As an ambitious individual who thrive on challenges, Dr Salbrina binti Haji Sharbawi has recently accepted her nomination as the president of the newly formed Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Alumni Association (Brunei).
The association will bridge relations between NTU and Bruneian alumni.
“The appointment was unexpected. I received an email inviting alumni to a get-together dinner. I went with the expectation of getting to know my fellow alumni,” Dr Salbrina said.
“When the voting commenced, my name was proposed for the post of president. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to deliver but as someone who thrives on challenges, I decided to accept the nomination.”
The NTU Alumni Association (Brunei) will be officially launched in Brunei on November 2.
Dr Salbrina has always been interested in academics. Since her days as an ‘A’ Level student, she had set her mind and heart to pursue a doctorate.
Upon completing her Bachelor’s (BA) and Master’s (MA) degrees in the United Kingdom, she explored possible areas of research for her doctorate. She came to realise that publications on pronunciation of Brunei English were scarce, as compared to the extensive literatures available for Singapore English.
This roused her interest to compare the variety in pronunciations in the two countries.
“I set out to compare the variety in Brunei with that of Singapore, expecting to see similarities between the two (as is the case with Singapore and Malaysian English). I found out that although there are some shared features, Singapore English was at a more advanced stage of development and that the pronunciation of Brunei English was still susceptible to external influences,” she said.
She started studying the works of other academics. Eventually, she decided to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in National Institute of Education (NIE), NTU, Singapore.
The PhD programme in NIE can be completed within a maximum of five years on both full-time and part-time basis.
Other than the English field, students also have the option of pursuing research work in diverse areas of study in Arts and Humanities, Education, Mathematics and Physical Education.
Asked about her experience as a student in NIE, she recalled, “I especially loved going to the library because the collection was extensive. Being a bookworm, I was obviously excited at the sight of rows and rows of books.”
The NIE is an autonomous institute under the NTU. It has been ranked as one of the top 20 education institutions in the world and top three in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.