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|King Edward VII College of Medicine (1905–1949)
University of Malaya, Singapore campus (1949–1962)
University of Singapore (1962–1980)
|Established||1905 (King Edward VII College of Medicine)
1955 (Nanyang University)
1980 (National University of Singapore)
|Chancellor||President Halimah Yacob|
|President||Professor Tan Eng Chye|
|Provost||Professor Ho Teck Hua|
|5,016 (2,196 Faculty)|
150 ha (0.58 sq mi)
|Colours||Orange and Blue|
|Affiliations||ACU, IARU, APRU, Universitas 21, GEM4, AUN, ASAIHL, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs|
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is an autonomous research university in Singapore. Founded in 1905 as a medical college, it is the oldest institute of higher learning (IHL) in Singapore, as well as the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered. NUS is a comprehensive research university with an entrepreneurial dimension. It offers a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, medicine and dentistry, design and environment, law, arts and social sciences, engineering, business, computing and music in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. The university counts among its alumni four Prime Ministers or Presidents of Singapore and two Prime Ministers of Malaysia.
NUS is ranked 1st in Singapore & the whole of Asia, and 22nd in the world by the 2018 Times Higher Education, and 15th in the world by the 2018 QS World University Rankings. NUS was named the world's 4th (first in Singapore) most international university in a 2017 study by Times Higher Education. In the 2016 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates' employability, NUS was ranked 15th in the world (first in Singapore). NUS is ranked 20th (first in Singapore) in the 2017 CWTS Leiden Ranking, a ranking of the scientific performance of more than 900 universities worldwide.
NUS' main campus is located in southwestern part of Singapore adjacent to Kent Ridge, accommodating an area of 150 ha (0.58 sq mi). Its Bukit Timah campus houses the Faculty of Law, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and some research institutes. The Duke-NUS Medical School, which is a postgraduate medical school, is located at the Outram campus.
|Evolution of the University of Malaya|
In September 1904, Tan Jiak Kim led a group of representatives of the Chinese and other non-European communities and petitioned the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir John Anderson, to establish a medical school in Singapore. Tan, who was the first president of the Straits Chinese British Association, managed to raise 87,077 Straits dollars, of which the largest amount of $12,000 came from himself. On 3 July 1905, the medical school was founded and was known as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School.
In 1912, the medical school received an endowment of $120,000 from King Edward VII Memorial Fund, started by Lim Boon Keng. Subsequently, on 18 November 1913, the name of the school was changed to King Edward VII Medical School. In 1921, it was again changed to King Edward VII College of Medicine to reflect its academic status.
In 1928, Raffles College was established to promote arts and social sciences at tertiary level for Malayan students.
Two decades later, Raffles College was merged with King Edward VII College of Medicine to form University of Malaya on 8 October 1949. The two institutions were merged to provide for the higher education needs of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore.
The growth of University of Malaya was very rapid during the first decade of its establishment and resulted in the setting up of two autonomous divisions in 1959, one located in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur.
In 1960, the governments of then Federation of Malaya and Singapore indicated their desire to change the status of the divisions into that of a national university. Legislation was passed in 1961, establishing the former Kuala Lumpur division as the University of Malaya, while the Singapore division was renamed the University of Singapore on 1 January 1962.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) was formed with the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University in 1980. This was done in part due to the government's desire to pool the two institutions' resources into a single, stronger entity and promote English as Singapore's main language of education. The original crest of Nanyang University with three intertwined rings was incorporated into the new coat-of-arms of NUS.
NUS began its entrepreneurial education endeavours in the 1980s, with the setting up of the Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship in 1988. In 2001, this was renamed the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC), and became a division of NUS Enterprise. NEC is currently headed by Professor Wong Poh Kam and its activities are organised into four areas, including a business incubator, experiential education, entrepreneurship development and entrepreneurship research.
Today, NUS has 16 faculties and schools across three campus locations in Singapore – Kent Ridge, Bukit Timah and Outram – and provides a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment.
NUS has a semester-based modular system for conducting courses. It adopts features of the British system, such as small group teaching (tutorials) and the American system (course credits). Students may transfer between courses within their first two semesters, enrol in cross-faculty modules or take up electives from different faculties (compulsory for most degrees). Other cross-disciplinary initiatives study programmes include double-degree undergraduate degrees in Arts & Social Sciences and Engineering; Arts & Social Sciences and Law; Business and Engineering; and Business and Law. NUS has 16 faculties and schools, including a Music Conservatory.
The QS World University Rankings 2018 ranked NUS 15th in the world and 2nd in Asia. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016–17 placed NUS at 24th in the world and 1st in Asia, while its 2015–16 reputation rankings placed it at 24th globally.
FASS majors is organised into three divisions – Asian Studies, Humanities, and Social Sciences – under which 15 departments and programmes are grouped. It is also home to the Office of Programmes which offers four multidisciplinary programmes and five minor Programmes of study, and the Centre for Language Studies which teaches 12 different languages.
NUS Business School was founded as the Department of Business Administration in 1965. It has six departments: Accounting, Strategy and Policy, Decision Sciences, Finance, Management and Organisation, and Marketing.
Graduate programmes offered include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), NUS MBA Double Degree (conducted jointly with Peking University), UCLA-NUS Executive MBA Programme, Asia-Pacific Executive MBA (English and Chinese), S3 Asia MBA (conducted jointly with Fudan University and Korea University).
The School of Computing (SoC), established in 1998, has two departments – Computer Science and Information Systems. The department of Computer Science offers three undergraduate degree programmes – Computer Science, Information Systems, and Computational Biology.
The Faculty of Dentistry had its early beginnings in 1929 as a Department of Dentistry within the King Edward VII College of Medicine. It was the first dental school to be established in a British colony in the East. The faculty conducts a four-year dental course leading to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree. The undergraduate programme comprises two pre-clinical (first two years) and two clinical years. The Faculty of Dentistry is organised into five academic departments covering the disciplines of Oral Sciences; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Endodontics, Operative Dentistry and Prosthodontics; Periodontics; and Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry.
In 1969, the University of Singapore established a new Faculty of Architecture to offer degree programmes in Architecture, Building and Estate Management. Three years later, the Faculty of Architecture was renamed the Faculty of Architecture and Building.
In 1986 the Department of Building Science merged with the Department of Building and Estate Management to form the School of Building and Estate Management which was subsequently renamed the School of Building and Real Estate in 1997. In June 2000 the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Real Estate was reorganised into the three present departments: Department of Architecture, Department of Building and Department of Real Estate, and its name changed to School of Design and Environment (SDE).
Since its establishment 50 years ago, SDE remains the only Faculty or School in a tertiary educational institution in Singapore responsible for offering education in architecture, urban design, building, project and facilities management, and real estate. During this period, graduates from the School contributed to the design, development and management of Singapore’s built environment.
In many ways, the growth of the School reflects Singapore’s development and its global status. From educating professionals to build the nation in the initial years of its independence, it now prepares culturally sensitive, technically competent and environmentally conscious graduates to make Singapore into a distinctive global city as well as to participate in the development of the built environment overseas, an effort pioneered by the earlier cohorts of our graduates.
The range, scale and complexity of programmes offered by SDE have also changed with the times. At the Department of Architecture, its undergraduate and graduate programmes have evolved from the design of buildings to encompass that of products, cities and landscape. Similarly, for the Departments of Building and Real Estate, the programmes have moved beyond building science to project and facilities management and beyond real estate management to real estate finance and investment. From one engaged essentially in teaching, the School has transformed into one that has significant research capabilities and achievements in certain focus areas. This is important, particularly for a university in a small country for which the next phase of economic development is driven by knowledge and innovation.
The Duke–NUS Medical School is a collaboration between Duke University in North Carolina, United States and the National University of Singapore. It follows the American model of post-baccalaureate medical education. Students begin their medical studies after earning a bachelor's degree. In this way, Duke–NUS is able to offer an opportunity for students with the potential to excel in the field of medicine and biomedical sciences.
The Faculty of Engineering was launched in 1968. It is the largest faculty in the university and consists of several divisions/departments: Biomedical Engineering; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Civil & Environmental Engineering; Electrical & Computer Engineering; Engineering Science Programme; Industrial & Systems Engineering; Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Division of Engineering and Technology Management.
The NUS Faculty of Engineering was ranked 6th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities for Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences. It has also been ranked 7th in the world in the subject category of Engineering and Technology by the 2017 QS World University Subject Rankings and 2016-2017 Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings.
NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS) was established in 2003. The principal purpose of NGS is "to promote integrative PhD research encompassing both laboratory work and coursework programmes which not only transcend traditional subject boundaries but also provides students with a depth of experience about science and the way it is carried out".
NGS’ PhD programmes are firmly anchored in cross-disciplinary research. It offers a spectrum of research areas spanning science, engineering, related aspects of medicine, and interactive & digital media. NGS also offers the following PhD degree programmes.
The NUS Faculty of Law was first established as a Department of Law in the then University of Malaya in 1956. The first law students were admitted to the Bukit Timah campus of the university the following year. In 1977, the faculty shifted to the Kent Ridge campus, but in 2006 it relocated back to the Bukit Timah site.
Apart from the traditional LLB which runs for four years, the law school also offers double honours degrees in Business Administration & Law, Economics & Law, Law & Life Sciences, and a concurrent degree programme in Law & Public Policy. For graduate students, the law school offers coursework LLM specialisations in areas such as Corporate and Financial Services Law, Intellectual Property & Technology Law, International & Comparative Law, Maritime Law and Asian Legal Studies.
The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS was first established as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905. The School comprises departments such as the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Anaesthesia, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Diagnostic Radiology, Epidemiology and Public Health, Medicine, Microbiology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychological Medicine and Surgery. The School uses the British undergraduate medical system, offering a full-time undergraduate programme leading to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). For Nursing, the Bachelor of Science (Nursing) conducted by the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies is offered. The department also offers postgraduate Master of Nursing, Master of Science (Nursing) and Doctor of Philosophy programmes.
The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM) is a collaboration between NUS and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Singapore's first conservatory of music, YSTCM was founded as the Singapore Conservatory of Music in 2001. The School was renamed Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in recognition of a gift from the family of the late Dr Yong Loo Lin in memory of his daughter.
The Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health is Singapore's first and only tertiary education institution for public health. It traces its beginnings to the University of Malaya's Department of Social Medicine and Public Health, formed in 1948. The school collaborates with partners including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Harvard School of Public Health and University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy was formally established in 2004 as an autonomous graduate school of NUS. Although the School was formally launched in 2004, it inherited NUS' Public Policy Programme, which was established in 1992 in partnership with Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government.
The Faculty of Science comprises the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Pharmacy, Physics and Statistics & Applied Probability. The first female Dean of the Faculty of Science was Gloria Lim, who was appointed in 1973. She served a four-year term and was reappointed in 1979, but resigned after one year to allow Koh Lip Lin to continue his post. In 1980, University of Singapore merged with Nanyang University to form NUS, resulting in overlapping posts.
The University Scholars Programme (USP) is an undergraduate academic programme established in 2001 in NUS. Each year, USP admits around 200 undergraduates from across seven faculties and schools in NUS.
The USP education focuses on strengthening core academic and professional skills – writing and critical thinking, analytical and quantitative reasoning, the ability to ask the right questions and pursue research, and the habit of reflecting upon ideas within a broad intellectual landscape. This is done through an intensive and rigorous multi-disciplinary curriculum, and a rich offering of local and international programmes. USP's focus on core skills complements the students’ strengths in their major disciplines, enabling them to make substantial connections across fields, enhancing their intellectual depth and breadth.
USP students reside in Cinnamon College at the NUS University Town. Alongside a vibrant student life, the residential college is a space for discussions on diverse issues, allowing students to develop meaningful engagement with real-world matters.
The Yale-NUS College is a liberal arts college in Singapore which opened in August 2013 as a joint project of Yale University and the National University of Singapore. It exists as an autonomous college within NUS, allowing it greater freedom to develop its own policies while tapping on the existing facilities and resources of the main university. Students who graduate receive a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) or a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree from Yale-NUS College awarded by NUS.
The NUS University Town (UTown) opened in August 2011. Located across the NUS Kent Ridge campus, this is where some 2,400 undergraduate students, 1,700 graduate students and 1,000 researchers work, live, and learn in close proximity. There are four residential colleges: Cinnamon College, Tembusu College, College of Alice & Peter Tan, and Residential College 4 – initially named Cinnamon, Tembusu, Angsana and Khaya, respectively. An Education Resource Centre, Stephen Riady Centre and a Graduate Residence are also located here.
Cinnamon College houses the University Scholars Programme (USP). Around 620 students live in the USP residential college, which contains the administrative and faculty offices for USP as well as teaching classrooms.
USP students take modules at the College and follow the current USP curriculum. They are required to take eight multi-disciplinary modules specially designed for USP students, including Writing and Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning Foundation, and the University Scholars Seminar. Students have various options to fulfil their USP advanced curriculum requirements that include individual research with faculty mentors, and industrial and entrepreneurial attachments.
