Sept. 30, 3:00 p.m. – DIFFERENT countries presented models of student cooperatives in a recently concluded two-day international conference on student cooperativism at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

Organized by the Philippine Student Services Cooperative and International Cooperative Alliance for Asia and the Pacific, eight countries presented the cooperatives in their countries’ universities to enhance students’ cooperation through responding to their needs by means of services.

Indonesian Ilham Nazzai said student cooperatives in his country had established stores, dormitories, and student service canteens in universities, particularly in Java.

“Those cooperatives had served as business-laboratories for students in Indonesia, as they can make business decision for themselves. This enhances their potential resources,” Nazzai said.

Indonesian universities’ cooperatives, according to Nazzai, are solely run by students which provide campus convenience.

Williams Go, the representative from Singapore, said awareness must be present for a cooperative to be productive.

“If every student knows what a student cooperative is and what it can provide to them, surely they will believe in it,” Go said. “A student cooperative can provide their most complex of needs, as long as they engage into it.”

Central Student Council president Lorraine Taguiam said the primary aim of the conference is to provide concrete models that shall influence Philippine universities to put up student cooperatives.

“The cooperatives present in their countries had been successful, and in the Philippines, we also want to have cooperatives that shall strengthen our relationship with other universities, and to enhance the real skills of the students,” Taguiam said.

Taguiam said Thomasians are also interested in putting up a student cooperative in UST, but they would still have to study each models presented.

The conference also aims to invigorate universities as independent business organizations.

The two-day forum was also graced by representatives from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. Reden D. Madrid


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