was promulgated with the aim of achieving an effective, efficient and equitable system of education that was in line with both, the national philosophy of a Malay Islamic Monarchy or Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), and the needs of a modern, technological and ICT era.

2007: The enactment of the Compulsory Education Order mandated that every Bruneian child and those residing in this country above the age of six years who have not yet attained the age of 15 years receive compulsory education for at least nine years.


Figure 7: Structure of the 21st Century National Education System (SPN-21) in Brunei12
Figure 7: Structure of the 21st Century National Education System (SPN-21) in Brunei12

TVET System

In order to meet the country’s manpower requirements and to sustain economic growth, the national education system of Brunei strives to be a dynamic one. Consequently, under the SPN-21, reforms are undertaken in the following areas (fig. 8)33:

  • Curriculum and assessment;
  • Structure of the education system; and
  • Vocational and technical education system.
Figure 8: The three major changes in National Education System for 21st Century33
Figure 8: The three major changes in National Education System for 21st Century33

Formal TVET System

TVET was formally introduced in Brunei Darussalam in 1970 with the formation of two trade schools, namely the Sekolah Pertukangan Bagunan (Building Trade School) in the Brunei-Muara District and the Sekolah Kejuteraan Kerajaan (Government Engineering School) in the Belait District. These schools offered UK-based craft programmes to meet the needs of Form Three leavers. The establishment of these schools marked the beginning of a separate TVET system and the growing importance of TVET in meeting the manpower requirements of the country.

TVET is embedded as part of the formal education system at two levels: secondary and post-secondary. At the secondary level, students are able to acquire basic technical and vocational skills only by joining the Applied Programme stream. The Institute of Brunei Technical Education and the Politeknik Brunei are the two major providers of post-secondary TVET in Brunei. Table 114 summarizes the TVET system in Brunei.

The technical education, however, is still in its transition phase.  During this transition stage, programmes at various levels are being phased out and replaced by new ones15 (fig. 9).16 IBTE still offers the two-year BDTVEC Diploma (NQF Level 4). This diploma will be phased out soon and replaced by HNTec Programmes (NQF Level 4).  Similarly, NTec Programmes will replace some of the Skill Certificate Programmes that are still on offer for the final intake next year. At Politeknik Brunei, the two-year Advanced Diploma programmes were phased out and replaced by the three-year Diploma Programmes in July 2015. Such changes reflect the current development of the technical education system in Brunei that began with the establishment of SPN-21 in 2008.

Figure 9: Phased out programmes at IBTE and PB16
Figure 9: Phased out programmes at IBTE and PB16

Furthermore, the transformation of Technical Education ensures multiple pathways (fig. 10)16 with clear progression opportunities for students in an effort to produce highly skilled human resources to support the nation’s economic development. This development is in response to the titah (royal address) made by His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam while welcoming the New Year 2013, urging for a re-evaluation of the technical and vocational education in the hopes of contributing to the needs of the industry and local job market.

Figure 10: Post-secondary multi-pathways16
Figure 10: Post-secondary multi-pathways16

Table 1: General Overview of TVET System in Brunei14

Type of programme

Who are the major providers of this type of programme?

What is the typical duration and how prevalent is this type of programme?

What are the skill levels (low, intermediate, high) of the occupation that this type of programme covers?

What is the balance between practical work, technical training and general educationin this programme?

Who is responsible for initiating, managing and ensuring quality of this type of TVET programme?

Characteristics of learners in this type of programme?

Do pathways between this and other programmes exist? If so, describe.

Provider- based education and training provided by the formal education and training under the supervision of the Ministry of Education

Secondary Schools

1 – 1.5 years

Low

Mostly practical

Internal QA, BDNAC and BDTVEC

14 years old (Year 9), both male and female

May apply to IBTE for further study upon graduation

IBTE

1 – 2 years

Intermediate

70% practical and 30% theoretical

16-17 years old, both male and female,

‘O’ level graduates

IBTE graduates may apply to PB for further study

PB

3 years

Intermediate

Mostly practical

16-18 years old, both male and female, ‘O’ and ‘A’ level graduates

PB graduates may apply to UTB for further study

Provider- based education and training provided outside

the formal education and training system for the public

CET, IBTE

6 – 50 hours

Lifelong learning (life skills and community services)

