The Tempinis diaries

March 2, 2008

NUS’ University Town

Filed under: education — Tags: , — toru @ 10:49 am
It seems that the facilities at NUS are set to be getting better with the Youth Olympics.  Sadly, I don’t think there are any major improvements in Malaysian universities.
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University Town will give NUS students a ‘holistic experience’: PM Lee

Mr Lee, who was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of University Town, said he looks forward to students and staff living, learning, working and socialising under the same roof. — PHOTOS: NUS

The National University of Singapore’s University Town, a new development that boasts NUS’ first residential colleges, will offer students a ‘holistic and unique learning experience’ and create ‘an active intellectual community’.This, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is a step up from NUS’ current dormitory halls because the six residential colleges and two graduate residences will be organised for student learning ‘in an integrated and multi-disciplinary setting’.

Drawing a parallel with similar systems in world-renowned universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Yale, Mr Lee, who was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of University Town, said he looks forward to students and staff living, learning, working and socialising under the same roof.

With each college headed by a Master and supported by a team of faculty staff, he added: “Each college will have the flexibility to chart its future direction and evolve its own distinctive characteristics… They will offer opportunities for social, cultural and recreational activities to deliver a more rounded learning experience.”

 

In fact, the PM pointed out, NUS can tap on its cosmopolitan mix, since it already has 1,300 academic staff from 57 countries and nearly 10,000 students from 97 countries.

Youth Olympics Village

On a more immediate note, Mr Lee also confirmed that University Town will be used as the athletes’ games village as part of Singapore’s bid to host the 2010 Youth Olympics.

So he assured that the development will be fast-tracked and completed in time for the Games, in line with Singapore’s reputation to ‘get things done and deliver on what we promise’.

Throwing his weight behind Singapore’s bid as it competes head-to-head with Moscow in the final stretch, PM Lee said: “For this first Youth Olympics, I am confident that we can deliver a high-quality, memorable event that will celebrate the spirit of the Games, strengthen the Olympic movement, leave a lasting impact on young people around the world, and be a fabulous launch for our University Town.”

Top priority, eco-friendly project

Owned and operated by NUS through government grants, the US$423-million (S$500-600 million) project will be ready in February 2010, half a year before the start of the Youth Olympics.

A statement by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) even said that ‘several key facilities’ will be completed by the end of 2009.

Located 13km from the city and within 30 minutes’ travelling time to all sports venues, MCYS says the 19-hectare Games village sits on a former golf course and will be built to ‘the latest environmental standards’.

The eight 5- to 9-storey residential colleges will each feature 4- and 8-bedroom apartments, making up 5,000 beds altogether – “just right for the 5,000 athletes and officials expected to attend the inaugural (Youth Olympics),” added MCYS.

Indeed, the Ministry explained, the colleges will be equipped with state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, including wireless broadband.

The Government has also ‘fast tracked’ the building of the Youth Olympics village project ‘to ensure that it clears all regulatory and statutory processes quicker than normal without comprimising on design standards or occupational health and safety.’

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2 Comments »

  1. By creating new residential colleges as part of this project, NUS is taking the lead in an important international residential college trend, along with the Chinese University of Hong Kong:

    http://collegiateway.org/news/2008-nus-residential-colleges

    Many Malaysian universities also have residential colleges — perhaps they just need to rejuvenate and strengthen them, and recognize them as a central part of their educational mission. The “Collegiate Way” website is the leading resource on this, and it may be of use to people working to improve Malaysian universities:

    http://collegiateway.org

    Comment by R.J. O'Hara — March 2, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

  2. thanks robert for your comments. And you have a fascinating website!

    You should see the state of the Malaysian colleges. The last time I went in the 90s to visit a friend at a Malaysian university, I was quite shocked. No doors in the toilets, not cutlery in the dining room and the buildings not improved since the 70s. Be that as it may the Malaysian universities have bigger problems than the state of their colleges. See my post on the THES rankiing.

    Comment by tempinis — March 3, 2008 @ 1:11 am


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