NUS launches the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre

20 November 2017 | General NewsEducation
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The Centre aims to become a focal point for community development activities and will offer two new modules on theory and practice of community development

The National University of Singapore (NUS) today officially launched the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre (CTPCLC) in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean.

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The Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Centre, which was officially launched on 20 November 2017,
will double its yearly intake to 80 students in the years ahead.

Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ho Bee Land Limited, presented NUS with a gift of S$5 million to scale up the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme to benefit more NUS students and social service organisations. This is Mr Chua’s second philanthropic gift to NUS. In 2011, Mr Chua gifted S$5 million to the University to establish the programme.

Since the inauguration of the programme, its popularity has grown with students having embarked on 105 meaningful community projects. As at October 2017, the programme has admitted close to 350 students with about 115 of them having successfully completed it.

The CTPCLC aims to become a focal point for community development activities on campus. It will also promote greater interaction and collaboration among NUS students, alumni, social service organisations, and other stakeholders through formal and informal discussions, as well as research on social and community issues, and workshops on community development.

The CTPCLC will double its yearly student intake of about 40 students to 80 students in the years ahead. In addition, two new modules, namely ‘Community Development Practicum’ and ‘Engaging and Building Communities’, will be introduced from 2018 onwards to provide students with strong academic grounding and practical experience in community development. Students will be taught community development concepts and field research skills. They will also learn about the issues and challenges facing the social service sector in Singapore, and work with social service organisations to develop more impactful social interventions. Please refer to the Annex for more information on the two new modules.

Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, said, “Social issues – such as ageing, mental health, vulnerable communities and poverty – are complex and multi-dimensional. While the government could develop policies and intervention programmes to address these issues, it is equally important for members of the community to champion ground-up initiatives to complement and supplement existing efforts. The CTPCLC is one such initiative that seeks to develop passionate students into community leaders who have a keen sense of the social issues on the ground, and are able to play a key role in fostering active citizenry.”

“We are deeply grateful to Mr Chua Thian Poh for his second gift of S$5 million to establish the CTPCLC. In the coming years, more students will have a chance to work closely with social service organisations to learn best practices in community development and co-develop targeted solutions to address social issues affecting our society today. Having a physical space for NUS students, alumni and the social service community to interact and exchange ideas will further foster and entrench community development endeavours on campus.”

Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ho Bee Land Limited, said, “I am a staunch believer in the role higher education can play to nurture our youth and shape them to become agents of positive social change. NUS students have done great work over the past six years, and I am proud of their efforts. I hope that the Centre will establish itself as a thought leader in community leadership in Singapore and play a substantive role in building resilient communities and improving the lives of Singaporeans.”

About the CTPCLC

The CTPCLC has its roots in the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme that was inaugurated in 2011. The programme was made possible by a generous gift of S$5 million from Mr Chua Thian Poh.

The CTPCLC aims to develop Singapore’s next generation of community leaders. The Centre hopes to nurture future leaders who will not only be intellectually engaged with social and community issues in Singapore, but also be passionate about addressing social and community challenges.

The CTPCLC will admit NUS undergraduates from various disciplines. These students will engage in ground-sensing and learn to map the aspirations, assets and needs of specific communities in Singapore. By engaging in field research projects, students will partner social service organisations to co-create solutions to address various social and community challenges. In addition, these students will also assist partner organisations in measuring the social impact of their intervention programmes. Such field research opportunities will help to promote a community development mindset amongst the students.

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