Mostly practical

Internal QA

School leavers and working adults

 

Youth Development Centre,

Arts and Handicraft Centre

Short courses (up to 3 years)

Intermediate

Mostly practical

Internal QA

School leavers (17-18 years old)

 

Workplace- based education and training

Varies (depending on industry/ employers)

-

-

-

-

-

-

TRAINING PROVIDERS

As mentioned earlier, the two main public providers of TVET (under the purview of the MoE) include - The Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) and Politeknik Brunei (PB). However, other government-run TVET providers also exist, such as, the Centre for Capacity Building (Pusat Pembangunan Kapasati - PPK) under the Ministry of Energy and Industry (MEI), and the Youth Development Centre (Pusat Pembangunan Belia - PPB) under the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports (MCYS). Apart from this, some private institutions also run TVET programmes in the country.

Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE)

The Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) was established in 2014 with the merger of the Department of Technical Education (DTE) and seven technical and vocational schools nationwide as a part of the transformation of Brunei Technical Education initiative (fig. 11).33 As stipulated in the White Paper17 and Upgrading Plan18 of the Transformation of Brunei Technical Education, IBTE has repositioned itself as a post-secondary institution.

The following six changes6 have been initiated by IBTE in line with the transformation agenda (fig. 12):

  1. Course restructuring;
  2. Expanding apprenticeship scheme;
  3. New Scheme of Service;
  4. Progression Opportunities and Continuing Education and Training (CET);
  5. Communication & Rebranding; and
  6. Upgrading training environment.

 

Figure 11: Rationale for change in TVET system33
Figure 11: Rationale for change in TVET system33

Politeknik Brunei

The Politeknik Brunei (PB)19 was established in 2008, in response to the need to accelerate the country's human resources development, as emphasised by the National Development Plan (NDP) and Brunei Vision 2035. Politeknik Brunei’s establishment was particularly needed so that it could take over the role of the provider of ‘Higher National Diploma (HND)’ level technical programmes from Institut Teknologi Brunei (now known as Universiti Teknologi Brunei) after it was upgraded to a ‘University’ status.

A total of 9 Advanced Diploma programmes (with a total of 401 students) were on offer at PB’s inaugural intake. Today, the institution offers 21 programmes (with a total of 1550 students) that are conducted at 3 separate venues.

Centre for Capacity Building (Pusat Pembangunan Kapasiti - PPK)

Establishment of Pusat Pembangunan Kapasiti, PPK, or Centre for Capacity Building in 2017 is the government's new initiative that offers training for the citizens of Brunei to qualify for various jobs in the private sector including foreign direct investment companies. The centre, operated by the Ministry of Energy and Industry, is a multi-programme skills-training institution aiming to produce job-ready graduates by aligning training with industry developments and requirements in Brunei.

Courses offered by the PPK focus on giving youth an exposure to the professional world through industrial immersion.  Based on a 10 per cent classroom-based theory and 90 per cent practical skills training format, the courses last 3 to 6 months (fig. 13). The delivery of the centre’s certified training programmes is conducted by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) based on approved syllabi adapted from international training or prominent industry institutions.

Figure 13: Course targeting students wanting to specialise as Instrument Mechanics [Source: Capacity Building Centre, Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry]
Figure 13: Course targeting students wanting to specialise as Instrument Mechanics [Source: Capacity Building Centre, Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry]

Youth Development Centre (Pusat Pembangunan Belia - PPB)

Established in 1996, the Youth Development Centre under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports provides skills and self-development training to Out-of-School youth. The Centre offers ten Certificate courses in the areas of Computer & Office Management, Cooking & Catering, Cake & Pastry, Basic Sewing & Knitting, Make-up & Hairdressing, Welding & Fabrication, Plumbing & Pipe Fitting, Vehicle Body Repair, and Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Maintenance.