Tembusu College is one of the first two Residential Colleges in NUS University Town, an extension to the main NUS campus at Kent Ridge. Tembusu houses mainly undergraduates, in addition to resident faculty, distinguished visiting scholars and a few graduate fellows.
The College offers five multi-disciplinary modules fulfilling the "University-Level Requirements" (2 General Education modules, 2 Breadth modules, and 1 Singapore Studies module) which most NUS undergraduates must read to graduate. Students read the rest of their modules in their home faculties. A University Town Residential Programme Certificate is issued to eligible students, along with the regular degree scroll. Students from non-modular faculties (i.e. Law, Medicine and Dentistry) also belong to the College, but with coursework tailored to their specific programmes. The Rector of Tembusu College is Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large and former United Nations Ambassador Professor Tommy Koh, who is also the former Dean of the NUS Faculty of Law.
The College of Alice & Peter Tan (CAPT) is a Residential College for all NUS undergraduates. In addition to providing a two-year academic programme (the University Town College Programme), CAPT is distinguished by the vision of helping students engage with the community within and outside of NUS. It consciously weaves the theme of active citizenship and community engagement through its curriculum and other aspects of the student experience.
Residential College 4 (RC4) is the newest Residential College in NUS University Town to offer the University Town College Programme (UTCP). RC4 believes in catalysing a generation of systems citizens in Singapore by employing systems thinking and systems dynamic modelling to elicit mental models to emulate the complexity of the problems around us – such as population dynamics, diseases and healthcare.
Recent events and highlights of RC4 included the holding of the 2nd Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference 2017, RC4 Arts Night 2017: P.U.L.S.E, Cognitio Teas with various experts of varying fields, Rector's Tea, as well as volunteering events such as Popiah Making with Senior Citizens @ Lions Befrienders (Clementi) and [email protected] More information about the College can be found at [rc4.nus.edu.sg]
NUS has a variety of teaching centres including:
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science is a school specialising in mathematics and science, and provides secondary and pre-tertiary education to many students with an inclination to these fields.
Among the major research focuses at NUS are biomedical and life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials science and engineering, infocommunication and infotechnology, humanities and social sciences, and defence-related research.
One of several niche research areas of strategic importance to Singapore being undertaken at NUS is bioengineering. Initiatives in this area include bioimaging, tissue engineering and tissue modulation. Another new field which holds much promise is nanoscience and nanotechnology. Apart from higher-performance but lower-maintenance materials for manufacturing, defence, transportation, space and environmental applications, this field also heralds the development of accelerated biotechnical applications in medicine, health care and agriculture.
Currently, NUS hosts 21 university-level research institutes and centres (RICs) in various fields such as research on Asia, risk management, logistics, engineering sciences, mathematical sciences, biomedical and life sciences, nanotechnology to marine studies. Besides that, NUS also hosts three Research Centres of Excellence, namely, the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Centre for Quantum Technologies and Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore – a partner in Singapore's fifth Research Centre of Excellence. Besides university-level RICs, NUS also has close affiliation with many national research centres and institutes. A special mention is required for The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, which is a collaborative effort between NUS and the Georgia Institute of Technology for research and education programmes in logistics.
Comparative Medicine was set up to provide professional and technical service for laboratory animal care, veterinary medical services, and animal research project support for NUS staff and students.
National University Medical Institutes focuses its efforts on the development of centralised research facilities and services for the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS and developing research programmes in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
NUS began its entrepreneurial education endeavours in the 1980s, with the setting up of the Centre for Management of Innovation and Technopreneurship in 1988. In 2001, this was renamed the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC), and became a division of NUS Enterprise. NUS Enterprise is the entrepreneurial arm of NUS. Its activities are organised into 4 areas, including a business incubator, entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurship outreach and technology commercialisation.
The NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme was started in 2001, giving students the opportunity to experience, live, work and study in an entrepreneurial hub. Participants of the programme either spend 6 months or a year overseas, taking courses at partner universities and working in start-ups.
The NUS Industry Liaison Office (ILO) is a part of NUS Enterprise. It manages the University’s technology transfer and promotes research collaborations with industry and partners. ILO manages NUS intellectual property, commercialises its intellectual assets and facilitates the spinning off of technologies into start-up companies.
The IT facilities and network are generally provided by its central IT department, Computer Centre. NUSNET is used in research, teaching, learning and administration. In 2004, a campus-wide grid computing network based on UD Grid MP was deployed, connecting at least 1,000 computers. This becomes one of the largest such virtual supercomputing facilities in the region.
