Bruneian wins top student award at University of Essex

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds


A BRUNEIAN student studying at the University of Essex recently received the International Student of the Year Award during the award presentation ceremony of the university’s prestigious International Students’ Association (ISA) Awards 2015.

Muhammad Fadli Hj Zaini, a second-year student in BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics, who is a Brunei government scholarship student, received the award from the university’s Vice-Chancellor himself, Professor Anthony Forster.

Apart from celebrating international students’ achievements and cultural diversity, the ISA Awards is also aimed to recognise the international impact that the students, staff members, cultural societies and groups make in the university.

The former reporter of The Brunei Times said that he did not expect to be the recipient and enjoyed his experience being in the university’s student union and helping found the Brunei-Essex Society (BruEssex) at the university.

 “When the Vice Chancellor read out the essay I wrote for the awards panel, I remember how much had happened for the last five years… so long yet so quick, something I was reminded not to take things for granted — like meeting, working and helping people. I knew. I fell in love with building communities and their cultures,” he said.

 Muhammad Fadli said that the prestigious award is in dedication to professionalism, passion, contribution, impact and aspirations to see a world of hope and change. He won a 50 per cent off scholarship for his tuition fee for next year. Awardees will also be assigned a mentor from the university students’ union to help them with their professional development.

“During my final year, I intend to continue on building the international community with ISA and explore opportunities with fellow ASEAN colleagues here in the UK. I also want to concentrate in looking into job placements within the university if my time permits. I also aim to strengthen my academic prospects by working with my department on liaising about student issues and participate in research development.”

 He added, “The work I do in my final year is aimed at strengthening my job prospects with the government as a scholar. InsyaAllah I do intend in looking at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT), Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) or Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) to kickstart my career in civil service. If rezeki allows me, I do intend to pursue Masters in international relations or regional security to allow myself to be better informed and equipped with skill sets in dealing with current affairs.”

“To my family, friends, mentors and colleagues, this award goes out to you for creating the experience with me for the last five years in striving to create a better community in Brunei, the United Kingdom and the world. It gives me great honour to continuously endeavour and live up to expectations in making a bright tomorrow by the actions we do today within our international community together, InsyaAllah,” he said.

 As of this year, there are 5,000 international students studying at the University of Essex.

 Earlier this year, Muhammad Fadli was the flag bearer to represent the Sultanate during the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and members of the royal family.

He is also avidly involved in youth development activities both in Brunei and in the UK.

The Brunei Times