- The groundbreaking ceremony for University Town was officiated by Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong on 31 January 2008 at the former Warren golf course. The University Town project is expected to be ready by 2010.
- NUS signed a Contract Research Framework Agreement with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) to facilitate research collaborations, which would have a positive impact on the future of the aerospace industry in Singapore and the world. Both parties also signed an agreement for the establishment of an internship programme which will allow NUS undergraduates from selected disciplines including Computing, Science and Engineering to intern with one of EADS' research centres in Europe.
- Professor Tan Chorh Chuan succeeded Professor Shih Choon Fong on 1 December 2008 as NUS’ 4th President.
Ongoing efforts by the University to provide more diverse learning opportunities include:
- Launch of the Singapore Academy of GxP Excellence (SAGE), a collaboration between NUS, Economic Development Board, Health Sciences Authority of Singapore, Singapore Workforce Development Agency and leading pharmaceutical companies. The programmes will be based on GxP guidelines (G=Good, P=Practice, x=practice descriptor) in manufacturing, clinical research, and health product safety. This is to ensure that medicines, cosmetics, traditional medicines and medical devices for public use are safe, effective and of a certain quality.
- Launch of the two-year Master of Landscape Architecture programme, the first to be offered by a local university. It will provide training in areas such as architectural design, site planning, environmental restoration, town and urban planning and historic preservation.
- An Asia MBA Double Degree Programme with Fudan University School of Management and Korea University Business School offered by NUS Business School in AY2008/09. Students will receive the MBA from their home university and opt for another MBA from one of the two partner universities.
- NUS' second Research Centre of Excellence – the Cancer Research Centre of Excellence – has been established with a total funding of $172 million over seven years by the Ministry of Education and National Research Foundation. The Cancer RCE will be a national resource where a world-class team of international and local scientists will spearhead translational clinical research to better understand and develop new insights into the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
- Launch of Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS). With a funding of $130 million over five years from the Economic Development Board, SERIS aims to conduct use-inspired research in the field of solar energy conversion relevant to the critical and future needs of Singapore and the region.
- Establishment of Asia's first research centre in palliative care, the Lien Centre for Palliative Care, a collaboration between Duke-NUS Medical School and the Lien Foundation. The Centre will tap on the research capabilities of Duke-NUS with support from the National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore Health Services. The Lien Foundation initiated the setting up of the Centre with a $7.5 million commitment over a period of five years.
- Development of a new system using gold nanoparticles and DNA for mercury detection in the environment. The highly selective and sensitive method has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in February 2008.
- Discovery of a new faster, cheaper and painless method to test for diabetes – by applying a local anaesthetic cream on the finger tips. The study revealed that a patient could be suffering from a small nerve fibre disorder caused by diseases such as diabetes if the skin on the finger tips does not wrinkle 30 minutes after application of the cream. The findings were published in the prestigious Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry in February 2008.
- The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music received a second $25 million gift from the Yong Loo Lin Trust. Its first gift of $25 million from the Trust was in 2003. The endowed gift will be used to fund special projects and scholarships.
- The S T Lee Project on Global Governance at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy was established with a gift of $1.4 million from Dr Lee Seng Tee.