Other

Several privately run institutions in Brunei also offer TVET programmes. Some prominent ones are:

  • Micronet International College was the first TVET School to offer computer courses ranging from computer applications training to professional examination and diploma/advanced diploma courses;
  • Kemuda Institute ventured into Information Technology courses and collaborated with Cambridge and National Computing Centre (NCC), UK;
  • Focus Computer School is one of the leading IT education and training providers that offers numerous computer courses covering Pre-Diploma to Advanced Diploma; the courses are awarded by Informatics Academy/NCC and accredited by Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC);
  • Kolej International Graduate Studies (Kolej IGS) caters to the growing need for vocational education and training particularly in the areas of business and information technology;
  • Laksamana College of Business (LCB), established in partnership between Kensington College of Business (KCB), London, UK and local establishments, develops comprehensive courses based on current needs, such as, Academic and Professional Business courses in Brunei; and
  • Cosmopolitan College of Commerce and Technology (CCCT) offers demand-driven courses focusing on graduates’ employability; it is the only provider of a course on ‘gaming & animation’20 in the whole country.

Non-formal & Informal TVET System

The Continuing Education and Training (CET)21 under the IBTE is one of the main national providers of non-formal TVET that has been in existence since 1958. The IBTE CET offers short courses, programmes and workshops, which are designed to further encourage social/career mobility and education progression particularly for school leavers and mature students. In addition, it provides lifelong learning opportunities to adult learners allowing them to acquire further knowledge and skills in relevant fields.

Apart from this, the Youth Development Centre (Pusat Pembangunan Belia - PPB) also offers informal TVET programmes for the youth.

National Qualifications Framework

Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework (BDQF) (Table 2)22 is the qualifications framework for the country. It is established by the Ministry of Education through the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC).

The BDQF has been stipulated in the Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council Order 2011 (BDNAC Order 2011). With reference to the BDNAC Order 2011, the BDQF is used as a tool to develop guidelines that classify qualification based on criteria agreed at the national level and benchmarked with international good practice.

The framework explains the level of learning, achieved learning outcomes of study areas, and a credit system based on student academic load. This criterion applies to all qualifications recognised in Brunei, thereby integrating and linking all qualifications recognised within the country.

Table 2: The Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework (BDQF)22

qualification network

IBTE awards its own certificates at three levels of training namely:

  1. Industrial Skills Qualification or ISQ (NQF - Level 2),
  2. National Technical Education Certificate or the NTec (NQF - Level 3) and
  3. Higher National Tehnical Certificate or the HNTec (NQF - Level 4).  

Form Three (3) in pre-SPN-21 or Year 9 leavers of the SPN-21 System are eligible for the ISQ. For entry into the NTec Level 3, applicants must complete Year 11 secondary education (without necessarily having any credit O-Levels). A minimum of 3 credit O-Levels (in relevant subjects) is required to pursue HNTec Level 4.

Politeknik Brunei, on the other hand offers 3-year Diploma Programmes (NQF Level 5). This Diploma is equivalent to the Higher National Diploma (NQF - Level 5). Entry into Politeknik Brunei requires a minimum of 5-26 points and 5 credit O-Levels in relevant subjects. Progression from HNTec is possible with a merit performance. Entry into the Diploma in Health Science (NQF - Level 4) requires minimum of 4 credit O-Levels in relevant science subjects.

Quality Assurance & Standards

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education (MoE), the following three accrediting and awarding agencies are responsible for quality assurance and standards in Brunei14:

  1. The Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council (BDNAC): chaired by the Minister of Education, it accredits higher education programmes and qualifications of the universities, supervises and regulates the equality and standards for higher education providers, as well as establishes and maintains the national qualifications register;
  2. The Brunei Darussalam Technical and Vocational Education Council (BDTVEC): as the national awarding body for technical and vocational qualifications, it accredits programmes and qualifications offered by technical and vocational institutes in Brunei;
  3. The Private Education Section (Bahagian Pendidikan Swasta BPS): it is in charge of registration, regulating and monitoring all private educational institutions (formal and non-formal) in Brunei.

The Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council Order 2011 (BDNAC Order 2011) is the legislation governing quality assurance that accredits higher education programmes and qualifications, supervises and regulates the equality and standards for higher education providers, and establishes and maintains the national qualifications register.

The formation of BDTVEC in May 1991 as the local and national awarding body for TVET qualifications has made the provision of TVET in Brunei more flexible and effective. However, with Brunei Technical Education Transformation and the establishment of IBTE and PB, the functions of BDTVEC are phasing out. Both IBTE and PB are now performing functions of the BDTVEC by awarding and validating national TVET qualifications.14,23  

Additionally, TVET institutions have set up a division to look into Quality Management. This division is established to ensure that the Quality Management System (QMS) operating within the TVET institutions works effectively and efficiently. IBTE and PB obtained their ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) certifications in 201624 and 201725 respectively.

