Bachelor of Science in Mathematics graduate Halim Anuar from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom (UK), said he was honoured to have been selected for a scholarship scheme and to attend one of the highly regarded academic institutions in the world.
While thanking His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Government, specifically the Islamic Studies Department at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) for the opportunity to further his studies at Jerudong International School and Loughborough University, Halim Anuar said, “I would also like to attribute my success to the support from my friends, teachers and family, especially my parents who have been there for me.”
He said living in a country with a different culture and being away from family took a while to adapt.
“The demanding academic work has made me diligent and taught me better time management,” he shared.
“One of the biggest challenges was during the COVID-19 outbreak where I spent my final term in the UK.
“It was stressful due to online learning and exams. Not knowing when I can go home made the anxiety almost overbearing. These challenges have made me become more resilient,” Halim Anuar added.
He said this in an interview with the Bulletin during an appreciation ceremony and Doa Kesyukuran for outstanding graduates of the MoRA scholarship at Royal Berkshire Hall, Tarindak D’Polo Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong yesterday.
Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman was the guest of honour. Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Mohd Tashim bin Pengiran Haji Hassan, Permanent Secretary at the MoRA Haji Mohammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Religious) at the MoRA Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang were also in attendance.
The ceremony’s objectives were to show gratitude to Allah the Almighty for the graduate’s success and to recognise their academic excellence and hard work.
The event was also part of the initiatives in supporting the MoRA strategic plan for 2020-2024, in line with the goal of Brunei Vision 2035 in producing educated, highly skilled and successful people.
The Director of Islamic Studies Haji Shamsol bin Haji Omar said 33 scholarship graduates of the MoRA, local and abroad, received their awards for completing their studies between 2019-2021 – seven in Jordan, one in the UK, two in Malaysia, 17 at Al-Azhar University, Egypt, three at Maahad Qiraat Shoubra, Egypt and three at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
Out of the 33 graduates, seven received 1st class in Bachelors Degree in Islamic Finance, Mathematics, Actuarial Science and Risk Management, Tahfiz and Qiraat, as well as Syariah and Arabic language.
Eight are currently employed – one at the Prime Minister’s Office, one at Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and six at different departments under the MoRA while some are furthering their studies.
“The awarding of government scholarships through the MoRA is one of the most important elements in supporting the success of the Arabic schooling system and Tahfiz Studies. This is because excellent achievement in Arabic and general public examinations including memorisation of Al-Quran is the main condition to qualify students to be awarded this scholarship,” Haji Shamsol said.
“With this award, we can channel students from Arabic schools and the Tahfiz Institute to continue their advanced studies at the higher education level, especially in higher education institutions abroad. Graduates of Arabic schools and Tahfiz Institutes also have the advantage of obtaining two academic certifications which are Brunei Religious Higher Education Certificate (STPUB) and Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advance Level (BC GCE ‘A’ Level) which allows them to apply for any scholarships that are also offered by government agencies and other stakeholders,” he added.
Bachelor Degree in Islamic Banking graduate Lina Musfirah binti Haji Abdul Wahab at Jordan University in Amman also thanked His Majesty’s Government and the Islamic Studies Department for the scholarship.