SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are active and hardworking, and they are why the Republic is great and modern, said 19-year-old Nyamdavaa Amar, a first-year Mongolian student at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) School of Computing.
On Friday (July 8), he shared his impression of the country with Mongolian Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai who was in NUS as part of his official visit to Singapore from Wednesday to Saturday.
Mr Amar, who has been here for 10 months, is on a Sea Olympiad Scholarship sponsored by home-grown consumer Internet company Sea. The scholarship is open to all students who have excelled in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and who intend to pursue their full-time undergraduate studies at NUS Computing.
He was a gold medallist at the IOI 2020 and International Mathematical Olympiad 2021.
"Meeting my PM for the first time here definitely helped me overcome some of my homesickness," said Mr Amar who received three Mongolian books and a souvenir plaque from Mr Oyun-Erdene.
They met on the sidelines of the signing of a two-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between NUS' LRF Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk (Ipur) and Mongolia's Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs to collaborate on public service transformation in Mongolia.
It was inked by Professor Leonard Lee, Ipur's deputy director, and Mr Nyambaatar Khishgee, Mongolia's Minister of Justice and Home Affairs. Witnessing the signing were Mr Oyun-Erdene and the NUS president Tan Eng Chye.
The MOU builds on an existing partnership between Ipur and the National Academy of Governance in Mongolia to do capacity building in data literacy and risk communication in that country's public sector.
Both parties will work closely on strategies to catalyse public sector transformation. They will also strengthen skills and resources for the Mongolian public service in the areas of data, technology, policy, good governance and risk communications.
Prof Lee said its ongoing data innovation lab programme in Mongolia, which looks at strategic and technical perspectives of data policy and artificial intelligence, provides an excellent foundation and framework to support this new partnership.
"Sustainable success for Mongolia's data innovation initiatives in the public service is a key objective of this partnership," he added.
"Ipur is committed to achieving this by guiding government stakeholders through training and digital development."
Assistant Professor Reuben Ng, lead scientist in data and technology at Ipur, will be leading the joint partnership.
He said: "We designed an online programme on public sector innovation that was attended by nearly 1,300 civil servants and received over 300 project ideas for piloting in our data innovation lab. Our next step is to scale this important partnership."