Brunei Postgraduate Society holds 4th Brunei Students’ Research Symposium


LONDON, 29th April 2017

The theme for BSRS 2017 is “The Path of Sustainable Development”. The theme is adopted from the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals  in order to improve our current conditions. These goals aim to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”. The theme is in line with Brunei’s Vision 2035, which focuses on improving quality of life through dynamic and sustainable economy and highly-skilled people with the guidance of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

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Written by Ainun Ahmad (Co-Chair of the 4th BSRS):

As quoted by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Another academic year nearing its end. Another year Bruneian students are given the opportunity to showcase their research. This year marks the 4th Brunei Students’ Research Symposium organised by the Brunei Postgraduate Society, with the theme “The Path of Sustainable Development” to reflect the need for collective thinking about Brunei’s sustainable development.

The event was attended by Guest of Honour, His Excellency Major General (Rtd) Dato’ Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam to the United Kingdom & Eire; Yang Berhormat Dayang Khairunnisa binti Awang Haji Ash’ari, a member of the Brunei Legislative Council; Yang Mulia Cikgu Ahmad Faisal bin Haji Zainal Abidin, the Director of Studies to Brunei Students’ Unit; Yang Mulia Izzatul Faizah binti Dr Mohamad, a member of the Brunei Students’ Union; 8 government officers and 64 students from all over the UK.

The event begins with the recitals of Surah Al-Fatihah and verses from the Qu’ran led by Awangku Muhammad Aqil bin Pengiran Jaya and Abdul Hafiizh bin Haji Kassim. Followed by the opening remarks from the Chair of the event and President of Brunei Postgraduate Society, Mohammad Iznan bin Haji Tarip. He highlights the importance of knowledge being “the key to develop ourselves, our nation and our world towards a sustainable future”, and where the symposium is an opportunity for bright-minded people to meet and exchange knowledge.

The event continued with a keynote speech by the special guest, Yang Berhormat Dayang Khairunnisa on the topic “Brunei’s Sustainable Development: Where are we now?”. Yang Berhormat highlighted the challenges we face as Bruneians, which is “There is still a lack of urgency amongst the wider population and lack of awareness on national concerns.” In order to take the challenge of sustainable development, a “whole of nation” approach is needed. She said, “While the government can regulate and set policy, responsibility also lies with the consumers. The Sustainable Development goals are universal and we must own these goals and we can only achieve them together.”

The event is followed by a panel discussion on the topic “Youth Engagement in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals”. The panelists are Yang Berhormat Dayang Khairunnisa binti Awang Haji Ash’ari, Co-Founder and Community Engagement Director of Green Brunei, and Yang Mulia Awang Mohamad Anwar bin Haji Mohammad, Chairman of Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT). The two panelists are prime example of youth actively engaging in solving social issues in Brunei.

Afterwards, the event is filled with student presentations and panel discussions under 5 sub-themes: Strong Institutions; Food Security; Quality Education; Physical and Mental Well-being; and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Strong Institution

This theme concerns about the ability to deliver quality education, healthcare and social welfare. And to ensure peace and justice in the national and international arenas.

The students’ views varied from micro-environmental level to macro. Ainun binti Haji Ahmad starts off with her exploratory research on emotional labour, followed by Awangku Md Syafi Al Waly bin Pengiran Abu Bakar’s review on the formation of ASEAN and its current security status, ending with Mohammad Iznan’s exploration of a working framework that synthesises the field of organisational learning and virtue ethics.

Food Security

This theme does not only concern about the quality and quantity of food supply, but also the cost of living, food logistics, conversion of agricultural lands, natural disaster and climate change. The Sultanate had achieved near-self sufficiency in the production of chickens and eggs, with 80% of its seafood products and tropical vegetables grown domestically. However, there are still evidences for more developmental opportunities in the future.

Addressing possible opportunities, Awangku Syazwan bin Pengiran Sulaiman is investigating potential implications of photoinhibition reducing the productivity of a crop in countries with high annual temperature and solar radiation such as Brunei. Whilst Fatin Khadijah binti Maswadi investigated aflatoxins, a potent natural toxicant found in maize, rice and peanuts. Aflatoxins are a large global issue and considered a Group 1 carcinogen by International Agency for Research of Cancer. And finally, Muhammad ‘Atiq bin Juani @ Najrien conducted scientific research on shallow-frying to generate information on its specifications and nutrition effects.

Quality Education

Quality education is always the top priority for any nation. It is the key to unlock other sustainable development goals by ensuring inclusive and quality education is available for all to motivate and promote lifelong learning. Recently, the Ministry of Education shared the achievements of students in 2016, showing progress from previous years. However, the Ministry acknowledges that there is still room for improvements.

