On the 27th August, the BSU and BruROSA successfully conducted its first ever virtual Outreach Tour. The annual summer event is usually conducted at the school grounds of the respective schools. However, due to the COVID-19 control measures imposed in Brunei, the second stop of the Outreach Tour is now brought to the comfort of the students’ own room via Zoom, still carrying the theme of 'Quest for Success: Discovering Your Adventure'
At 2PM, a total of 56 Umum students from Sekolah Menengah Arab Lelaki Hassanal Bolkiah (SMALHB) registered to the Zoom meeting and were divided into 5 groups with their own respective facilitators. Before beginning the event officially, an opening prayer were made by Fikri Ali, the President of BruROSA. The opening speech was then delivered by Ikhwan Hirwana, the President of BSUnion, thanking the students for coming to the event on a voluntary basis. For the first session, the committee prepared activities such as miscellaneous questions, Pitchfire, virtual charades and trivia quizzes to break the ice among the students and their facilitators. These sessions was conducted in separate breakout rooms for 20 minutes.
The event was then followed with a forum delivered by 3 speakers from different academic background; 'Aqilah Mat Dani, Rabi'atul Adawiah binti Azman and Jannah Armanshah and the moderator, Haziq Daraina. The first speaker was 'Aqilah Mat Dani, a Mathematics student at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She shared her experiences on studying A-levels and her degree during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this has affected her. She also shared her tips and advices in adapting to the 'new norm.'
Rabi'atul, a final year Usuluddin student at UNISSA, was the second speaker for the forum. In her speech, she touched on the importance of having the correct intention and mindset throughout our journey as a student. Additionally, she also reminded students that failure is a push factor in achieving success if approached properly. Jannah Armanshah delivered the final speech for the forum with the topic, 'Perjalananku sebagai Belia.' Beyond her study as a Computing student at the Cosmopolitan College, Jannah is active in volunteering works and has participated in various exchange and camping activities, introducing the students to alternative career pathways.
The final session of the day was the sharing session where students had the opportunity to share their concerns and ask advices personally to their facilitators within their own breakout rooms. For the closing ceremony, a prayer of Surah al-Asr was recited by Fikri Ali.
After a 3 year-long hiatus, the Brunei-Loughborough Student Society, or more commonly known as LufBru, successfully organised their annual flagship sports event, ‘LufBru Summer Games’ (LSG) with the support from the Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Éire (BSU) and the Brunei Students’ Unit (UPP). This year, the event took place from 30th of July to 1st of August at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Sports Complex.
The LSG aims to develop communal relationships between students which have declined due to the effects of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions. In organising the teams according to 11 regions of the United Kingdom and Éire, it is hoped that it would facilitate the nurturing of friendship especially between the first-year students, their seniors and the alumni. Not only that, the LSG hopes to allow the students to healthily compete with one another and to take a breather from academia. This would tackle both of BSU’s goals: Community Development as well as Health and Mental Wellbeing.
The LSG officially kicked off with the badminton tournament on Friday. The tournament had 3 categories: women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed which saw a total of 82 students participating. The tournament format for the women’s and mixed doubles was a best of one set of 21 points round-robin whereas the format for the men’s doubles was best of three of 21 points knockout. The top three pairs in each category were awarded with medals; bronze, silver and gold
The second day’s competition held the netball tournament which comprised six teams. Each team faced off in a round-robin style tournament consisting of 15-minute matches and 5-minute break rest. Medals were awarded to the top three contenders of the tournament for their immense spirit and skill on the court.
The final day of LSG took place at the Hockey Field Sport Complex with the football tournament continuing its streak of fierce and unwavering desire to win. Eight teams faced each other off in a round-robin style tournament with 15 minute matches and 10 minute breaks in between. The top four teams advanced to the semi’s and finals. The day ended with the award ceremony, providing the winning individuals and teams their prizes for their immense effort on the pitch.
All of the scoring and managing of matches for each sport were assisted by Brunei National Badminton Association, the Brunei Netball Association and the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam along with student volunteers.
On Wednesday 26th July 2021, BruROSA in collaboration with BSUnion hosted a forum on Fostering Brunei’s Cultural Diversity at Dewan Silaturrahim, Pusat Belia. The forum titled ‘Fostering Brunei’s Cultural Diversity’ aimed to start a conversation surrounding cultural diversity globally and among us.
