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PENANG, 11 March 2017 - The 3rd International Asia-Pacific University-Community Engagement Network (APUCEN) Summit is inviting entries from its 87 members from 19 countries, for its inaugural APUCEN International Youth Volunteer Awards 2017.

The awards aim to recognise groups which are involved in sustainable community engagement (CE) programmes and practices, in and around the Asia Pacific region.

Each award carries a cash prize of USD3,000, a trophy and a Certificate of Appreciation from APUCEN.

Prizes will be awarded in 7 categories. The first six categories are Youth, Health, Women, Education, Environment and Entrepreneurship.

A special category – The Open Award – has been designed to cater for sustainable CE programmes that do not fall in the above categories.

All participating CE projects must however be at least a 3-member team who fall within the 18-35 years age limit.

“Team and age limitation was purposeful and aimed to encourage the involvement of the younger generation in sustainable CE programmes and practices,” said the APUCEN Executive Director Professor Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai.

“This is APUCEN’s inaugural international awards and we wanted it to champion the committed young CE workers, hence we have set the limit on the age to 35 years and to have them in teams… it was purposeful”.

“We realise that the young, especially students, are actively involved in community engagement in some way or other, inside and outside the university. We want them to continue with this culture of active-sharing,” she added.

“This award aims to recognise this spirit of sharing within them,” she said adding that interested organisation and institutions could visit APUCEN website at http://apucen.usm.my or call the secretariat at 04-6536419 for more details.

All awards will be presented at the 3rd International APUCEN Summit on April 3-4, 2017 in Penang.

Themed ‘Creating a Future for the People’, the summit aims to provide a platform for members and participating corporate and public organisations to form networks and collaborate on sustainable university-community engagement programmes and practices.

The organisers of the 3rd International APUCEN Summit 2017 are anticipating full participation from member organisations and see its inaugural International Youth Volunteer Awards as the stepping stone to greater cross-border CE activities.


The setting up of APUCEN in Year 2011 was inspired by Malaysian academics, who felt that their research and findings should be shared and used to solve issues in society, thus paving the way for impactful community engagement and transformation.

Since 2011, APUCEN has grown rapidly, expanding its membership and activities beyond the Asia-Pacific region. APUCEN is one of the biggest international networks, which was initiated by the Malaysian Higher Education Institutions and is positioned globally.

Most of APUCEN's activities are steered by the Malaysian chapter, which is based at USM and is actively supported by the Malaysian Higher Education Institutions and also NGOs and Corporate members.

Thus far, APUCEN has reached out to assist communities in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia through its community engagement programmes.

Text: Professor Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai

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