A very warm welcome to the NUS family!
For you, the next few years will be exciting ones, full of promise and potential. Academic rigour and excellence is the hallmark of NUS’ education, but I urge you to take full advantage of the many opportunities at NUS to embrace a more holistic and multi-disciplinary mindset to the acquiring and application of knowledge, and to develop your personal attributes and interpersonal skills. To facilitate this, we have extended our Grade-Free First Semester programme to encompass most of the freshman year. Our goal is to encourage and enable students to follow their interests and curiosity, and to pursue courses and subjects outside your intellectual comfort zone.
NUS is widely regarded as one of the most international of universities in the world. Today, about 80% of our undergraduates embark on an international educational experience during their time in NUS, and more than 35% of all undergraduates study for a semester or more overseas. Your seniors have uniformly found these overseas programmes to be very beneficial in broadening their perspectives and in developing the cultural sensitivity and interpersonal skills that are critical in the modern workplace.
Within our campus and beyond the classroom, there are also many learning opportunities for students to acquire new experiences, pursue their interests, and expand their potential. We have the largest and most vibrant menu of cultural, sporting and intellectual activities, spread across a hundred student organisations, in this part of the world. Active participation in these will help you develop valuable leadership skills and teamwork, while stretching your imagination and creative problem-solving abilities.
Our University is continually enhancing its facilities and the quality of our campus spaces. 2017 will see the completion of a number of projects. The Ridge View Residential College, which offers a one-year residential learning programme for first-year undergraduates, will have a new Annex that houses the College’s administrative offices, a multiple-purpose hall and dining hall. The new University Sports Centre will offer an expanded range of sporting facilities for the NUS community. The new AS8 building at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is an environmentally sustainable building which together with the upgraded Central Forum, will provide an enhanced hub for student interactions and activities.
Many of the educational innovations we have launched, and learning opportunities we provide, are designed to nurture a spirit of life-long learning. In particular, the Roots & Wings programme under the Centre for Future-ready Graduates will form an essential and distinctive part of the NUS education and aims to equip students with a toolbox of broad-based essential life skills. This spirit of constant learning will be a critical attribute, both during and beyond your time in NUS.
I wish you all the very best as you embark on your journey in NUS. I very much hope it will be one filled with discovery and fulfillment, and that you will aspire towards and achieve both educational and personal excellence.
With best wishes,
Prof Tan Chorh Chuan '83