Three students from Brunei will be studying at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy for the spring 2015 semester as part of an exchange program with the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). They are the first students to study at Duke through the new program.

The program, established in May 2013, enables up to five students who have successfully completed their first year in the master’s program in public policy and management at UBD to spend their third and final semester at Sanford. Students must have at least five years of work experience and demonstrated leadership potential to be selected for the program.

“We are thrilled to welcome these students, who obviously have a great deal of experience in public policy and will bring valuable perspectives to the school through their involvement with both the MIDP and MPP programs,” said Francis Lethem, director of the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) in the Sanford School. “We look forward to sharing theoretical knowledge and best practices that will make them more effective policymakers when they return to Brunei.”

Susi Kadir (left), one of the visiting students, works with the Energy Department in the Brunei Prime Minister’s Office. She spent three years as project engineer with Brunei Shell Petroleum.

“I look forward to getting expertise at Duke on energy policy and climate change and appreciate the insights I have received from my academic advisor,” she said. “Especially for Brunei, an oil-producing country, I’d like to get additional perspectives on achieving a balance between oil production and environmental sustainability.”

Duke is one of four U.S. partner universities to which students can apply; the others are the University of California at Berkeley, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland.

Hasrinah Matyassin (right), who worked as a senior officer in the Management Services Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, said she chose to come to Sanford because of the curriculum’s practical focus.

“The modules offered here are much more targeted to my professional interests, such as service delivery systems and impact evaluation,” she said.

The exchange program was established with Dr. Joyce Teo Siew Yean, director of the Institute of Policy Studies at UBD, who visited and conducted research at DCID in the fall of 2012.

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