A new system for undergraduate admission into NUS that adopts a more holistic approach was implemented. Besides their academic grades, students’ intellectual attributes such as reasoning ability and critical thinking, as well as personal characteristics such as leadership, commitment and talent were taken into consideration through the incorporation of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 1 scores and Core Curricular Activities (CCA) bonus points in the admission decision. For mature applicants above 25 years with work experience of at least four years, interviews, employer appraisals and personal essays were included as part of the application process. An online, Web-based application system to facilitate candidates' submission of applications was also introduced.
The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, an alliance with the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, admitted its first batch of students to its four-year honours programme in music. The establishment of the Conservatory at NUS will nurture and develop talented young musicians for professional careers in music, thereby contributing to fostering creativity via arts education and transforming Singapore into an Asian renaissance city.
NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering was launched to spearhead trans-disciplinary graduate education and research in science, engineering and medicine, as well as to complement discipline-based education and research in NUS faculties/schools and academic departments.
The Singapore-MIT Alliance, a science and engineering education and research initiative with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was extended for another five years from 2005. The second phase of this collaboration will focus more on research and education at the PhD level as well as more interactions with industry and research institutes. The scope of the programme will also be expanded to incorporate the life sciences.
NUS kept up its efforts to strengthen and diversify joint graduate programmes with overseas institutions. New programmes initiated during the year include:
The Asia Research Institute was officially opened. This university-level institute will spearhead research in the area of social and cultural change in Asia. Adopting a cross-disciplinary approach, the Institute leverages on the intellectual strengths in the Faculties of Arts & Social Sciences, Business, Design & Environment, and Law.
Asian Law Institute, a collaboration between the NUS Faculty of Law and eight other law schools in Asia, was launched to facilitate research and education to foster better understanding of legal traditions and cultures in partner countries including China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.
A university-level business incubator centre, the NUS Enterprise Centre in Silicon Valley (NECSV), was set up in California to facilitate smooth entry for start-ups venturing into the United States market. NECSV offers an array of business services ranging from providing low-cost office facilities for short- and medium-term tenancy to organising networking events and connecting tenants with a pool of established entrepreneurs for advice and mentorship.
Two overseas colleges were set up in the United States and China. Students at NUS College in Bio Valley and NUS College in Shanghai will attend courses at University of Pennsylvania and Fudan University respectively while working as interns with nearby start-up companies. Bio Valley in Philadelphia houses many start-ups in biotechnology and medical life sciences while Shanghai is a major entrepreneurial and academic hub in China.
NUS Business School has been recognised as being among the top 15 business schools with full-time MBA programmes in Asia Pacific and the top in ASEAN in a ranking done by regional business magazine Asia Inc.
NUS Business School is one of seven business schools in Asia Pacific to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International for having met the highest standard of achievement in education and research for business schools worldwide.