SLG Meeting 2015

The National University of Singapore held the second U21 Student Leaders Group (SLG) meeting at the end of February 2015. The meeting served as a platform for student leaders to exchange experiences from their home country and their student unions, so as to allow student leaders to see the cultural differences in how student leadership worked in different countries. The student leaders all agreed that there is great potential for this network which is currently unexplored that can benefit all the institutions.

Associate Professor Anne Pakir, Director of International Relations Office at NUS, started off the meeting with an introduction and background of Universitas 21. She also presented the collaborations that the U21 network is undertaking such as the Student Education cluster (SE cluster), Research Engagement cluster (RE cluster) and Educational Innovation cluster (EI cluster). She shared her views on how the Student Leaders Group fits in with U21’s goal of engaging the students in the network.

Bernard Tan, Vice Provost (Undergraduate Education) at NUS started the opening address first by providing a brief background about himself and his leadership perspectives. He provided many interesting personal experiences of his life. Throughout his sharing, he gave engaging short stories to encourage the student delegates on how to be an effective leader and how as student leaders, making decisions plays a role in solving real world problems. Furthermore, he also shared his experiences in his working life, interacting with colleagues and imparted many useful life skills to the delegates.

Caelum Davies, Student Representative at the Student Experience Cluster gave a brief overview of the inaugural U21 SLG meeting and the main issues that were discussed in 2014. He talked about how the SLG was created and he brought the need for student leaders to discuss global. As the student representative in the SE cluster, he gave an overview of the two new student-centred projects in the U21 – U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge (on-line student competition) and the U21 Internship Programme. On top of that, being the only member who had experience in the previous SLG meetings, he shared how the student leaders communicated via Facebook and the effectiveness of communication. He also posed a critical issue that needed to be addressed in this meeting – that not all the students are engaged and involved in the SLG.

The student leaders felt that it was crucial to refine the vision of U21 SLN as the previous vision might be out-dated. Thus, there was a general consensus to tweak the vision to suit potential new challenges that the SLG may face, which now reads:

The U21 Student Leaders’ Network (U21 SLN) is a global network of student leaders that seeks to be a strong and gathered student voice throughout the U21-network. As a Student engagement forum the U21 SLN advise the U21 on its work from a student perspective.

Elections took place to choose the executive committee for the coming year, with the University of Connecticut taking on the Presidency and also offering to host the 2016 meeting.  Lund, Glasgow, McGill, Queensland, SJTU, Nottingham, Amsterdam and Edinburgh are all also represented on the committee.