NUS President’s Letter to Freshmen (AY2017/2018)
To all our new students, my warmest welcome to the NUS family!
The next few years in your NUS journey will be exciting and invigorating ones, with a myriad of multidisciplinary learning opportunities, both locally and globally. NUS’ recent ranking by the Times Higher Education as Asia’s top university and the world’s 4th most international university is a strong recognition of our efforts to offer students both Asian and global educational experiences that will broaden their outlook and increase their networks, while enabling them to access some of the best academic programmes around the world.
In addition to gaining knowledge, skills and technical abilities in your core discipline, I would strongly encourage you to also choose modules beyond these and your areas of academic strength, to gain exposure in key and emerging areas of significance. NUS recognizes the importance of expanding domain expertise in this new economy, and hence we offer students flexibility in customising their education based on their interests and aspirations. Students can now undertake a single-degree major paired with a second major, that is, a Double Major; or a minor that is Major-Minor; from a slew of some 30 new Double Major combinations and about 40 Major-Minor combinations. In addition to 56 bachelor's degrees, NUS also offers more than 120 double-, joint- and concurrent-degrees, some of which are in collaboration with the world’s top universities.
I would also urge you to stay industry-relevant through our innovative programmes. Widely regarded as the seed of the start-up community in Singapore, the NUS Overseas College (NOC) internship programme provides students with global entrepreneurial mindsets and encourages creativity, adaptability, and cultural effectiveness. It features full-time internships with start-ups and entrepreneurship classes with top partner universities in nine entrepreneurial hubs in Asia, the US and Europe. Building on the NOC concept, NUS has just launched a pilot co-operative education programme, which provides opportunities for students to interleave their NUS studies with an 18-month attachment in a company and to link what they have studied to real-world issues. It brings our students closer to the industry as they collaborate on integrating these real-world issues meaningfully into the curriculum and working on transformative solutions. Our university also strives to offer students exposure in multidisciplinary research projects which have translational impact on societal issues.
Many of our students’ most memorable, enriching and inspiring moments are built on campus. Beyond the classroom, I would like to encourage you to acquire new experiences, pursue your interests, and develop your teamwork and leadership skills by participating in the wide range of intellectual, social, cultural and sporting activities provided by the many student societies and clubs. NUS continually upgrades and transforms its campus facilities and spaces, with the most recent enhancements being the Ridge View Residential College and the University Sports Centre.
The Roots & Wings, a foundational life-skills programme for freshmen to hone your personal and interpersonal skills, will also form an essential and distinctive part of your NUS education. It is offered by the Centre for Future-ready Graduates which aims to equip students for successful future careers and to cultivate personal leadership, promote societal contribution and connect students to their future beyond NUS.
I hope you will seize the many opportunities to enrich your NUS experience and grow intellectually and personally. In this age of unprecedented change, it is important for you to also develop a zest for lifelong learning, both during and beyond your time in NUS.
Welcome once again, and I wish all of you a fulfilling and empowering journey ahead!
With best wishes,
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan '83