“Get a degree. Make your family proud. Go to England” is the typical advise given by many well-meaning Bruneian parents today.

Now, there is nothing wrong with studying in UK-I study there too-but the idea of ‘subconsciously’ limiting the students choice to that particular country is frankly ever-becoming a broken record.

This is especially true to many modern youths, whose taste are now more sophisticated and thoughts hardly influenced by the ‘trends’.

Others, however, are sadly induced by their close family or relative to get an education there for the sake of the name “England” or because “others” are there too.

If you are to examine the true extent of a student’s motivation to go there you would often find empty shells that are only but filled with an automatic response to ‘go-with-the-flow’.

“Hey my family recommended me to go there so why not?” or “My friends are there so I am joining in!” their thoughts resonate.

As a result some of the students are locked into taking many pointless degrees, occasionally not of their choice, that has nothing to do with their career path-that is if they have one.

Akin to taking a Mechanical Biological Robotics Engineering degree just to be a an O’Level biology teacher just because no ministry reward or facilitate such learned skills.

Even worst is the misuse of the opportunity to study abroad as a path to gain status among peers as opposed to get real education.

That is why the massive unemployment among graduates today. That is why the something for nothing mindset. That is why the public’s increasingly silent murmurs about an increasingly arrogant graduate class.

Anyway modern youths are now starting to set the sights on other countries like China, USA, Russia, Hong Kong.

If the Brunei government has the power and ability to direct over 500+ students every year to go to UK then surely the same must go to the above countries.

The proposal here is to give the local students more choices and ease of access to these countries for educational advancement.

Ambassadors of mentioned countries reading this, please I beg you to increase the level of ease of studying in your country. If Britian can develop such efficient process then why can you not?

Especially to USA.

Bruneians like myself are hungry to study inside your country! One of the many restrictions faced by students are none other than the SAT tests, Visa requirements, TOEFL and other multitude of things(and costs).

The very thought of having to go through these bureaucratic red-tapes and challenges would scare off so many locals from even trying at all. The barriers of entry, or perceived ones, to study there is extremely high.

I do realize the prevailing immigration problems that countries often face but that does not hinder Britian-which has even more serious problem-from accepting students from all over the globe, thousands of whom are from Brunei.

By giving Bruneian students easier access to study in these countries, there will be more courses to pick, and thus increase the chances of being rewarded(as in employed) in the future.

Bruneian graduates would also attain different ideas, confidence, and networks. Ones which they can share in the process of nation building. As a result nations would have their relations strengthen and investments increased via its people.

In conclusion, the mindset has got to change. No longer should we focus in England because it’s ‘England’. The modern youth realizes this. It takes more than just following a trend. it is about achieving their own goals. Plus the Bruneian government and embassies should give students more choices. For the latter especially USA should take steps to advertise their educational institutions here and make it easier for our students to study there. Lower the barrier of entry and we will be on our way to building healthy cooperation with one another.