A Fireside Chat with NUS President - Can the Future be Shaped?
About 80 NUS Society (NUSS) members and guests had an enlightening evening at the Fireside Chat with NUS President titled “Can the Future Be Shaped?”, held at NUSS’ Della & Seng Gee Guild Hall on 20 May 2022. NUSS President Mr Edward Tay (Law ‘92) gave an Opening Address to welcome NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science ‘85), highlighting NUSS’ passion about the interests and development of NUS, including its fundraising efforts towards the Alumni Bursary Fund. Mr Tay also thanked Prof Tan for agreeing to engage the audience on the future of Higher Education, a topic that resonated with those in attendance for the fireside chat, which ranged from students from NUS High School of Math and Science and Hwa Chong Institution, to NUSS management committee members such as Mr Soh Yi Da (Arts and Social Sciences ’14), who was also the moderator for the evening.
In a frank and open discourse, Prof Tan explained the importance of promoting multiple competencies among students through the option of pursuing two majors. Interdisciplinarity or the integration of two disciplines would give students opportunities to leverage on different approaches to solve complex real-life problems. The set-up of the two new colleges – College of Humanities and Science, a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science; and College of Design and Engineering, a merger of the School of Design and Environment with the Faculty of Engineering, were two initiatives which the University has embarked on to promote interdisciplinarity. Prof Tan also highlighted that with a lot of skills and knowledge becoming obsolete, being equipped with a degree is not sufficient for graduates who may need to change jobs many times in the course of their work life spanning between 40 and 50 years. Hence, there is a need for graduates to continuously acquire new knowledge and skill sets in order to stay relevant in the face of rapid changes. The challenge for the University is to imbue the importance of continuing education and to offer opportunities for graduates to upgrade themselves.
Submitted by Ms Teo Kuan Yee (Arts and Social Sciences ’94).