The state provides free education from kindergarten up, including university training abroad. As of 1995, 93% of primary-schoolage children were enrolled in school, while 68% of those eligible attended secondary school. In 1996 there were 160 primary schools, with 432,941 pupils. Secondary schools had 30,470 students and 2,961 teachers in the same year. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 13 to 1 in 1999. For the year 2000, adult illiteracy rates were estimated at 8.4% (males, 5.3%; females, 11.8%). Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. Six years of primary are followed by seven years of secondary education. The official policy is to promote bilingual education, Malay and English, in all government-supported schools. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.4% of GDP.
Foreigners generally attend private mission schools, the International School, and the Chinese School. Brunei Shell also funds several schools, and there are numerous religious academies. There are two teacher-training colleges and five vocational technical schools, including an agricultural training center. Brunei also has a university, established in 1985, and institutes of education and technology. The University of Brunei Darussalam (founded in 1985) has faculties for education, arts and social sciences, science, and management and administration. In 1996, 1,270 students were enrolled in institutes of higher education. Many students, however, continue their education in foreign universities at government expense.