23 августа / 2018

Russian Govt Scholarship recipient blazing trail for Brunei students

Brunei citizen Muhammad Miqdam bin Zaini will soon leave for Moscow to pursue his tertiary studies under a Russian Government Scholarship.

Receiving him yesterday at the Russian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam was Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Brunei Darussalam Vladlen Semivolos.

Accompanying Muhammad Miqdam were his parents, Zaini bin Haji Salleh and Suroiya binti Sitthikan.

Muhammad Miqdam, the second student fr om Brunei to be awarded the prestigious grant, beat off stiff competition to get a place at Moscow State University of Design and Technology (MSUDT), wh ere he will be studying Fine Arts.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for the Russian scholarship. It’s a great opportunity to learn more around the field (Fine Arts),” Muhammad Miqdam told the Bulletin after receiving the scholarship.

“I had earlier applied for scholarships to several embassies in Brunei, and the Russian Embassy responded to me on the available opportunities to further my studies.”

The Ministries of Education of Brunei and Russia are currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in higher education and science, which will become an umbrella agreement contributing to the development of exchanges and partnerships between institutions of higher learning in the two countries.

Russia also views as the next step the need to launch discussions on the signing of agreements with Brunei on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications and degrees, to support wider practical ties in the field of education, and strengthen mutual understanding and people-to-people contact between both countries. The links between the educational institutions of Russia and Brunei are however, already strong at present, and are set to improve further as both countries are constantly working on improving the legal foundations of bilateral relations in the field of education.

Last year for example, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) established cooperation with St Petersburg State University, which saw a group of students from the Oriental Department of the university coming to UBD to study for one semester this year under a student exchange arrangement.

Muhammad Miqdam’s Russian adventure represents the latest step in this blossoming education relationship between the two nations; his scholastic foray into country pointedly is seen as a trailblazing move paving the way for more Bruneian students to further their studies in Russia.

While more unfamiliarity and a longer ‘bedding in’ period is to be expected with studying and living in such a relatively unconventional higher education country, there is one thing that Muhammad Miqdam can be sure of – he will be receiving a world class university education.

Founded in 1930, MSUDT is one of the leading multi-disciplinary higher educational and research institutions in Russia.

The university trains students to become specialists in the industrial and scientific sphere, offering courses in the following branches of science – technical, art studies, economics and biological.

Under its Fine Arts Faculty, the university boasts among its teaching staff adjunct professors, such as haute couture designer Elena Teplitskaja, and the world-famous Russian fashion historian, collector, art critic, interior designer and theatrical artist, Alexander Vasilev. Other famous names among the university academic staff include fashion industry designers Vyacheslav Zajtsev and Valentine Yudashkin.

The university’s art and design students on the other hand, have moulded a reputation of being high-achievers, regularly taking part in and winning various Russian and international competitions. This list includes the International Young Designers Contest Admiralty Needle, in St Petersburg; the Velvet Seasons in Sochi International Festival of Fashion; and the International Fashion and Arts Week.

The university also has education links with top art schools such as the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York; Italian Centre of Design; Berlin Institute of Fashion; Technical University of Radom; and St Martin’s School of Art.

As an arts and culture destination, Russia stands shoulder to shoulder – if not above – with its more famous global neighbours such as Italy, France or Spain.

Russian art is highly valued around the world; this is due to the pioneering works of luminaries like Ivan Aivazovsky, Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, Ilya Kabakov, Eric Bulatov and Grisha Bruskin, many of whom – like their Soviet-era peers – combine innovation with socialist realism in their productions.

Bruneians interested in exploring educational opportunities in Russia or finding out more about the Russian Government Scholarship are invited to explore information on the website www.russia-edu.ru and the RUSSIA.STUDY portal.

Published in “Borneo Bulletin” on 22 August 2018. Author: Ishan Ibrahim