Saturday, April 8th, 2013

BRUNEI STUDENTS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM 2013 ends on a high note with participants and audiences geared with more ideas, knowledge, and experience. The one-day event which was organized by the Bruneian UK Students was held in Imperial College London.

Muhammad Ayyub Kamaludin, the postgraduate co-chair of the event, opened the ceremony by pointing out the aim of the day. One of which is to assist His Majesty’s goal towards building a knowledge based economy.

Here he quoted  His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam Titah during the Majlis Bersama Rakyat event held by the end of 2012.

“Students are the pillars for progress and excellence centred on the knowledge-based economy and innovation in line with the country’s vision to develop knowledgeable, skillful and civilised citizens and residents.”

And that speech has become a hallmark and inspiration to hold events like this.

Sarah Hanna Haji Ahmad Ghazali, the undergraduate co-chair in the other hand highlighted the successful inclusion of the undergraduate participants-prior to this it was only open to postgraduates.

Present in the opening ceremony were the Guest of Honours namely Cikgu Ali Hamdani, Pengiran Wahab, and Cikgu Khalid of Brunei Students Unit, and Azmi Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Setia Hj Abdul Rahman, Acting Head of BIA London. A keynote speech was made by Cikgu Ali Hamdani.

Subsequently, the 65 student attendees were grouped into 15-20 units for a networking quiz. They were given the question on how to improve student academic survey feedbacks which so often became such plight to those directly and indirectly involved. Ideas conjured were in giving out vouchers(ebay or amazon), giving one-to-one interviews, put forth clearer reasons, creating a central website, getting assistance from BSRS Committee, and more advertising.

Following that was a lunch break before finally moving on to the main event of the day: The Research Abstract presentation.

The symposium were grouped into two rooms. One of which is about the Public Policy and Education, and Humanities and Social Sciences paneled by Sabrina Daud of London School of Economics. The other room for Science and Technology and Social Science paneled by Lan Chan Zhao Xaing.

18 individuals presented their research abstracts along with a 5 minute Q&A session.

Below is the list of students and title abstract who gave the presentation on the first room.

I gave a presentation on Brunei Inc: Connecting Asia. Click here for the presentation materials.

A fellow toastmaster and Durham University student, Ak Md Hasnol Alwee Pg Md Salleh keyed in the retirement planning in Brunei and the changing dynamics pertaining financial planning then and now.

DK Siti Norazirah Pg Metussin of Loughborough investigated and analysed the barriers and factors relating sports development in Brunei. Two key things she mentioned is the lack of sports career planning and financial support for athletes which has so led to the ongoing detriments we see in the country nowadays.

An examination of the linguistic and educational correlations in Brunei were put forward by Chien Hau Lim of University of Cambridge.

Norziah Haji Rajid of Leicester University and Desmond Tan Chia Chun of Oxford University highlighted the importance of Assessment for Learning(AfL) system in Brunei Darussalam.

Norainie Ahmad from Oxford University pointed out the rising decline of women fertility in Brunei.

The Malay perception of skin colour were presented by Dk Nur Qayyimah Santika Pg Md Apri of Exter University.

Sarah Hanna Hj. Ahmad Ghazali of Warwick University spoke of foreign domestic workers in Southeast Asia.

Following are student participants who gave talk on the second room.

Mohammad Sabri Md Ali, Leicester University student spoke of Cancer Treatment.

Dk Haslina Pg Razali of Sheffield on detecting Avian Malaria and Home Sparrows through molecules.

Jia Xin Chong of Southampton University on carbon dioxide challenge.

Abdul Hanif Mahadi of Oxford on CeO2 chemical composition.

Muhammad Ayyub Kamaludin of Imperial College London on the characterisation of Polymers.

Wan Nurul Naszeerah Md Zainal Abidin Ariff of University of California-Davis, USA via video conference on microbiology in environments with a title headline “You’re Sitting on My Bacterial Friends!”

Nur Syahirah Chua Md Firdaus Chua from Brunel University about the implementation of autistics.

King College London’s Yani Mala-Mair on understanding Autism with an interesting title “Mun Faham Bisai!”

And finally Ahmad Zahid Md Daud, psychology student from Leicester University on parental influence on adolescents psycho-emotional development in Brunei and in UK.

Click here for the list. It is the official website for Brunei Student Research Symposium 2013.

Culminating the whole symposium was a keynote speech given by Azmi Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Setia Hj Abdul Rahman, Acting Head of BIA London. There he mentioned few important points. “Brunei Darussalam is heavily dependent to market forces given to the fact that 90% of our GDP derives from oil and gas. When the Asian financial crisis struck in the 1990s, oil was priced at $10 instead of the usual $100.” This severely hit the Bruneian economy and as a result sustained huge losses.

Pehin Dato Abu Bakar, the MOE minister, he said, holds two important posts namely the chairmanship of BIA and the head of national Education. And by investing in the students welfare-wherever they may be studying right now-mark as a key component to the nations future sustainability. “The returns of investments that accompany them are almost an invisible matter, and yet it is ‘there’” as he pointed us out.

Another key point he mentioned before ending his speech is Brunei’s per capita educational generation being one of highest in the world. But even then it is not good enough. Producing 10-15 PhDs a year for a 400,000 population may look well a density and statistical basis but comparing to Indonesia’s 200 million then that is a wholly different story.

The co-chairs then gave a warm closing remark with presentation of a prize to the keynote speaker. Along with the distribution of certificates to student participants by the organizing committee as tokens of appreciation.

The event concluded with a subsequent photography ceremony. A special shout-out to Arifin Yussof of Dulwhich College for contributing his photo materials.

Brunei Shell, Brunei Investment Agency, The Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Comple, and UPP sponsored the momentous event and was supported by the Brunei Students Union, UK.

If some of the facts are not at par with the event do contact me as soon as possible at theamotimes@gmail.com so I can make quick adjustments to it. If you have photos or videos of the event which you would like to contribute-Like what Arifin did-even better :)! Feel free to share the story!

Click here for my previous journey where I attended Google Speakers Series with Jimmy Wales, Wikipidea Founder as the speaker. (Note: Wikipedia is almost as powerful as Facebook and Google) http://www.theamotimes.com/2013/03/27/bruneians-attending-jimmy-wales-founder-of-wikipedia-talk-in-google-campus-including-video-by-amo-tv/