Asia education leaders converge

Prof Tan engaging with other university leaders during the dialogue

Ensuring Southeast Asia’s continued success on the global stage amidst rapidly advancing science and technology was a key theme at the most recent Temasek Foundation International-NUS Programme for Leadership in University Management Southeast Asia Leaders’ Summit 2019 hosted by NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

During a leadership dialogue held on 12 February, the Summit’s delegates shared their respective universities’ top three concerns and priorities. Issues discussed included the changing roles of universities, strategies to attract talented students and faculty to the region, and the financial sustainability of the universities. In addition, the delegates stressed the importance of their research in creating a positive impact for their communities.

A general sentiment was that apart from equipping their students with future-ready skills, redesigning the universities’ curriculum with a shift towards entrepreneurship and innovation was essential in an ever-changing world.

Prof Tan asserted that one of NUS’ main priorities is to build a culture of innovation across the University. “A university is about talented students, faculty, staff and alumni. A university will be at its best if it can pull all these important stakeholders together to contribute towards society. Given today’s rapid societal changes, we really need to think differently and be innovative,” he explained.  

There was an overall consensus that universities play a key role in maintaining the stability and peace of the region especially in light of recent global trends. Hence, universities must continue seeking ways to partner and collaborate with one another.

Since 2012, NUS has hosted over 300 university leaders from Southeast Asia, China and India. This year’s Summit, was attended by more than 30 Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Rectors and university leaders from 14 universities in Southeast Asia to discuss issues, share experiences and generate new ideas for the development of Asia.

By NUS Global Relations Office