BAC's Chief Digital Officer, Jennifer Low, was among 75 young leaders from Southeast Asia & Timor Leste, who were selected to participate in a workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam under The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
YSEALI builds the leadership capabilities of youth in the region and promotes cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges.
Jennifer, who is also the CEO of BAC Learn (the E-Learning specialist under the BAC Education Group), heads BACFlix, a non-profit educational initiative fully funded by the Group, which primarily runs SPMflix.com
She writes about her experience at the workshop, and journey with YSEALI, as she builds her own leadership potential with like-minded youth in the region.
From 15th to 20th May, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) workshop on Innovating and Internationalising Higher Education in Hanoi, Vietnam. This transformative experience, generously funded by the US Embassy, brought together 75 exceptional young leaders from Southeast Asia and Timor Leste. We were carefully chosen from a highly competitive pool of over 1000 applicants, and the impact of this gathering was truly remarkable.
The workshop served as a vibrant platform for young leaders, educators, and professionals to converge and exchange ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Engaging workshops on design thinking, along with hands-on sessions like experiential learning and institutional resource sharing, allowed us to explore innovative solutions to challenges related to internationalisation and innovation in higher education.
One unforgettable moment was meeting the team behind an ambitious project to create a comprehensive e-library aggregating all of Vietnam's institutional journals and articles.
The possibilities seemed endless as we envisioned the profound impact this resource could have on research and knowledge exchange. These experiences ignited our creativity, inspiring us to think beyond boundaries and embrace new possibilities.
Among the highlights of this workshop was the opportunity to visit esteemed universities in Hanoi, including Foreign Trade University, National Economics University, and VinUniversity. Stepping onto their state-of-the-art campuses and witnessing their best practices left an indelible impression on all of us. These visits provided valuable insights into effective educational strategies, collaborative initiatives, and cutting-edge facilities. Witnessing firsthand the innovative approaches employed by these institutions reminded us that innovation and internationalisation are not mere buzzwords but tangible goals within the higher education landscape.
As the workshop unfolded, I was deeply inspired by the passion and dedication of my fellow participants. Interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures opened my eyes to the immense potential for collaboration and collective action. The exchange of ideas, valuable insights shared, and the connections formed have had a profound impact on my personal and professional growth.
In our interconnected and globalised world, the workshop underscored the importance of embracing globalisation in higher education. Led by accomplished experts, the sessions explored emerging trends, best practices, and strategies for fostering innovation and enhancing international collaborations within academic institutions. Equipped with this knowledge, we are empowered to drive positive change and introduce innovative solutions within our own higher education systems. By preparing students to thrive in diverse cultural and professional environments, we can shape a future that meets the demands of our interconnected world.
Before attending the workshop, I adopted the "empty cup" mindset, reminding myself to approach this experience with humility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to challenge my preconceptions. This allowed me to fully absorb the insights and wisdom shared by the accomplished experts leading the sessions, speakers, facilitators, and fellow delegates.
Reflecting on this incredible journey, I cannot help but feel a sense of empowerment and responsibility. Attending the YSEALI workshop in Hanoi was an unforgettable experience that has left an indelible mark on my personal and professional development. Equipped with newfound knowledge and a network of like-minded individuals, I am motivated to contribute to the positive transformation of higher education within my community and beyond. The YSEALI workshop stands as a testament to the power of youth leadership and collaboration, igniting a brighter future for higher education.