| Azaraimy HH |
THE US Education Fair saw a huge turnout yesterday at the Songket Hall, Rizqun International Hotel. The crowds were mostly students, reflecting growing interest in pursuing studies in the US.
The fair was hosted by the US Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan and EducationUSA. It featured representatives from 12 US universities and colleges, offering diverse educational programmes at undergraduate and graduate levels.
US institutions of higher learning represented at the fair included the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Green River Community College and others.
The event was launched by the guest of honour, Acting Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education, Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti POKLWDSS Haji Awang Abdul Aziz, together with the Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy, Mark S Dieker.
EducationUSA is a US Department of State-supported network of hundreds of advising centres around the world. Each year, EducationUSA advisers provide millions of international students with accurate, comprehensive and current information about how to apply to US colleges and universities. EducationUSA staff also work with US higher education professionals to promote international student recruitment.
The Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, who is also a member of the American Alumni Association – having studied at Harvard University – said that the US offers a different kind of study environment and system, different to those of United Kingdom.
Each university has its own strong fields and so students are advised to make their own respective research before coming to the US, said the minister, adding that one can take the opportunity to partake in cross-institutional study – another aspect for the students to consider.
Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah also dismissed the concerns regarding Halal food. In earlier times, there was already plenty of Halal food available, and he believed that with today’s growing Muslim population and foreign Muslim students, choices have also expanded.
One must have a strong personal identity before going to the US, the minister reminded the students. US has a different political environment and cultural identity, and for that, the minister said, “They must prepare to answer these challenging questions.”
Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina highlighted that scholarships to pursue study in the US are widely available.
Furthermore, there are also study links between higher learning institutions in the country, namely Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB), and those in the US – an example would be the UBD Discovery Year programme.