The main functions of Quality Management Division are:

  • To oversee the processes related to the Quality Management System (QMS) including quality planning, support, product realisation and improvement processes;
  • To offer support in acquiring international and national certifications/accreditations for programmes;
  • To ensure that QMS, as well as TVET academic policies are communicated and implemented within the institutions including all campuses/schools;
  • To support management representatives of TVET schools in order to identify/plan activities and resources to develop, implement and maintain the QMS and achieve quality standards; and
  • To centrally monitor and evaluate the teaching-learning and examination-assessment processes of each programme.

Furthermore, private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are allowed to offer foreign accredited programmes such as BTEC, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Craft Certificate, etc. Under the Energy Industry Competency Framework (EICF), the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister's Office (EIDPMO), in collaboration with the MoE, has also set up a working group to overlook the Energy Industry Quality Assurance (EIQA) which would manage, monitor and audit the Quality Process and Standards for RTOs.

Graduates

The most popular TVET courses amongst students are:

  1. Information Technology;
  2. Business and office Administration/Finance;
  3. Professional Cookery & Services;
  4. Construction Engineering; and
  5. Electronics and Media Technology.

Graduates’ employment rate and employers’ satisfaction rate are the key performance indicators, which are particularly tracked by public TVET institutions.26 This information is only available at institutional level though. In case of IBTE for instance, Table 3 shows the employment rate of its graduates from 2015 to 2017:

Table 3: Employment rate of IBTE graduates for the period 2015-2017

Year

2017

2016

2015

*Employment Rate

61.3%

74.5%

71.5%

 *Employment rate is the proportion of employment-seeking graduates (i.e. excluding graduates doing further studies) that are successfully employed, six months after the national convocation ceremony.

Since 2014, the Research and Statistics Division (RSD), IBTE has been conducting Employers’ Satisfaction Survey (ESS) on an annual basis. The purpose of this study is to identify the level of employers’ satisfaction with IBTE graduates. The study is conducted one year after graduation ceremony and targeted at the direct/immediate supervisors of graduates. In case of IBTE for instance, Table 4 shows the key findings of the ESS from 2015 to 2017.

Table 4: ESS response in relation to IBTE graduates for the period 2015-2017

Year

2017

2016

2015

No. of responses from industries

237

208

134

Perception of TVET in Brunei

% agreed that IBTE is producing enough supply of TVET graduates to meet industrial needs

65.4

83.2

66.4

% agreed that IBTE has been providing appropriate skills to its graduates

68.4

82.2

78.4

 [Source: Employers’ Satisfaction Survey 2017 - Institute of Brunei Technical Education]

The sector and occupations, which are financially rewarding are those related to oil and gas industries. While the median starting monthly salary for this sector is BND 700, for other sectors the median starting salary is BND 540. (Employment Study 2017 - Institute of Brunei Technical Education).

Personnel (Teachers)

COMPOSITION

Essentially three groups of personnel work in TVET institutions in the country; these are a) school management, b) teachers/instructors, and c) support staff. Teachers/instructors form the largest group followed by support staff and school management respectively. The total number of teachers in 2016 amounted to 10,985 of which 516 were TVET teachers/instructors (Table 5).34

Table 5: Number of teachers and public schools during the period 2014-201634

personel

TVET teachers consist of both locals, as well as expatriates. Local teachers are mainly recruited from fresh graduates with a minimum qualification that is at least one level higher than the level of the programmes they would teach. Hence, the basic qualification is Diploma Level 5 (formerly known as Higher National Diploma). Only a small proportion of the local TVET teachers have industrial experience.

With the aim to encourage industry experts to participate in teaching at the institutions, government-run institutions are currently proposing a special scheme of service for TVET teachers/instructors. Industrial experience would be one of the criteria for recruitment of future TVET teachers/instructors.

As far as remuneration is concerned, TVET teachers/instructors at government-run institutions are paid as per the public service salary scale that is described in the Teaching Service Scheme (Skim Perkhidmatan Guru, SPG). For indicative purposes, a TVET teacher/instructor who holds qualification Diploma Level 5 or equivalent would have a basic starting salary of BND 2,035 per month.

