UK - The Brunei Students' Union in the UK and Eire (BSUnion) recently organised a trip to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS), a recognsed independent centre of the University of Oxford.
Established in 1985, the OCIS encourages the scholarly study of the Islamic world, and is under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, and in May of this year, the centre received the Royal Charter.
The delegation from BSUnion was headed by its President, Awg Radin Abdullah bin Radin Mas Basiuni.
The visit was co-ordinated by the OCIS and BSUnion's Postgraduate Welfare Secretary Awg Muhd Ayyub bin Hj Kamaludin. Upon arrival at the centre's site on George Street in Oxford, the group was welcomed by the Bursar-of the OCIS, Dr Basil Mustafa.
The group was also joined by Dr Pg Norhazlin Pg Hj Muhammad from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, who is currently a visiting research fellow at the OCIS.
After a welcome introduction to the centre, the group travelled to the centre's new purpose-built building on Marston Road. Due for completion in 2013, the new building will incorporate a mosque, library, dining facilities, offices, and accommodation for over 50 students.
After breaking for lunch and prayers, the BSUnion delegation was joined by Dato' Dr Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, KFAS fellow in Islamic Studies at the OCIS, who continued the visit by leading the group to numerous other attractions in Oxford, particularly the Bodleian Library and Worcester College.
All in all, the visit provided the opportunity for the Bruneian students present to experience the academic tradition at Oxford and to mingle with leading academics studying the Muslim world, thus strengthening the bonds that currently exist between the OCIS and Brunei.
The BSUnion Council members who were present also discussed further ways in which cooperation can be enhanced between BSUnion and the OCIS, for the future development of Brunei's talent pool of academics and leaders.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin