Bruneian Students on Discovery Year: Reworking of Mobilities Aspirations and Mobilities Decision-Making

Dr  Siti Mazidah  Mohamad5

5Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, , Brunei

The field of international student mobilities remains a fertile ground for research as exemplified by the expansion of discourses on students mobilities by researchers within this field over the recent years (Yoon 2014, Cairns 2016, Doughty and Murray 2016, Yang 2018). While the interest in students’ mobilities and the recognition of experiential learning initiatives continue to grow in size and intensities, future aspirations, mobilities aspirations and mobilities decision-making by the students themselves within an institutionalised mobilities programme remain understudied especially in the context of Southeast Asian students mobilities (Ortiga 2018 and Phan 2018). Mobilities for educational purpose is not a straightforward matter informed by just the need to be future ready. A young and emerging university in Southeast Asia, we used Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s flagship Discovery Year programme as a research site and the experiences of the 47 students who have been on Discovery Year within the last two years elicited by semi-structured interviews, this paper aims to demonstrate the complexities of students mobilities in the context of their mobilities aspirations and decision-making. This paper also hoped to offer insights into the students’ reworking of aspirations and rethinking of adult future as an ongoing and reflexive activity in the context of today’s precarious condition locally and globally.


Siti Mazidah Haji Mohamad is a Lecturer at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. She graduated from Durham University (PhD in Human Geography) in 2015. Her main research interest lies at the intersection of geography, youth, and media and communication studies. She is a youth geographer researching youth’s mobilities, everyday social practices, and their social realities reflected through various new social media platforms.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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