Post Mortem

My experience at the ACU residential school, Malaysia

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/13/2019 12:43:01 PM IST

 The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is the world’s first international university network promoting and supporting excellence in higher education. The ACU Respect Residential School which was held from the 18th- 21st December, 2017 was hosted by ACU member institution Heriot-Watt University (HWU) Malaysia. The aim was to give student leaders practical means to promote mutual respect and understanding. From 110 applicants across the Commonwealth nations, 30 student leaders were selected.

ICFAI University Nagaland, the only institution in the state with membership in the Association of Commonwealth Universities, United Kingdom, presented this opportunity to interested students. I had the privilege to be selected as one of the student leaders to represent ICFAI University, Nagaland at the ACU Residential School. I was mentored by a faculty member of the Department of English throughout the application process, and with the recommendation of my university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. C.P. Alexander, my application was selected. IUN also helped me to secure a scholarship to fund the international travel expenses and helped me through the rigorous process of arriving at Kuala Lumpur. 
I had the opportunity to be a part of a diverse circle of student leaders from over 20 Commonwealth countries including Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago to name a few. The diversity pushed boundaries and exposed me to unlimited information, redefining my perception of culture. Over the four days, participants were immersed in the culture of Kuala Lumpur–a famously multi-ethnic, multi-religious city engaging in frank conversations with representatives the city’s civil society. A mixture of lectures, café conversations, and engaging visits saw students discuss the challenges and opportunities with activists from Mythos Labs, Global Peace Foundation, Justice for Sisters, and the Make it Movement. The student leaders were given practical exercises to develop their skills, work towards a shared goal of creating a fairer, more inclusive society, and cultivate innovative solutions to promote respect and understanding. The ACU Residential School has left a deep impact on me. As a young leader, the programme enabled me to be more vocal, deliberate, to think beyond four walls, to better engage with people who are different from me, to lead or operate within a diverse team, and to create conditions for innovations to occur. I was given the opportunity to stand in front of the Commonwealth Young Leaders to give a brief introduction where they were introduced to the ethnic culture of Nagaland through folklore and a display of traditional ornaments. 
I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity and through ICFAI University, Nagaland, not only did I receive quality education but I gained plenty of experience being a part of this progressive Residential School. IUN provides premium education as well as practical experiences through such programmes. This is one of the many that has left a lasting impression on me as a young student leader and as an individual. 
Tokaholi Chishi, ICFAI University Nagaland 

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