Negara Brunei Darussalam (The Sultanate of Brunei) is located on the north coast of the island of Borneo which is shared with Malaysia and Indonesia. The population is 381,371 and the literacy rate is 92.7%. Malay is the official language, but English and Chinese are also spoken.
The Sultanate of Brunei was established in the 14th century AD and included the coastal regions of the present-day Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. In 1888, the Sultan signed a treaty with England, and Brunei became a British protectorate. Brunei was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. In 1929, oil was discovered in Brunei and is the source of the country's wealth and gives it one of the highest gross domestic products in the world. Brunei was granted independence on January 1, 1984.
Education in Brunei is overseen by the Ministry of Education.
Education is free and compulsory from ages 5 to 12. Primary school is 6 years beginning at age 6. At the end of the 6th year, students sit for the Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (PSR).
Based on the results of the PSR, students are placed in a general or vocational (Level II) secondary school program. Lower secondary school is 3 years.
Program Menengah Vokasional (PMV) (Vocational upper secondary school) is 2 years and leads to National Vocational Certificate (NVC) in clerical studies or the National Trade Certificate Grade 3 (NTC3).
Academic upper secondary school is 2 years. At the end of the 2nd year, students sit for an external examination leading to the Brunei-Cambridge Certificate of Education Ordinary Level. Students have the option of continuing on in a 2-year program leading to the Brunei-Cambridge Advanced Level Certificate of Education which is required for admission to the Universiteti Brunei Darussalam.
Post-secondary education is offered at the Universiteti Brunei Darussalam and several other institutions. The Universiteti Brunei Darussalam is currently the only university-level institution in Brunei, although the Institut Teknologi Brunei was granted university status in 2008 and will begin offering degree programs. It currently offers 2.5-year programs leading to the Higher National Diploma (HND). It also has twinning programs with universities in Australia that lead to a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). Students spend the first 2 years in Brunei and the final 2 years at a university in Australia which issues the diploma.
First-level university programs are 4 years and lead to a Bachelor and Bachelor (Honours). Admission requires sufficient passes on both the Brunei-Cambridge Certificate of Education Ordinary Level and the Brunei-Cambridge Advanced Level Certificate of Education.
Beginning with the 2009 - 2010 academic year, Universiteti Brunei Darussalam will implement generationNEXT undergraduate degrees that integrate employment and study abroad experiences in all degree programs. The programs will be 4 years and will lead to Bachelor (Honours) degrees.
Second and Third Cycles
Graduate programs are 1 - 2 years following a Bachelors and lead to a Masters degree. The first cohort of students in doctoral programs will enroll in the 2009 - 2010 academic year.
Primary and secondary school teachers must hold a Bachelor of Education.