Gaining fresh perspectives on leadership and sustainability in Southeast Asia at TF-NUS LEaRN 2023

For 62 university students across Southeast Asia, the summer holidays were well-spent gaining new perspectives on leadership and sustainability through the Temasek Foundation-NUS Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (TF-NUS LEaRN) Programme.

This year’s programme began in May, where 34 participants from four local universities – NUS, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and Singapore Institute of Technology – attended workshops, field trips, and presentations on sustainability and leadership in Indonesia.

The TF-NUS LEaRN Programme is NUS Global Relations Office’s signature youth leadership programme, which takes place annually and is sponsored by the Temasek Foundation.

Citing the rich cultural diversity and growing opportunities available in Southeast Asia, NUS Associate Vice President (Global Relations) Associate Professor Reuben Wong urged students to broaden their worldview, get to know their Southeast Asian neighbours better, and take active steps toward shaping the kind of society they want to live in.

“This is a great opportunity for youths to learn from one another, share their views, and play an active role in building an innovative and sustainable society. At the same time, it’s a chance for them to forge strong bonds and foster mutual respect and appreciation for the different cultures in the region, especially in an increasingly connected world,” said Assoc Prof Wong.

Sustainability efforts in Indonesia

Participants from Singapore gained insights into a broad range of sustainability efforts and challenges through engaging discussions with speakers from both the public and private sectors during their visit hosted by Airlangga University in Surabaya.

This was followed by a trip to Sumbawa, in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province, where they learnt from Sumbawa University of Technology about their efforts to revitalise the agricultural industry through sustainable farming practices. The exposure was reinforced by a visit to the rice paddy fields where participants saw how local farmers engaged in sustainable farming by flooding the rice fields and releasing fishes into the fields to help with pest control.

Read more: NUS SG

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