The 2016 study conducted by SEAMEO VOCTECH & GIZ RECOTVET27 to examine the development and implementation of teacher standard in Brunei revealed that:

  • There are more female teachers compared to male teachers, although the difference is not highly marked;
  • Two out of three principals are male;
  • Most teachers are bachelor degree holders (45.18%) followed by masters (27.71%), and higher national diploma (21.08%);
  • In terms of educational background, 34.13% teachers have a background in education followed by 26.35% in engineering; and
  • Number of teachers who have been working for 1 to 3 years (34.76%) is higher than those who have worked for over 10 years (30.59%).

TEACHER STANDARDS27

TVET teacher standards in Brunei Darussalam are currently under development. So far, Brunei has developed and implemented Brunei Teachers’ Standard (BTS) particularly for primary and secondary school teachers, which was officially launched in August 2014. The aim of the BTS is to ensure high quality of teaching that will eventually result in better learning outcomes for students. The Department of Schools Inspectorate together with the MoE spearheaded the development of the standard and its Teachers’ Performance Appraisal (TPA) system. Considering that the BTS is more suitable for general education, it may not be suitable for implementation by TVET institutions. Workplan is in progress to develop Brunei TVET Teacher Standard, which shall be aligned with the Regional TVET Teacher Standard. 

TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Since most of the local TVET teachers are recruited prior to acquiring their teaching qualification, their training is based on the in-service model, in which the teacher’s qualification is acquired at university level within the first few years usually during the probationary phase of employment.

Consequently, Teachers’ Continual Professional Development (CPD) is provided through in-house training, short courses conducted locally and overseas, and industrial placement. Locally, CPD is led by different agencies under the purview of the MoE. Two key institutions are:28,29

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE)

SHBIE is a graduate school of education, as well as one of the major providers of continuous professional development for teachers. Education is offered in two main categories: 

  • For teachers’ personal development, wherein teachers are given opportunities to upgrade their academic qualifications through post-graduate studies up to doctoral level; and
  • For teachers’ professional development, wherein in-service teachers attend various research-based continuous professional development courses designed by the institute in collaboration with the MoE. Examples include the 21st Century Teaching and Learning (21CTL) course and the Personalized Pedagogy and Technologies course. In addition, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and private schools run a range of short courses. 

Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA)

ILIA of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) provides action-based continuing professional development for teachers and school leaders in terms of individual leadership, teacher leadership and school leadership trainings through its three-tier school leadership programmes. These programmes are designed for aspiring school teachers, and middle and senior school leaders.

Private Sector Cooperation

With the launching of Brunei’s long-term development plan (Brunei Vision 2035), the private sector is increasingly being involved in the planning and implementation of development projects – including those relating to TVET.

The Ministry of Education’s grand initiative to transform and realign Technical and Vocational Education System to the demands of the various industries that support national economic development is indicative of the growing importance of private sector’s role in TVET.17 This is particularly the case for post-secondary TVET, where industry collaboration is needed in several areas, including curricula planning, development and implementation of apprenticeship schemes, provision of competency-based training and assessment. Under the competency-based arrangements, any assessments for students will need to be verified by the relevant industries.

Close collaboration with industries has been set up with the aim to produce a skilled and competitive workforce that is entrepreneurial, professional, highly employable, and possesses appropriate qualifications and industry-accredited skills. For instance, IBTE has established an ‘Industry Steering Committee’ that encompasses seven clusters: energy and engineering; business and financial services; hospitality and tourism; building construction, agro technology, Info-Communications Technology (ICT); and maritime.32

Through this initiative, greater opportunity will be available for post-secondary school students who are skilful and technically inclined to pursue TVET courses, and obtain gainful employment in the skill and technical sectors.30 This transformation is seen as more responsive and demand-driven with stakeholders pledging to commit by providing support in making the transformation a success.

