In September 2023, Âé¶¹ÆµµÀ Leicester (DMU) opened a new campus in Cambodia. Living in Cambodia is DMU alumnus and ambassador of Brunei, Kasmirhan Tahir.
Kasmirhan, originally from Brunei, received a scholarship in 1986 to study A-levels in the UK with the intention to study law at university.
“At the time the Brunei government was introducing a special scheme for students who had achieved good grades in their GCE O Levels to pursue law and medicine as their future career path in the Brunei public service as the country had just gained full independence from Great Britain in 1984, and was in dire need to fill up key posts.”
Following his A-levels, Kasmirhan chose to study at Leicester Polytechnic (the former name of DMU) because of Leicester's diverse community and the course content.
He said: “My three-year experience at Leicester Polytechnic was very memorable and enjoyable. In my first year, I stayed in a hall of residence and I made so many friends from all over the world.”
Kasmirhan recalls the dedication and kindness of his tutors, “I owe much to my international law tutor and to my personal tutor who taught me evidence law. They were really dedicated to supporting their students, especially foreign students like myself.”
Following graduation, Kasmirhan completed his bar exams in London and became a barrister for the Brunei Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC). It was a very small organisation and he also had to take on the roles of counsel for the Brunei government and trademark examiner as well as working on criminal cases and debt recovery cases for the government.
“In 1996, I got promoted to head of international law at the Brunei AGC, advising the Brunei government on matters relating to public international law. I served as the Brunei ambassador to Laos, as well as the Brunei permanent representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, whilst at the same time as a non-resident ambassador to Ukraine.”
Now living in Cambodia and working as ambassador to Brunei, Kasmirhan is delighted about DMU Cambodia. “I am obviously thrilled that DMU has opened a campus in Cambodia. The presence of high-quality higher education from the UK will offer Cambodian students, and those from neighbouring countries, an opportunity to pursue internationally recognised degrees without the need to travel to the UK, thereby reducing financial and logistical barriers.
“The presence of DMU will definitely contribute to the long-term capacity and sustainable human resource development in Cambodia, and help the country in its ambitious plan to move to an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.”
Kasmirhan with his wife and daughter at his daughter's graduation in Leicester
Kasmirhan has some sound advice for students and graduates, “I have had the opportunity of working for more than 32 years, mostly in the public service, and travelled to almost every country. There are a few things I have come to learn:
“Firstly, go and travel around the world. Learn about other cultures and other people and embrace continuous lifelong learning. Graduation is just the beginning of your learning journey. Stay curious, seek new knowledge, and continuously develop your skills to adapt to this evolving world.
“As you embark on your career journey, remember to prioritise self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
“Follow your passion. Build a career that's aligned with your values and passion that will bring you fulfilment and motivation.”
Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2023