Key for ASEAN universities to maintain ties in global competition: President Halimah

SINGAPORE — In an increasingly competitive world, the value of maintaining collaborative and close community ties with the Asean community cannot be underestimated, President Halimah Yacob told university leaders across the region on Thursday.

Speaking at a gala dinner to wrap up a program for ASEAN academic leaders, she said Singapore’s relations with its neighbors have always been a top priority, with continuous efforts being made to strengthen those ties. .

“Developing our Asean community through cooperation in higher education is one such way, and bringing together our esteemed Asean academic leaders through Plum is one such opportunity.” , she said.

Plum, or Program for Leadership in University Management, is a collaboration between the Temasek Foundation and the National University of Singapore (NUS) to enable university leaders in ASEAN to strengthen ties, exchange ideas and advance ideas on governance and management of universities in Southeast Asia.

Thursday’s dinner, held at the Asian Civilizations Museum, marked Plum’s 10th anniversary.

It was held on the last day of a three-day summit attended by about 50 university leaders from 24 universities in Southeast Asia.

The leaders had gathered to discuss issues related to higher education transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as sustainability efforts in Asean.

Since the program began in 2012, around 300 participants from more than 30 top universities in the 10 ASEAN countries have taken part, Ms. Halimah noted, adding that Plum was a great way for Singapore to reaffirm its commitment to Asia. from the South East.

The President added that universities must transform to educate students and wider communities, so that all can lead productive lives. Amidst innovation and transformation, universities must also remember that development must progress in a long-term sustainable way.

She said, “As members of the higher education fraternity, we must continue to instill a mindset of sustainability through our programs, our research, our campuses, our cultures, and our communities.”

In his speech, NUS Chairman Tan Eng Chye said he was delighted with the sense of commitment and purpose clearly evident among ASEAN university leaders to meet the challenges of the present and the future. ‘coming.

Professor Tan said discussions at the summit – on topics such as increasing social impact for communities, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and prioritizing sustainability efforts on campuses – would help build a constructive and forward-looking framework.

At the start of the summit on Tuesday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke about the role of universities as a “brain trust” to create a neutral and trusted platform to discuss challenges and formulate new ideas.