Social Causes

Student Leaders

The Change-makers of Tomorrow


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Photo: NUS Student-delegates and Assistant Professor Chaiyaporn Puprasert Vice President for Student and Alumni Affairs of Chulalongkorn University presents the Certificate

23 October 2019 

3 NUS students, 2nd AUN AELP, 1 invaluable experience.

From 30 June to 6 July 2019, three National University of Singapore (NUS) students spent a fruitful week at the 2nd ASEAN University Network (AUN) ASEAN Experiential Learning Programme (AELP) – a biennial youth enterprise and knowledge sharing platform – in Nan, Thailand. 

The AUN is a partnership by 30 universities across 10 ASEAN countries which strives to strengthen their existing network of cooperation and seeks to promote collaborative study, research and educational programmes on pertinent issues to the ASEAN region. 

Hosted by Chulalongkorn University, 2019’s theme was “Nantopia: Breakthrough towards the City for All”. NUS student representatives – Benjamin Loo, Richard Wang and To Quang Nghia – have had the unique opportunity to exchange insights with other ASEAN delegates, as they teamed up to tackle the various sociocultural and economic challenges stumping Nan’s city development. 

The student-delegates attended talks by the host University and invited guest lecturers, as well as engaged in experiential learning and cultural immersion. They also interacted and interviewed local farmers, who provided them with firsthand insights into Nan’s various agricultural issues. Students also tried their hands at the traditional arts of Nan’s pottery and weaving, taught personally by the locals.

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Photo: Richard Wang tries threading cotton in a weaving session with a local expert.

A unique feature of AELP 2019 saw the delegates participate in group simulation sessions through which they discussed feasible solutions from the perspectives of the various stakeholders in Nan. Their efforts culminated in proposals to the judging panel and fellow delegates. 

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Photo: AELP delegates in a group discussion session.

ALEP 2019 was a wonderful platform for student leaders from the ASEAN countries to meet and share their ideas with other like-minded youths, forge memorable cross-cultural friendships and thrive off each other’s passion to become the changemakers of tomorrow.

“My interaction with other participants, in general, was amazing as all of us come from different backgrounds, hence offering a broad spectrum of interesting viewpoints that indeed energized the whole discussion process,” shared Quang Nghia.

Benjamin revealed that he has “learnt a lot” from the Programme. He struck a chord with other like-minded youths who were passionate individuals and their attitude in life inspired him to canvas for causes that he believes in.

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 Photo: AUN-AELP 2019 participants at the Nan National Museum.

Learnings from AELP will provide insights to the organising committee in the 3rd edition of AELP. Jointly-organised by NUS, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), the next AELP will be held in Singapore in 2021. The AELP organising committee is excited to be hosting this platform for exceptional youth leaders who are committed to resolving pertinent social, economic and environmental issues in the ASEAN region. 

You are never too young to make a difference, and the youthful passion of our generation knows no bounds. Although the project is only just in the pipelines, the NUS community can look forward to bringing together vibrant and dynamic students from all over the ASEAN region for the next edition.

Interested students may contact Ms Siti Aida, sitiaidawani@nus.edu.sg from the Office of Student Affairs. 

Contributor

Writer: Low Jia Hui, Undergraduate, CNM
Editor: Elissa Chia