Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A TOTAL of 123 recipients of the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) scholarship scheme were enrolled as the second intake of full-time students at the Laksamana College of Business (LCB) yesterday.

In an interview with The Brunei Times during the orientation session, LCBChief Operating Officer, Sivarajah Subramaniam, lauded the scheme.

“I think it’s a brilliant move. It’s giving more of them a chance to continue their studies rather than stopping at their ‘O’ or ‘A’ Levels without any skills. At least with the JPKE scholarship scheme, they can progress to higher qualifications,” he said.

Subramaniam described the JPKE scholarship scheme as an avenue for students to acquire skilled jobs or continue for further education. “These are two excellent opportunities for them,” he said.

According to him, applications to LCB have increased with the introduction of the JPKE scholarship scheme since more students are considering private educational institutions as an alternative pathway to further their education.

He explained that plans to expand LCB are also in the pipeline following the projected growth of student population.

“There are plans to introduce more courses to meet the needs of Bruneians, and also to expand the building with better facilities. Brunei has a very small market, but this is the opportunity for us to grow, as well as give better services to the students,” he said.

Subramaniam commented that the JPKE scholarship scheme is a great incentive for the private higher education institutions to grow.

“We are very thankful to His Majesty’s Government for helping the local private higher education institutions. The support we have received has been brilliant,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, the JPKE scholars also conveyed similar sentiments of gratitude in an interview with The Brunei Times at the orientation session yesterday.

“Without this scholarship, I would probably be working, but with less skills and lower pay. It’s a rare opportunity for us to enrol in a private institution,” said computing student Norazizah Roslan. She noted that higher qualifications are essential in light of increasing standards of living.

“Alhamdulillah, I’m very grateful to the government. It has opened up a new opportunity for us and made our future brighter,” she said.

The 20-year-old plans to pursue a degree overseas after graduating from the BTEC HND in Computing atLCB. As an aspiring programmer, Norazizah intends to develop the local multimedia industry.

Another computing student, Saqdatul Azeerah Abdullah, 20, commented that the JPKE scholarship scheme has made further studies affordable for permanent residents like her.

“For us, this scholarship means we get an opportunity to continue our studies. Before this, I recall feeling hopeless, because I didn’t know whether I could do further studies. Now that my tuition fees aresubsidised, I can afford to study,” said Saqdatul.

In partnership with Kensington College of Business (KCB) in London and Abdul Razak Holdings of Brunei,LCB is a higher education institution offering courses at diploma level. Over 200 JPKE scholars are currently enrolled in LCB, according to the chief operating officer. The Brunei Times