The forum opened with welcoming remarks from the President of BruROSA and Male Religious Secretary of BSUnion, Fikri Ali. The speakers for the forum included Michael Shie (Bruneian Graduate from Durham University), who joined from the UK via a pre-recorded video, Joshua Belayan (Director of Sponsorship at ASEAN Youth Advocates Network), Dr Chang-Yau Hoon (Associate Professor and Director of CARe at UBD and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia) and Ustaz Khairul Nazif (Assistant Lecturer of the Usuluddin Faculty at UNISSA).
Moderated by Izz Khan (Undergraduate studying Law with Criminology at the University of Manchester), the forum sparked conversations surrounding each speaker’s stories and perspectives of tackling the concept of diversity, as well as learning to respect and understand different cultural backgrounds that create an integrated multicultural society. The forum also touched on the meaning and definition of identity and the role it plays in fostering cultural diversity.
Brunei Students’ Union (BSU) has collaborated with Brunei Religious Officers Students Association (BruROSA) to hold its annual Outreach Tour with the theme “Paving Your Path: Journeys Through Perseverance”. The programme has been successfully conducted in 3 institutions consisting of Sekolah Menengah Sayyidina Ali (SMSA), Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan (MSPSBS) and Pusat Tingkatan Enam Sengkurong (PTES) on 31st August, 7th and 8th September 2020, respectively.
The Outreach Tour is an annual event organised by BSU and BruROSA, which aims to motivate the students to cogitate and pursue their future career pathways. This is done by inviting various individuals, each with different academic backgrounds and career pathways as guest speakers. The programme also provides a safe platform where the students may voice out their future concerns or current hardships.
The Outreach Tour sets off its course on 31st August, with a participation of 123 students at SMSA. The tour started with a series of ice breaking games and inspirational speeches by 4 speakers. The 4 speakers include Cindy Sim from BSU, Abd Rahman from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Chai Roslin from InTurn Co. and Hazwan from Gentleman Stitch. Both Cindy Sim and Abd Rahman shared their experiences as A levels students and their enrolments in university. On the other hand, Chai Roslin and Hazwan have presented their struggles of being an entrepreneur, and the honest truth of starting up a business.
The next tour was held in MSPSBS on 7th September. It started with opening remarks from Umar, President of BSU and Zakwan, President of BruROSA, followed by an ‘Amazing Race’ event with a total participation of 154 students. Afterwards, a forum titled ‘Journeys Through Perseverance’ began, involving 6 speakers: Dina Roslan and Darren Pui from BSU, Shahzaad Aslam and Mariam Yunos from Persatuan Mahasiswa/Mahasiswi Universiti Brunei Darussalam (PMUBD), Waznah Ghazali from WeCare, and Shahirah Bakar from both Kelab Komuniti Belia Transformasi (KKBT) and Belia Dai'e. Representatives from BSU and PMUBD shared their struggles of being a student and how they persevered through it, while Waznah and Shahirah talked about their experiences in volunteering. Shahirah also touched upon her experience with depression as a student, and how she struggled to overcome it.
On the 8th September, the Outreach Tour reached its finale with a participation of 91 students from PTES. The highlight of the tour is the inspirational talks from Vanessa Ang from BSU and Afiq Izzuddin from PMUBD. With the title ‘I am more capable than what I give myself credit for’, Vanessa gave a speech about academic motivations. Meanwhile, Afiq gave his speech titled ‘Life is one amazing journey!’ which explored the issue of mental health awareness, and how he overcame his mental struggles. As previously done in the other 2 sixth form institutions, the tour in PTES concluded with a sharing session for the students to convey their problems and receive proper guidance for them.
BSUnion held the annual Society Awards to celebrate the achievements of Society Leaders and Regional Executives in 2019/2020. The theme of this years' Society Awards was "Afternoon in Venice" held at Horizons Seafood Restaurant in Bandar Seri Begawan, right by Kampong Ayer which is popularly dubbed as 'Venice of the East'
The event started off with opening remarks from UPP Director of Studies, Cikgu Danny Aimi followed by opening remarks from Abullah Umar, BSUnion President. Awards standards of Bronze, Silver and Gold were then presented by Nabeelah Abu Bakar the former Vice President of Admin and FInance. Then certificates of appreciation were awarded to Regional Executives for their note-worthy effort in organising students and information during the emergency COVID flights and lastly a special certificate was awarded to the BruKnights which was the society who had donated the most meals with 154 meals donated during the SCOT 3000 meal challenge.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of enjoying the view of Kampong Ayer, socialising with other society members and utilising the fun photobooth. BSUnion would like to celebrate and recognise all the societies effort in keeping their societies active and engaged.
