Earning a degree from Singapores Nanyang Technological University is not only an exercise in academic pursuit but also an opportunity to broaden ones cultural mindscapeAS KARAN Singh, 26, munched on chicken tikkas and watched a group of students perform a karaoke version of Kolaveri Di on stage, he found it hard to believe that he was dining 6000 kms away from India at Singapores Nanyang Technological University NTU). Singh, an engineering exchange student from Delhi, chose study a semester at NTU not just its state- of- the- art research facilities but also for its cultural diversity.
“ The warm welcome and instant acceptanceof foreign students makes the experience at NTU something special,” says Singh.
Established in 1991, NTU is currently home to 35,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and is one of the two largest public universities in Singapore. Last year NTU leapt 11 places in the Quacquarelli Symonds ( QS) ranking of the worlds top 100 universities, making it the fastest rising university in the world. Currently the university offers programmes in engineering, business, science, humanities, arts and social sciences. This year will be the first time medical courses will be offered at NTU in collaboration with Imperial College London at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
But the universitys forte still remains its six engineering school. In 2011, NTU's school of electrical and electronic engineering and school of computer engineering was ranked number one in Singapore by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan.
Collaborations in the form of student exchanges and dual degree programmes with over 60 different universities from around the world ensure that classroom discussions at NTU are always fun and vibrant.
Partnerships with other academic institutions have also helped to increase the research output at the university. NTUs competitive research funding has increased sevenfold since in the last eight years. From 2005 to 2011, NTU was awarded more than S$ 1.3 billion in research grants from various organisations.
These awards include S$ 270 million from the Singapore government for two Research Centres of Excellence, the Earth Observatory of Singapore and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, reaffirming NTU's leadership in earth sciences and environmental engineering.
“ As one of the worlds fastest- rising universities, NTU offers a broad- based education covering science and technology, business and arts, entrepreneurial and leadership skills to prepare students for the global market,” says Er Meng Hwa, Vice President ( International Affairs), NTU. “ Students benefit from state- of the art facilities and renowned professors who come from across the globe. NTU also offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan student community with a good mix of international students. International students comprise about 18 percent of our undergraduate student population,” says Hwa.
At the undergraduate level engineering programmes such as computer engineering, computer science, and electrical and electronic engineering are popular among students from India. “ In recent times we have also seen a growing interest in programmes such as business, arts and social Sciences from Indian students,” adds Hwa.
But the highlight of studying at NTU still remains its beautiful 500- acre campus. The campus was home to the worlds first summer youth Olympics in 2010. From horse riding to student hackathons, theres plenty to discover and explore at NTU. “ When it comes to non- academic activities, students at NTU are spoilt for choice. With over 100 clubs and societies on campus, there really is something for everyone. The university also has a network of professional services and advisors to help international students integrate into the university environment and ensure that their studies are as productive and stress- free as possible,” says Hwa.
The International Student Centre ( ISC) at NTU is the first point of contact for international students. The Centre assists with administrative matters, orientation and the basics of getting essential daily provisions. The Centre also organises social programmes for international students to interact and mingle with students from other countries. “ We have picnics, events, outings and trips planned for international students.
You not only get to represent your own culture but you also come into contact with people from all over the world. From fencing to origami to calculus, there is so much one can learn from fellow students here,” says Singh.
The number of universities with which NTU has tie- ups around the world 60NTU's Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Engineering Schools were ranked number one in Singapore