Engagement by employers, employees and civil society in TVET can take various forms, including:

  • Participating in developing national, sector or local policies;
  • Supporting funding mechanism;
  • Joining the boards and management bodies of TVET providing institution;
  • Helping to identify occupational skills and standard to serve as the basis for education and training standards; and
  • Participating in pilot programmes, initiatives and innovations.
Current Trends & Practices

Labour Market: Employment is heavily concentrated in the services sector, particularly in public administration, wholesale and retail trade and education. In 2017, the labour force participation rate was 63.2%. The youth unemployment rate was 5.9% in 2016.31

Perceptions and Culture: TVET is considered a second option compared to general and higher education. There is a culture of training within firms in some industries. More employers are shifting focus from academic qualifications to skills and capacities.31

Promotion of TVET: TVET qualifications are being promoted more systematically. Efforts are being made to change the mind-set of society about the attractiveness of TVET and moves have been made towards making TVET qualifications more relevant to the job market.

Education and Training: The legal minimum school leaving age is 16. A total of 115,862 students were enrolled in pre-primary to tertiary education in 2015. Distribution of post-secondary (17-25 years old) students was:

  • A level/academic streams - 20%
  • TVET (government and private) - 22%
  • Polytechnic - 5%
  • University - 52%31
Reforms/Projects
  • Programmes offered by TVET institutions have become demand-driven and competency-based. It is stipulated that contents of TVET programmes align with the industry needs. This is done by inviting industry stakeholders in developing the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS) and curricula through the process of DACUM.
  • Efforts are underway to increase apprenticeship courses by working closely with industries. The main aim of the apprenticeship initiative is to emulate the dual-system that is being practiced in Germany and other European countries.
  • Recruitment process of TVET teachers is reformed with the development of new scheme of service, which emphasises and recognises their industry experience.
Key Issues & Challenges

Presently, Brunei faces the following TVET challenges:

  • Limited capacity to accommodate the increasing number of applicants at IBTE
    Action Plan: Implement the strategy of ‘staggered enrolment’ thereby opening enrolments in July, September and January depending on the industry needs.
  • Difficulty in recruiting teachers with industrial experience
    Action Plan: Obtain autonomy in managing human resources and finances, as well as the relevant scheme of services to enable experts from various industries to become trainers.
  • Lack of support from relevant stakeholders
    Action Plan: Leverage the Industry Competency Framework (ICF) to obtain continuous support and assistance from relevant stakeholders particularly from the industries.
  • Limited information and data on manpower
    Action Plan: Obtain and collect manpower data, and direct TVET institutions to liaise with Manpower Planning Unit (MPPU) and Job Centre, Brunei to ascertain labour market trends and estimate future manpower needs and enrolments at TVET institutions.
Acronyms/Abbreviations
21CTL 21st Century Teaching and Learning
A-Level Advanced Level
BDNAC Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council
BDQF Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework
BDTVEC Brunei Darussalam Technical Vocational Education Council
BND Bruneian Dollar
BPS Banagian Pendidikan Swasta (Private Education Section)
BTEC Business and Technician Education Council
BTS Brunei Teachers’ Standard
C&G City and Guilds
CCCT Cosmopolitan College of Commerce and Technology
CET Continuing Education and Training
CPD Continual Professional Development
DACUM Developing a Curriculum
DTE Department of Technical Education
EFA Education for All
EICF Energy Industry Competency Framework
EIDPMO Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister's Office
EIQA Energy Industry Quality Assurance
ESS Employers’ Satisfaction Survey
GIZ RECOTVET Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit Regional Cooperation Programme to Improve the Quality and Labour Market Orientation of TVET
HND Higher National Diploma
HNTec Higher National Technical Education Certificate
IBTE Institute of Brunei Technical Education
ICF Industry Competency Framework
ICT Information and Communication Technology
ILIA Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ISQ Industrial Skills Qualification
IT Information Technology
Kolej IGS Kolej International Graduate Studies
LCB Laksamana College of Business
LNCP Literacy and Numeracy Coaching Programme
KCB Kensington College of Business
KPI Key Performance Indicator
MCYS Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports
MEI Ministry of Energy and Industry
MIB Melayu Islam Beraja (Malay Islamic Monarchy)
MoE Ministry of Education
MPPU Manpower Planning Unit
NCC National Computing Centre
NDP National Development Plan
NOSS National Occupational Skills Standards
NQF National Qualifications Framework
NTec National Technical Education Certificate
O-Level Ordinary Level
OSPD Outline Strategy Policy Directions
PB Politeknik Brunei (Polytechnic Brunei)
PPB Pusat Pembangunan Belia (Youth Development Centre)
PPK Pusat Pembangunan Kapasati (Centre for Capacity Building)
QA Quality Assurance
QMS Quality Management System
RSD Research and Statistics Division
RTO Registered Training Organisation
SDG Sustainable Development Goal
SEAMEO South East Asian Minister of Education Organisation
SEAMEO VOCTECH SEAMEO Regional Centre for Vocational and Technical Education and Training
SHBIE Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education
SPG Skim Perkhidmatan Guru (Teaching Service Scheme)
SPN-21 Sistem Pendidikan Abad Negara ke-21 (National Education System for the 21st Century)
TPA Teachers’ Performance Appraisal
TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training
UBD Universiti Brunei Darussalam (University of Brunei Darussalam)
UK United Kingdom
UTB Universiti Teknologi Brunei (University of Technology Brunei)

