AFTER Mohd Nizam Hazwan Hj Amiruddin obtained his Bruneian citizenship, he became determined to get a government scholarship for higher education abroad and be an asset to the country.
The 26-year-old, who was not a yellow Identity Card (IC) holder at birth, was granted a scholarship seven years ago and was even given the opportunity by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to choose between going to New Zealand or Germany.
The son of Indonesian Hj Amiruddin Md Yunos and Bruneian Hjh Rukiah Hj Ibrahim, Mohd Nizam Hazwan obtained his citizenship in 2004 after Brunei introduced a new legislation which automatically naturalised him through his mother's lineage.
He is the first Bruneian student to pursue a degree in Asian Studies in Germany, and also the first to study at the University of Bonn, state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
But it wasn't an easy journey for Mohd Nizam Hazwan, who had to learn German language for 18 months since the degree was taught in German.
He had to either obtain a B or C grade within the first six out of 18 months, or be sent back to Brunei.
Mohd Nizam Hazwan persevered, got through the 18 months and pursued his three-year degree.
"Although they told me the course was going to be in German, I thought to myself, why not make myself an asset for the country. I thank the government for this opportunity because I don't know when is the next chance I will get," he said.
He advised future scholarship recipients intending on going to Germany to be passionate in learning a foreign language.
"For anyone who wants to study in a foreign-medium country such as Russia, Germany, France or Spain, you must have the passion in learning the language," he said.
Mohd Nizam Hazwan also encouraged scholarship students to succeed and live up the government's expectations.
"It is like the government putting its trust in you. The government is investing in its population, and if it hears that students do not plan on completing their studies, it does not give a good impression to the public and Brunei's future," he said.
With Brunei's Vision 2035, he said it is hoped for Bruneians to become global citizens.
"Every one should be globalised, in a sense where we can be employable anywhere around the world. This is our challenge as Bruneians as we are currently facing limited human resources. Being a multi-linguist is an advantage."
Mohd Nizam Hazwan has been working at Universiti Brunei Darussalam's (UBD) Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) School Leadership Programme since coming home two years ago.
"What I do there (along with the team) is make sure it is sustainable and that the development carries on even though the consultants are no longer there," he said.
However, Mohd Nizam Hazwan is not ruling out plans of pursuing a Masters Degree.
"I am planning to take a Masters degree in Economics. When I did my degree course, it was more about the political aspects of Asia, specifically Southeast Asia. To study economics about the region is also beneficial because I do plan on being a lecturer in the future," he said.
He noted UBD's recent establishment of an Asian Studies Institute. "If I specialise my study in this region, I could be lecturer there and it is my dream."
Mohd Nizam expressed his deep gratitude to the government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for giving him the scholarship and opportunity to pursue higher education abroad.
The Brunei Times
Thursday, July 5, 2012
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