NTU Mayors’ Class students “adopt” village in China to showcase sustainable development
- Mayors’ Class marks its 1,000th student after 13 years
Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Mayor’s Class will “adopt” Maotai village in Renhuai City, China and develop it as a model for sustainable urban development. Dubbed the Mayors’ Class as its students are often earmarked to be mayors in China, it is attended by middle and high-level Chinese officials enrolled in NTU’s Master of Science in Managerial Economics and Master of Public Administration.
Today, the 13-year-old Mayors’ Class marks its 1,000th student, Mr Yu Dexuan, Director of Bureau of Supervision and Administration of Work Safety of Guangdong Province. Mr Yu completed his Master of Managerial Economics this year.
At a dinner to mark the completion of the Mayors’ Class 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Ms Lou Bing, Mayor of Renhuai City, Guizhou Province, and Dr Wu Wei, Director for NTU’s China Affairs Office. Under this MOU, the class of 2011 will share best practices in public administration, environment and economic development with grassroot leaders in Maotai. NTU will also run short-term programmes in city planning for Chinese officials from Renhuai City.
Ms Lou completed her Master of Public Administration this year and is the first female mayor from the Mayors’ Class.
On the new “adopt-a-village” initiative, NTU President Dr Su Guaning said, “The Mayors’ Class appeals to many high-level Chinese officials because of the calibre of our faculty, which includes several former Singapore government leaders and the opportunity to learn the best practices in public policy and management from a similar socio-cultural perspective. This initiative to adopt Maotai village will allow the graduate students to apply some of the best practices to real-life situations and issues and also improve understanding of China, thereby strengthening NTU’s position as a knowledge hub between the East and the West. The interactions among our alumni, as well as Chinese government officials at the local, provincial and national levels, will further boost bilateral exchanges between Singapore and China.”
Maotai village, which is the hometown for the world-renowned Maotai liquor, has been identified as a showcase for China’s rural development policy. NTU plans to solicit the support from Renhuai’s local governments and make this village a model for sustainable growth in Guizhou and China.
“The adopt-a-village initiative, which focuses on less developed regions in China, aims to broaden the globalisation perspective of the Chinese grassroot leaders, train more officials to catch up with the developed cities and close the gap between them,” said Dr Wu, who is also the Director of Nanyang Centre for Public Administration which runs the Mayors’ Class programmes.
“The students will go to Maotai during term breaks to share their knowledge. We hope that Singapore's development experience can serve as a reference for the village leaders, and they can apply these proven principles in their community,” added Dr Wu.
Since 1992, NTU has been running both short and mid-term programmes for more than 10,000 public servants in China. Last year alone, the university’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration conducted a record number of 40 training programmes with participants from 16 Chinese provinces.
Besides providing executive training to Chinese officials, another focus for the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration is to spearhead China-related research on public administration and economic management.
The centre manages the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship, which supports the Fellowship Council in the recruitment of fellows and coordination of networking opportunities. The inaugural batch of Singapore Lien Fellows under this programme recently completed their one-year programme and presented their findings and recommendations for Singapore in the areas of education, maritime and economic policies.
The three fellows are career high-flyers from the government and education sectors. They are Mr Lee Yuen Hee, the Deputy Secretary (International) of the Ministry of Transport; Mr Teo Eng Cheong the Chief Executive of the Competition Commission of Singapore and Dr Foo Suan Fong, the Principal of Nan Hua High School.
The Fellowship, a joint initiative by NTU and Lien Foundation, is modelled after the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship in the United States. Leveraging NTU’s extensive global network, Lien Fellows can develop their research topics with the help of their mentors from NTU and other participating institutions in Singapore and China.
Earlier this year, the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration also completed the first study on the public service excellence index for Chinese cities.
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