NUS used Internet2 technology to make distance learning possible. Students from Singapore and Massachusetts Institute of Technology were able to learn and interact in one virtual classroom.
The NUS Libraries comprises 8 libraries, namely, the Central Library, Chinese Library, CJ Koh Law Library, Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, the Medical Library, Music Library, Science Library and East Asian Institute Library. Its primary clients are NUS and NUS-affiliated research institutes, students, teaching faculty, research and administrative staff members, as well as a sizeable group of external members. Its collection encompasses subjects in architecture, building and real estate, business, dentistry, engineering, computer science, the humanities and social sciences, law, medicine, music, nursing and science. As of June 2017, there are 2,354,741 unique titles, and 26,074 microform resources in the collection.
There are about 6,000 residential places distributed between Halls of Residence and Student Residences on campus. There are free Internal Shuttle Buses that ply the entire campus seven days a week.
NUS has 6 Halls of Residence with about 3,000 residential places.
The Halls of Residence are:
NUS also has 3 Student Residences for undergraduate students with clusters of 11 to 15 single rooms with their own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Kitchen and dining areas are equipped with basic cooking appliances. The NUS University Town houses the Graduate Residence for graduate students with the option of both apartments and single rooms.
The Student Residences are:
The following table is a list of the principal officers of the National University of Singapore's predecessors. Note that the office of the President of Raffles College was renamed Principal of Raffles College from 1938
(King Edward VII Medical College)
|Presidents and Principals *
|Gerald Dudley Freer||1905–1909||Richard Olaf Winstedt||1928–1931|
|R. D. Keith||1909–1918||James Watson||1932–1934|
|G. H. MacAlister||1918–1929||Frederick Joseph Morten||1935–1937|
|George V. Allen||1929–1947||Alexander Keir||1937–1938|
|D. W. G. Faris||1947–1949||George McOwan||1938–1941|
|Bill Patiten||1949–present||W. E. Dyer||1946–1948|
|George V. Allen||1948–1949|
Since its inception in 1905, NUS has had many distinguished alumni, including 4 Singaporean Prime Ministers and presidents, 2 Malaysian Prime Ministers, politicians, judiciaries, business executives, educators and local celebrities. It counts among its graduates heads of states Abdul Razak Hussein, Benjamin Sheares, Goh Chok Tong, Lee Kuan Yew, Mahathir Mohamad and S. R. Nathan. A number of its graduates are also notable politicians. Rais Yatim was Malaysia's Minister for Information, Communications and Culture. Ng Eng Hen is Singapore's current Minister of Defence.
Business leaders such as Former Chairman of the Singapore Exchange and Singapore Tourism Board Chew Choon Seng, CEO of the Hyflux Group Olivia Lum, CEO of the Temasek Holdings Ho Ching, Chairman of SPRING Singapore Philip Yeo and CEO of Razer Inc Min-Liang Tan.
In international politics, the school has produced the Director General of World Health Organization Margaret Chan, former Presidents of United Nations Security Council Kishore Mahbubani and S Jayakumar, and Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee Ng Ser Miang.
In Singapore's legal sector, NUS served as Singapore's only law school for half a century, until the Singapore Management University was set up in 2007. Therefore, most of Singapore's judiciaries come from the school. This includes Singapore's Minister for Law and for Home Affairs and former Minister for Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam, the fourth Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon and the third Chief Justice of Singapore Chan Sek Keong.
In academia, NUS boasts of President Emeritus of Nanyang Technological University Su Guaning, Former Vice-President of Finance for University of Virginia and Cornell University Yoke San Reynolds, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong Wang Gungwu.
Alumnus Goh Chok Tong, Singapore's second Prime Minister
Alumnus Tony Tan Keng Yam, Singapore's seventh President
Alumnus S. R. Nathan, Singapore's sixth and longest-serving President
Alumnus Mahathir Mohamad, 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia
Alumna Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization
Alumnus Kishore Mahbubani, Former President of the United Nations Security Council
Controversies at NUS generally steer clear from the media limelight apart from rare high-profile cases. Some recent cases include the imprisonment of sacked assistant law professor Sundram Peter Soosay for assaulting cabby Sun Chun Hua while drunk, and first-year scholar Peter Huen Kam Fai who was found hanged at the Cinnamon College of UTown campus.
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang was also tried for allegedly giving better grades for sex and was sentenced to five months in jail in June 2013. In February 2014, his verdict was overturned on appeal to the high court and he was acquitted of all charges. Despite this outcome, his attempt to regain his permanent residency status in Singapore failed in December 2014.
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