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NUS-TF forum on community leadership

05 December 2011

HE Dr Pitsuwan giving the keynote speech

Guest speaker Ms Sylvia Lee (centre) with TF LEaRN scholars

NUS and Temasek Foundation (TF) held their annual TF Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (LEaRN) Forum at University Hall on 2 December this year. Organised by NUS' International Relations Office, the forum themed "Effective Community Leadership: Theories in Practice" was graced by ASEAN Secretary-General His Excellency Dr Surin Pitsuwan, who delivered the keynote speech. It also brought together LEaRN participants and invited guests to discuss critical topics related to leadership and community development.

Speaking at the event, NUS Assistant Vice President (University & Global Relations) Assoc Prof Peter Pang said that the TF LEaRN programme seeks to groom Asian leaders for Asia in Asia. He encouraged the TF LEaRN scholars to rise to the challenge of community leadership roles in an increasingly globalised world.

Other speakers at the event included Assoc Prof Albert Teo, Director of the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme and Deputy Director of the NUS University Scholars Programme; Mr Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organisation; and Ms Sylvia Lee, Co-Founder of Lotus Culture who shared their passion and achievements as community leaders. Six former LEaRN participants from various universities also gave presentations on their community service projects.

In its fourth year now, the TF LEaRN programme is open to students from NUS and its partner universities in ASEAN, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. For Academic Year 2011/2012, the programme will sponsor up to 113 participants for student exchange and community involvement across Asia.

"I learnt not to take for granted what we have in Singapore. I have also developed a deeper appreciation for foreign cultures, in particular, the Thai culture," said Nicodemus Ler, an NUS Business student, who was at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok last semester on the TF LEaRN programme. He had volunteered in a children's ministry, where he spent time with underprivileged children.

Another student, Ronald Chin from NUS School of Design and Environment, spent last semester at the City University of Hong Kong and was engaged in a youth empowerment project. He also taught English to some China students residing there. "As young educated youths and university graduates, we should be able to share our knowledge to the younger generation so that when they grow older, they can pass on the same knowledge to the community," he said.