 

References

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[9] Hazair, H. (2018, March 21). 14th LegCo session ends with $5.3B budget passed. The Scoop. Retrieved from https://thescoop.co/2018/03/21/14th-legco-session-ends-budget-passed/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[10] Othman, A. (2018, March 8). B$5.3B budget proposed. Borneo Bulletin. Retrieved from https://borneobulletin.com.bn/b5-3b-budget-proposed/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[11] Hj Abu Bakar, R. (2018, March 14). Education Ministry tables $695M budget for 2018. The Scoop. Retrieved from https://thescoop.co/2018/03/14/education-ministry-tables-695m-budget-2018-19/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[12] Education System [Chart]. (n.d.). MoE (Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam). Retrieved from http://moe.gov.bn/SitePages/Education%20System.aspx [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[13] Hayashi, Y., Kobayashi, O., Tsujino, T., Tsuda, Y., Ueta, S., Yamashita, I., Sawada, T., & Higuchi, T. (2015). Overseas Research Report: Current Status on Science and Technology in ASEAN Countries (Tentative). Retrieved from https://www.jst.go.jp/crds/pdf/en/CRDS-FY2014-OR-02_EN.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[14] Ebil, S., Othman, N., Hj Mod Nor, H. N., Ahmad, M.,& Hj Masud, M. Y. (2016). Quality assurance of the qualification process in TVET: Brunei Darussalam Country Report. TVET@Asia, 7, 1-16. Retrieved from http://www.tvet-online.asia/issue7/ebil_etal_tvet7.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[15] IBTE (Institute of Brunei Technical Education). (2015, February 18). Post Secondary Progression Opportunities [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://ibte.edu.bn/2015/02/18/post-secondary-progression-opportunities/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[16] MoE (Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam). (n.d.). Technical Pathways [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B99x49T3tawLQWJlMG9PRURSSjBmSGx6SkFMdE44UDlCQUpN/view [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[17] MoE (Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam). (2013). Transforming Technical and Vocational Education: White Paper. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99x49T3tawLd05XOVNHQ1BpYjQ/view [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[18] Department of Technical Education (MoE). (2013). Upgrading Plan for Technical Education - Brunei Darussalam 2013 - 2018. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99x49T3tawLWWFUbk0zcWJzM00/view [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[19] About Us. (n.d.). Politeknik Brunei. Retrieved from http://www.pb.edu.bn/#about [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[20] Hong, J. (2016, February 29). Local college to produce first batch of gaming graduates. The BT Archive. Retrieved from https://btarchive.org/news/national/2016/02/29/local-college-produce-first-batch-gaming-graduates [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[21] The Continuing Education and Training. (n.d.). IBTE (Institute of Brunei Technical Education). Retrieved from https://ibte.edu.bn/cet/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[22] MoE (Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam). (2014). Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework. Retrieved from http://www.moe.gov.bn/DocumentDownloads/Brunei%20Darussalam's%20Qualification%20Framework/Brunei%20Darussalam's%20Qualification%20Framework,%20November%202014.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[23] Secretariat of Brunei Darussalam National Technical and Vocational Council. (n.d.). MoE (Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam). Retrieved from http://www.moe.gov.bn/SitePages/Secretariat%20of%20Brunei%20Darussalam%20National%20Technical%20and%20Vocational%20Council.aspx [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[24] Thien, R. (2016, May 17). IBTE receives ISO certification. The BT Archive. Retrieved from https://btarchive.org/news/national/2016/05/17/ibte-receives-iso-certification [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[25] Politeknik Brunei ISO 9001:2015 Certification. (2017). Politeknik Brunei. Retrieved from http://www.pb.edu.bn/iso2017.html#announcement_top [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[26] IBTE Key Performance Indicator. (n.d.). Institute of Brunei Technical Education. Retrieved from https://ibte.edu.bn/ibte-kpi/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[27] GIZ RECOTVET & SEAMEO VOCTECH. (2016). Lesson learned from the development and implementation of National Teacher Standards in ASEAN Member States and China as inputs for the development of Regional TVET Teacher Standard (P2). Retrieved from http://www.voctech.org/Publications/Research%20Report%20-%20TVET%20Teacher%20Standard.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[28] IBTE (Institute of Brunei Technical Education). (2017). An overview of lifelong learning opportunities in Brunei Darussalam (Country report for SEAMEO CELLL/UIL project). Retrieved from https://www.sea-lllportal.org/national-report-brunei-darussalam [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[29] Mohd Nor, N. (2016, October). An Overview of Lifelong Learning Opportunities in Brunei Darussalam [PowerPoint slides]. Presentation at the conference of SEAMEO CELLL on Towards an ASEAN Lifelong Learning Agenda, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Retrieved from https://www.seameocelll.org/uploads/2/0/7/8/20788662/01_brunei-presentation.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[30] Mas & Rozi (Eds.). (2017). 25th Convo Edition [Convocation edition]. IBTE Ignite. Retrieved from https://ibte.edu.bn/page/ignite/konvo25/ignite_konvo25.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[31] UNESCO Bangkok. (2017). Towards Quality Assurance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Retrieved from http://www.skillsforemployment.org/edmsp1/groups/skills/documents/skpcontent/ddrf/mtkz/~edisp/wcmstest4_193895.pdf [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[32] Azaraimy, H. H. (2017, November 19). IBTE honours graduates at 25th convocation ceremony. Borneo Bulletin. Retrieved from https://borneobulletin.com.bn/ibte-honours-graduates-at-25th-convocation-ceremony/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2018].