The Global Awareness and Impact Alliance (GAIA) and the Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Eire (BSUnion) jointly organised the final seminar of a three-part seminar series at the Institute of Leadership, Innovation, and Advancement (ILIA), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). This series titled ‘Building a Post-Pandemic Global Society’ aimed to combine the novel ideas of university students with the opinions of an expert speaker in an effort to build preparedness to face a post-pandemic world. The theme for the seminar centred on how the COVID-19 virus is ‘Reshaping Social Policy’; transmission control measures worldwide have dramatically altered human activity, thus forcing us to reflect on a number of pressing societal concerns.
The seminar opened with welcoming remarks from GAIA Co-Founder Naveed Khan and President of BSUnion Abdullah Umar. The speakers for this seminar were undergraduate students Izzati Azhan (BSc Planning and Real, University of Manchester), Hamizan Iman (Law LLB, Cardiff University), Nabeelah Abu Bakar (BSc MORSE, University of Southampton), and Mu’izz Abdul Khalid (PhD Candidate in Southeast Asian Studies, National University Singapore). Moderated by GAIA Co-Founder Dr. Asyura Salleh, the seminar explored how the viral pandemic has encouraged a reimagining of urban cities as greener sites for efficient and sustainable lifestyles. The seminar also touched on how public systems such as healthcare can be affected by concepts of bias. Moreover, the seminar raised awareness on gender-motivated behaviour that has increased during this pandemic. The audience was also given food for thought about how we can actively centre ourselves as agents of our own histories and cultures to allow for an unrestrained production of knowledge.
All three seminars were open to both the public and students. GAIA and BSUnion also express their deepest thanks to those who have attended our Seminars Series on ‘Building a Post-Pandemic Global Society’.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, SUNDAY, 9th August 2020 – The Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Eire (BSUnion) council members spearheaded the effort of carrying out a ‘Society Funday’ at Muara Beach. This event sought to bring all Bruneian university societies from different parts of the UK, ranging from the peripheral cities of England, all the way up to the core of Scotland. The turnout for the event was up to around 80 students including the new students for this upcoming semester.
The aim for this event is for societies to merge and deepen the relationships of the different constituencies, as well as familiarising themselves with the newer BSUnion administration. This was successfully coordinated and conducted through various notable activities such as sandcastle building, ‘tiga selipar’ dodgeball, tic tac toe relays, blindfolded cotton-scooping and other countless creative activities.
The event was also a wonderful opportunity for new students who finished their higher education to integrate with their respective societies prior to their departure to the UK in the coming future. It helped give the newer students an insight on how societies function, as well as how there is a community to make themselves feel home, away from home. Not only that, but it was also a chance for established current society members to link up once more after facing and practicing months of social distancing.
The Global Awareness and Impact Alliance (GAIA) in partnership with the Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Eire (BSUnion) hosted the second of a three-part seminar series at the Institute of Leadership, Innovation, and Advancement (ILIA), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). This series titled ‘Building a Post-Pandemic Global Society’ sought to fuse the novel ideas of university students with the insights of an expert speaker in an effort to build preparedness to face a post-pandemic world. The theme for the seminar centred on how the COVID-19 virus is ‘Restructuring the Regional Economy’ as national economies worldwide have witnessed rising unemployment rates, fluctuating commodity prices, and readjusted state budgets.
The seminar opened with welcoming remarks from GAIA Co-Founder Dr. Asyura Salleh and General Secretary of BSUnion Nazurah Hapiz. The speakers for this seminar were undergraduate students Abdullah Umar (BA Politics and Economics, Newcastle University), Michael Shie (BA Economics, Durham University), Ameerah Kasmirhan (BA Architecture, Newcastle University), and expert speaker Yazid Mahadi, CFA. Moderated by GAIA Project Manager Nadeeya Salleh, the seminar raised thought-provoking points on how the pandemic has restructured the global and regional economic landscapes by highlighting the importance of effective governance in striking a balance between the protection of economic and public health. The seminar also observed how the global economy has shifted to the East during the pandemic period, which is also ushering in a more digitised form of globalisation. The seminar also called for the audience to begin rethinking wealth in a more holistic way rather than in monetary terms to encourage a more regenerative economy. The audience was given food for thought on what the global economy could look like, and the opportunities it will present once the world enters a post-pandemic era.