This panel starts of by Anwar Arsyad bin Haji Abdullah’s proposal in introducing modern Cosmology to Brunei. He highlights the importance of research in science and technology as crucial and a key to progress in an increasingly competitive and knowledge-based globalised world. Followed by the second presenter, Pengiran Dr Ahmad Syukri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahim showcasing his collaborated research conducted in Brunei, with Dayangku Siti Nurul Rabiatul Adawiyah binti Pengiran Haji Roslan. Their research investigated the influence of parenting style and parental involvement on students’ academic achievement. And finally, the panel ends with Pengiran Shaiffadzillah bin Pengiran Omarali’s paper reporting the implementation on an on-going research pertaining to Brunei’s pursuit of online learning.

Physical and Mental Well-being

Access to quality health care for all is a goal we all strive for. Significant strides have been made to increase life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV / AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.

Nur Atikah binti Sapar starts the panel with her investigation whether having a self-compassion trait can protect against depression following childhood trauma. Followed by Pengiran Dr Ahmad Syukri’s development of a Malay (Brunei standard) version of Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales that can be used amongst Bruneian population in the future. Yusma Hazim bin Dato Paduka Haji Md Yusof introduced a detection system potentially suitable for use in a screening programme in clinics, in-line with one of Ministry of Health’s strategic priorities to further strengthening the medicare system in the country. And finally, Ira Kartika Dewi binti Sabli investigated whether the mutation at the time of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor switch for Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia affect the outcome.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Brunei is heavily independent on oil and gas production. Therefore, it is an important agenda for the nation to diversify its economy in order to ensure sustainable development. Investigating in the right infrastructure is thus important since it is the enabler of sustainable development as well as a constraint.

The panel begins with Muhammad Shu’aib bin Haji Kamaludin’s conducted studies of electrical conductivity on highly ordered organic semiconductor materials to properly understood fundamental properties in organic materials to be well utilised in devices. And finishing off with Ummu Hanani binti Abdul Latiff’s investigation of the effectiveness of dye-sensitised solar cells.

Between the student panel discussions, posters of students’ researches were exhibited: Mohammad Iznan’s exploration on the process of becoming a virtuous / vicious organisation; Chuan Ching Foo’s experiment in using protective non-photochemical quenching for assessing rice canopy productivity; and Akmal Ridhwan Omar Ali’s research in using data visualisation to analyse the crimes in Sheffield and Liverpool.

The event ended with the closing remarks and prize-giving ceremony led by the co-chair and Vice-President, Ainun binti Haji Ahmad. Followed with the recital of Surah Al-Asr led by Abdul Hafiizh bin Haji Kassim.

Photos from this year’s Brunei Students’ Research Symposium!18156389_426504807725769_2711680788473152556_o  18156562_426508301058753_8099898792080084381_o 18156603_426504964392420_1322126913984659885_o 18156636_426506091058974_963548827380402705_o 18156693_426512167725033_4928504195742270484_o 18156823_426506187725631_5449384702184195561_o 18192441_426505377725712_3938726912554472428_o 18192494_426506154392301_28767733912790719_o 18192525_426504741059109_3144299949499601511_o 18192631_426503177725932_1882863287365680477_o 18192680_426503551059228_8195038020178595878_o 18192700_426503517725898_2472443629441976170_o 18192757_426504487725801_2639960623599643533_o 18193003_426512824391634_3360958441849165571_o 18193045_426505534392363_8934593098894699870_o 18193077_426507831058800_6117530159578849365_o 18193140_426505781059005_569093618838152315_o 18208970_426503987725851_3852032151552058461_o 18209092_426505317725718_1952011913013863868_o 18209311_426507031058880_8481580174657027806_o  18216627_426504577725792_9147324400403616472_o 18237781_426507531058830_1524205886298310619_o 18238820_426506954392221_3696198316740372176_o 18278806_426513161058267_4089148814465633111_o18156505_426513471058236_3861958727065459529_o

Some of the portraits of the presenters on the day!


Mohammad Iznan bin Haji Tarip


Yusma Hazim bin Dato Paduka Haji Md Yusof


Awangku Md Syafi Al Waly bin Pengiran Abu Bakar

18192590_426512297725020_6808596206400067165_o Nur Atikah binti Sapar


Muhammad ‘Atiq bin Juani @ Najrien


Chuan Ching Foo


Anwar Arsyad bin Haji Abdullah


Ainun binti Haji Ahmad


Fatin Khadijah binti Maswadi


Ummu Hanani binti Abdul Latiff


Pengiran  Shaiffadzillah bin Pengiran Omarali


Awangku Syazwan bin Pengiran Sulaiman


Akmal Ridhwan Omar Ali

(Not photographed: Ira Kartika Dewi binti Sabli,
Muhammad Shu’aib bin Haji Kamaludin,
Pengiran Dr Ahmad Syukri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahim)

-More photos below-