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​NTU undergraduates under its University Scholars Programme to spend one semester in the US or Australia

Published on: 15-Mar-2016


NTU University Scholars Programme students in Chiang Mai in January 2016. Photo by NTU Singapore.jpg

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is revamping the University Scholars Programme to feature more international exposure for students.

Starting from the incoming batch this August, students in this programme will get to spend a fully-sponsored semester at the University of Pennsylvania or Bryn Mawr College in the United States, or the Australian National University.

In addition, they also go on a week-long immersion study trip in the region in their freshman year to conduct research on multidisciplinary topics. This fieldwork experience forms part of their training in qualitative research methods and research design, laying the foundation for a research-oriented focus. 

Top-ranked University of Pennsylvania has a strong track record in the humanities, while Bryn Mawr College in the United States is a renowned liberal arts institution.  

The Australian National University is Australia’s top ranked university and placed 12th globally in the arts and humanities in the QS World University Rankings.

Senior Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education, Professor Kam Chan Hin said, “The NTU University Scholars Programme reflects the university’s continuing efforts to nurture well-rounded leaders through a rigorous interdisciplinary programme, strong research focus and immersive intercultural experiences.

“Graduates from the programme will be in demand as employers today want talented people who are equipped with the right knowledge, skills and experience to meet future challenges. Our focus on research and overseas exposure will enable our students to step out of their comfort zone and gain a broader and more holistic perspective of the world outside Singapore.” 

Overseas exposure from Year 1

The University Scholars Programme is academically rigorous and multi-disciplinary. It is aimed at complementing and bridging a student’s core disciplines, adding breadth to each scholar's academic experience.

Students begin their overseas experience in the freshman year. Guided by their professors, they will travel to a regional country to carry out research on multi-disciplinary topics.

On top of their Final Year Project, students may also choose to conduct a research project of their choice in their third or fourth year. 

NTU aims to have 8 in 10 undergraduates have at least one overseas exposure during the course of their studies. This can be through student exchange, summer programmes, field studies, internships and attachments, competitions and so on.

The changes to the University Scholars Programme follow the recent expansion of NTU’s Renaissance Engineering Programme (REP). In addition to choosing to spend their third year at Imperial College London or University of California, Berkeley, REP scholars now have a third option – the Northwestern University in the United States. Similarly, NTU’s CN Yang Scholars spend up to eight months at an overseas university to work on their Final Year Project.

Associate Professor May O. Lwin, Director of the NTU University Scholars Programme and Associate Dean (Special Projects) at NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, said, “The University Scholars Programme takes a multi-disciplinary approach towards providing a broader, well-rounded education to complement the student’s main area of study.”

“The changes to the programme, such as the overseas fieldwork, are aimed at providing experiences that help the University Scholars Programme students develop research-oriented and interdisciplinary problem-solving abilities. These qualities are increasingly relevant and sought after in the working world.”

Scholars welcome new international focus

Guo Huicong, a fourth-year economics and mathematics student, said the changes will make the University Scholars Programme even more attractive.

“Going overseas on the fully sponsored University Scholars Programme Study Abroad scheme will be a big draw,” said Huicong, one of two students chosen to represent NTU at the Nobel Prize Series Roundtable featuring five Nobel Laureates last November.

“This is significant because it will allow students to concentrate fully on their time abroad and maximise their experience and learning there.”

Another student with the University Scholars Programme, Pang Si Hui, a third year psychology major, described spending a semester at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, from August to December last year as an “eye opener”.

“I took classes in counselling, education and social work and it was very interactive. Quite a few of the students were also working adults, so that brought different perspectives to the classes,” she said.

Nabilah Isa, a fourth year economics major, spent a semester-long exchange programme at Sciences Po Paris, one of the most prestigious social sciences institutions in France.

She did a module conducted entirely in French. As a result, besides improving her command of the French language, she also gained a better understanding of the culture as well as economic and political issues.

“Being in a foreign country definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but it was definitely an enriching experience,” she said.

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Media Contact:

Tan Yo-Hinn (Mr)
Assistant Director
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
T: +65 6790 4889
M: +65 9695 6018

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a joint medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). 

Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last two years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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