Asia-Pacific Student Leaders Forum
The APRU Asia-Pacific Students Leaders Forum aims to engage students, administrators, and university policymakers in discussing pertinent topics on the social engagement of universities. Non-governmental organisations, social enterprises and corporations with corporate social responsibility (CSR) units are also invited to contribute to the forum.
The initiative was proposed as a 3-forum series by the National University of Singapore. With an overarching theme of "Youth, Higher Education and Social Impact", each forum could be on an annual or biennial basis, depending on interest.
The proposed sub-themes for each forum are:
1st forum: The Social Responsibility of the University - The University's role in providing the support and programs to encourage social engagement amongst its students. It should also result in student proposals on social engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.
2nd forum: Sustainable Social Action - How social action could be sustainable. APRU universities could discuss the sustainability of existing student-led projects as well as strategies for developing a new generation of thinkers and agents of positive social impact.
3rd forum: Social Action in the Asia-Pacific - Critical issues pertinent to the Asia-Pacific region and what could be done by APRU universities to facilitate positive social impact in the region by young leaders. The emphasis would be on regional collaborations amongst the young leaders in APRU universities.
University Social Responsibility (USR) was the key theme of the Asia-Pacific Students Leaders Forum held from 8 to 10 June in Singapore. The inaugural forum was hosted by the National University Singapore (NUS) and featured a key dimension of USR in particular developing young leaders as the agents of positive social change. Eighty-four students from sixteen APRU member universities have worked together on coming up with ideas and proposals on addressing various social issues– poverty, unemployment and income inequality, climate change, ageing population, disaster preparedness, health, gender inequality, access to education and juvenile delinquency, among others.
"... The forum was useful, beneficial and interesting. It is important that the youth is engaged in these issues and activities," said a student from the University of the Philippines.
APSLF Participants and organisers gather for a group photo. Photo credit: National University of Singapore