Leaders in the Making: The Inaugural IMPA-BRI Cohort

The inaugural class of the International Masters in Public Administration (IMPA) commemorated the start of the academic year with an opening ceremony at Tsinghua University on 29 September 2018.

Sponsored by the Tanoto Foundation, the programme is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and supported by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council. This initiative represents Tanoto Foundation’s drive to sow the seeds for mutually enriching and empowering relationships between BRI nations, which include Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore.

Diverse IMPA-BRI cohort

The inaugural IMPA-BRI cohort

Comprising a diverse group of 19 students from 11 countries, the IMPA-BRI cohort will undergo a year-long English-medium Master’s Degree programme administered by the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.

The IMPA-BRI both cultivates and leverages the strengths and synergies of its diverse student-base to further develop knowledge and cooperation between participating countries in the Belt and Road Initiative, while advancing public sector leadership skills and knowledge of China’s development. The curriculum comprises course studies, field research and thesis writing.

This development is just another instalment in Tanoto Foundation’s establishment of a long line of multi-stakeholder collaborations aimed at bringing together scholars, thought leaders, researchers, officials and talents to raise standards in their respective fields. 

Towards an interconnected, sustainable, global-minded future

Many stakeholders and supporters have expressed excitement at the IMPA-BRI programme.

Deputy Director-General of the West Development Department, National Development and Reform Commission, Zhang Min, believes the well-resourced Tsinghua University’s academic strengths will play a vital role in developing talents and leaders across the Belt and Road (also known as “One Belt One Road”) countries, and that the IMPA-BRI Programme will go a long way to securing a stable and continuous development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

In welcoming the students, Vice Provost and Director of the Office of International Education at Tsinghua University, Gao Hong, encouraged them to be engaged global citizens with sound knowledge of China. Dean of the School of Public Policy and Management, Xue Lan, shared the same sentiment and aspiration at this momentous occasion, further noting the significance of the programme in supporting the Belt and Road Initiative and bringing greater growth, connectivity and prosperity to the region.

One of Tanoto Foundation’s many longstanding projects focuses on the development of education in rural Indonesia. The foundation leverages multi-stakeholder partnerships to deliver impactful outcomes for communities in areas in which RGE companies operate. (Source: Tanoto Foundation Instagram)

Wang Jianguo, Director of the Energy Management Committee, RGE China, extended his warmest congratulations on behalf of the Tanoto Foundation to the inaugural cohort of IMPA-BRI Programme. He hopes the course will not only deepen their understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative and its significance, but also prepare them as future leaders and ambassadors who will nurture and strengthen relations in the region. He continued the topic of an interconnected, sustainable, global-minded future by welcoming the students to visit and experience first-hand Tanoto Foundation projects and operations under the RGE group of companies.

A learning opportunity

Christopher Tanujaya, a student from Indonesia, expressed his gratitude to Tanoto Foundation for supporting the programme.

He added, “I decided to take the opportunity to come to China to learn how China was able to achieve its success in expanding her economy, especially through the Belt and Road Initiative. The IMPA-BRI Programme Cohort is very diverse – more so than when I did my undergraduate studies in Toronto. I am excited as there is much to learn not only from the excellent professors at Tsinghua University, but also from my fellow coursemates.”

The Belt and Road training initiatives

The IMPA-BRI Programme is part of the “Belt and Road” training initiative, funded by the Tanoto Foundation for RMB 100 million over the course of 10 years. The programme aims to strengthen understanding and collaboration between BRI countries, building capacities and competencies for the benefit of the region, while promoting peace, stability and development.

The training initiative has already sponsored and run three seminars across Tsinghua, Fudan and Huaqiao Universities, which were attended by 140 senior government officials, senior corporate executives and scholars from as many as 20 nations.

The programme is part of a slew of collaborations between non-profit, corporate, state and educational institutions aimed at supporting the BRI’s five major goals of wider policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.