Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Commonwealth Virtual Exchange (CVE) initiative to help international students develop intercultural and entrepreneurial skills to address global challenges.

Fifty students from 10 Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) member institutions across five countries, embarked on 3 October 2022 to build these essential skills by participating in the ACU’s inaugural CVE. Over a period of seven weeks, students accessed study materials via an online learning platform in their own time. In addition, they worked synchronously, across international borders in mixed teams of four to five students to create a new business idea to address a Global Challenge.

The University of Western Australia conducted the finale of the CVE on the 29th-30th of November 2022.  The students, based out of their University campuses, were allowed to showcase their own and their team’s learning over the past seven weeks. On day two of the conference, the teams presented their project at the 5 Minute Virtual Pitch Competition (5’VP). The teams described a problem related to their selected global challenge and a solution to their problem.

Shriya Krishnan, NMIMS Jyoti Dalal School of Liberal Arts, made her university proud by winning the third prize as part of Team Kuala Lumpur comprising of students from Australia, Hongkong & India. She said, “The Commonwealth Virtual Exchange has been a fascinating experience and has taught me how one can work in a global society. I have forged friendships with peers I may have never met otherwise. Being a part of this programme has helped me understand global problems in a new light. The programme has helped me understand that intercultural cooperation and a transdisciplinary approach to our problems will help us make progress. I am grateful to NMIMS and ACU for enriching my experience.”

Dr Sharad Mhaiskar, Pro Vice-Chancellor at NMIMS University, said, “Students are the changemakers and leaders of tomorrow. Our responsibility is to embolden them to manage an increasingly conflicted world to the best of their abilities.”

Meena Saxena, Director of the Department of International Linkages at NMIMS University, said, “Collaborative problem-solving in a borderless virtual environment is more important than ever. The Commonwealth Virtual Exchange introduces students to a global society and helps them develop skills to navigate the increasingly VUCA world. NMIMS is proud to be part of this admirable initiative.”