UBD signs MoU with Turkey’s top university

National 2 minutes, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Necmettin Erbakan University of Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for various collaborative work on Islamic studies.

The MoU was signed by representives of UBD’s Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) and Turkey’s International Rumi Center for the Study of Civilizations.

Professor Dr Bilal Kuspinar, the director of the Turkish centre for the study of civilisations, said UBD and the Turkish university located in Konya are looking to work together on various academic disciplines that are of mutual interest.

“The areas include Social Sciences, Philosophy, Humanities and particularly Islamic and Religious Studies.”

He said the two universities also plan to jointly undertake projects such as organising conferences and seminars, and exchange of scholars.

Dr Kuspinar said these joint projects could help them identify contemporary challenges and global issues that have an impact on Turkish and Bruneian Muslims.

Collaboration between the two institutions can also help address the adverse effects that modern technology may have on the youth, he added.

“For example, by inculcating principles of Islamic ethics and morality, how can we establish a curriculum which will suit the needs of youth and university students in this modern time?

“We are living in a global society with (increasing usage of) social media and technology. On the one hand, these things are good for facilitating our movement and communication, but on the other hand, we are losing some of the central values of family life which are meant to be the core values of our civilisations,” he said, adding that the notion of tajdid (renewal) needs to be revived in order to renew and rejuvenate the Muslim youth.

The student exchange can be beneficial for Bruneians, he said, noting that Turkey’s Konya City is the seat of knowledge and a leading force among Muslim countries in terms of intellectual dynamism and resources.

“Because of the significance of the city today for Muslims and for Turkey, the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) a unifying platform for Muslims of the Muslim world with members from various countries, they have declared Konya as the tourism capital of the Muslim world for this year,” he said.

He went on to say that the MoU benefits from the fact that Turkey is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

“We act as a bridge between Asia and Europe, so we will be able to transmit whatever we can easily get from Europe and from our neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

“In this sense, this is a pathway for UBD and brothers and sisters in Brunei to have access to European scientific activities through Turkish institutions. Also in the future, UBD and Necmettin Erbakan University may work on producing joint publications and journals,” he said.  

Also present to sign the MoU were Rector of Necmettin Erbakan University, Professor Muzaffer Seker, UBD’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Corporate and Administration Rubiah Hj Yacub and Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, director of SOASCIS. Witnessing the signing were invited international representatives from various higher institutions also attended the fifth SOASCIS International Conference.

The Brunei Times