The seminars have been open to the public. The final seminar in this three-part series on ‘Building a Post-Pandemic Global Society’ will be held on 13th August. This seminar will focus on how COVID-19 has reshaped social policy and is forcing us to reflect on pressing societal concerns amid a global pandemic.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, MONDAY, 3rd August 2020 – The Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Eire (BSUnion) and the Global Awareness & Impact Alliance (GAIA) hosted one of a three-part seminar series on Monday evening, the 3rd of August 2020 at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). The series aims to give students an opportunity to talk about topics related to their titles of study in accordance with the theme of ‘Building a Post-Pandemic Global Society’. The topic for the evening was ‘Refocusing Health Policies’ in which the seminars presented investigate how various aspects of the health sectors have been redefined by the pandemic.The series is open to the public, thus, in attendance were the members of the BSUnion Student Council as well as members of the public which ranged from UBD medical and dentistry students to the general public.
The event started with opening remarks from Mr Naveed Khan, the Co-Founder of GAIA and Mr Michael Shie, the Vice President for Regional Coordination, BSUnion. It then proceeded to the seminars led by student speakers - Vanessa Ang, a 2nd Year Law LLB student from the University of Bristol talked about ‘Staying OK in a not-so-OK world: Keeping our mental health in check’ and Jia Hui Lim, a 4th Year BHSc Dentistry student from the University of Glasgow talked about ‘The impact of COVID-19 on the dental community’ whereas Syafiq Syahrudin, a 3rd Year BSc Occupational Therapy student from the University of Essex presented the ‘Value of Occupation in regard to health’. In addition to the aforementioned panel of speakers, Dr. Justin Wong, a Public Health Policy Expert from the Ministry of Health had also given a seminar to offer an expertise insight to the topic at hand.
The seminars were moderated by Dr Asyura Salleh, Co-Founder of GAIA who highlighted the importance and abided by the Chatham House Rules in which the discussions that have been exchanged are not to be associated with the individual speaking it. The discussions ranged from mental health to dentistry to other aspects of various health policies. A key takeaway was the importance of applying a holistic approach to Health in all policies and the importance of health education in itself.
After the seminars, the event continued with a light discussion consisting of a Q&A where the floor was opened up to everyone in attendance. For more information on the upcoming seminar sessions or to learn more, visit the BSU website at www.bsunion.org or the GAIA website at www.gaiaalliance.co. The next seminars will be on the 6th of August 2020 discussing ideas on ‘Restructuring the Regional Economy’ and 13th August 2020 on ‘Reshaping Social Policy’
The Brunei Students’ Union in the United Kingdom and Eire (BSUnion) attended an entrepreneurship workshop hosted by Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) on Thursday evening, the 23rd of July 2020 at the iCentre Auditorium in Anggerek Desa. The session aims to reach out to students to promote entrepreneurship and showcase what resources DARe has to offer as well as present their initiatives to help business startups.
The session was led by Ummi Othman, the Executive Officer for the Startup Development Enterprise Programme from DARe and by Chai Roslin, the Director II of Youth Against Poverty (YAP) from the Society for Community Outreach & Training (SCOT).
The event started with a presentation of the vast programs that DARe has to offer which help business startups to grow. After, the floor was opened for a Q&A session with one of the entrepreneurs involved in the business startup initiatives that DARe offers. The event then continued with an entrepreneurial group activity which provided valuable insight into the DARe workshops.
In attendance were the members of the BSUnion Student Council and a number of students from various Bruneian societies in the United Kingdom and Eire as the session aimed to ideally reach out to students. This adheres to the BSUnion goals of increasing financial literacy and improving employability.
This session highlights the importance of planning for the future and how society should be adapting to the changing landscape. Entrepreneurship and self-employment are innovative alternatives to conventional employment. It encourages self-sustainability, progressing further towards ‘Generasi Berwawasan 2035’ whilst tackling the alarming unemployment rate in the country.