BSN Strengthens Collaboration at the 6th Borneo Studies Network Scientific Committee Meeting in Kuching

The 6th Borneo Studies Network (BSN) Scientific Committee Meeting (SCM) was held in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kuching, Sarawak from 10th to 11th May 2024. It was co-hosted by Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and UNIMAS .

The BSN SCM was chaired by Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Global Affairs) of UBD and attended by the BSN member universities which included UBD, , UNIMAS, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universitas Balikpapan (UNIBA), Universitas Islam Kalimantan (UNISKA), Universitas Mulawarman (UNMUL), Universitas Palangkaraya (UPR), Universitas Tanjungpura (UNTAN), STAKAT and Institut Teknologi Kalimantan (ITK).

Yang Berbahagia Profesor Datu Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Leadership and Development) of UNIMAS, in his welcoming remarks highlighted on the importance of promoting Borneo Studies together as a consortium. The SCM gathered BSN focal persons from member universities to discuss academic matters, research collaborations and the governance of BSN, including a proposal on the BSN Postgraduate Degree programme (Masters) and micro-credentials among BSN member universities for the forthcoming years. The BSN Postgraduate programme is an extension of current student mobility activities, signifying its purpose by producing more concrete outcome from BSN. Micro-credentials are a common approach in this digital era and BSN is taking this opportunity by offering staff and students the opportunity to take diverse courses or modules to enhance their skills and improve their knowledge on Borneo Studies.

Another highlight from this SCM is the proposal of the 3rd BSN Conference which is scheduled for 2025 with the theme “Smart City Transformation, Biodiversity and Green Supply Chain in Borneo”. In addition to agreeing on the conference theme, the SCM, various categories were agreed upon, which are relevant to the BSN five research clusters: Borneo Biodiversity, Borneo Cultural Heritage & Ethnic Groups, Borneo Renewable Material Science and Energy, Borneo Sustainable Community Transformation as well as Borneo Economy & Banking. Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean, Chair of the SCM, shared that the five research clusters have led to productive research publications and BSN has organised a series of workshops to increase international collaboration among the BSN member universities. The Head of BSN Secretariat, Dr Rosnah Abdullah expressed her positive views on the proposals for future BSN activities which serves to produce more professional collaboration and capacity building within BSN. The BSN Work Retreat on 11th May paved the way forward for BSN initiatives and activities to be aligned with the trends of Digital Transformation, Sustainability and Climate Action.

BSN’s vision is to promote and make distinctive contributions for Borneo island through education and research on Borneo focusing on People, Economy and Environment. By tapping into the expertise and strategies from all BSN member universities, BSN aims to produce higher quality and innovative academic and research outputs that will bring positive impact to Borneo.

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