[33] Sabli, M.Z, (2018, May 2). Strengthen the role and effectiveness of TVET System [PowerPoint slides]. Presentation at the Forum of SEAMEO VOCTECH on Good Practices in Teaching-learning Approaches for Preparing Youths for Employment, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

[34] Department of Planning, Development and Research. (2017). Brunei Darussalam Education Statistics and Indicators Handbook 2012 - 2016. Brunei Darussalam: Ministry of Education.

  • Population

    434,448 (2017)a

    Brunei PopPyramid

  • Sex Ratio

    0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)b

  • HDI

    0.865 (2015)c

  • GDP (Total)

    $12.74 billion (2017 est.)b

  • GDP (Per Capita)

    $78,200 (2017 est.)b

  • Industry/Sectors (GDP Contribution)

    Agriculture: 1.2%
    Industry: 56.5%
    Services: 42.3% (2017 est.)b

  • Poverty Rate

    % NAb


Education

  • Education Index

    0.716 (2015)c

  • Adult Literacy Rate
    (% Ages 15 & Older)

    96.4% (2015)c

  • Expected Years of Schooling

    14.9 Years (2015)c

  • Mean Years of Schooling (Adults)

    9.0 (2015)c

  • School Dropout Rate

    Data Not Available


Employment

  • Unemployment Rate (Total)

    1.9% 
  • Unemployment Rate (Youth - 15-24 Old)

    5.7% 
  • Composition of Workforce

    Agriculture: 4.2%
    Industry: 62.8%
    Services: 33% (2008 est.)

  • a Population Pyramid
    b CIA World Factbook
    c UNDP HDR

    For official government data on key indicators, please refer to data released by official government source(s).

“SEAMEO VOCTECH in collaboration with UNESCO-UNEVOC has used its best endeavours to ensure that material contained in this publication, provided through SEA-VET.NET, is useful, informative and obtained from reliable sources. However, it gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, legality or completeness of information and reserves the right to make changes without notice at any time in its absolute discretion.”

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