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​NTU Singapore to join prestigious Global University Leaders Forum at the World Economic Forum​

Published on: 04-Jul-2018

SINGAPORE – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), is the latest institution to join the exclusive group of universities in the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), an intellectual community within the World Economic Forum that provides thought leadership and academic stewardship on higher education, innovation and research to the Forum.

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, who participated at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos Switzerland earlier this year, said: “It is an honour to join this special group of academic leaders in high-level dialogue on topics like the future of higher education, and the role of science in research, development and innovation. It is yet another international acknowledgement of NTU’s stature and strengths as a leading global university and as a top young university, and also an affirmation of Singapore’s international standing in research and education.”

Professor Suresh has participated in a number of World Economic Forum activities, panels, IdeaLabs and Councils, as well as GULF, in his various prior leadership roles over the past six years as Director of the National Science Foundation and as university president in the United States. In his current role as NTU President, he will be the 28th university president to join this privileged brain trust. President Suresh also serves as co-chair of the first Global Future Council on Production (2016-2018), which provides expert guidance to the Forum’s production initiative, whose Board of Stewards is comprised of leading CEOs and ministers, including Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

GULF was created by the Forum in 2006 to not only spur intellectual discussion but also to serve as a resource for the forum’s members and constituents. Its membership comprises the presidents or rectors of the world’s top universities including Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale from the United States as well as Cambridge and Oxford from the UK, and ETH Zurich from Switzerland. NTU adds to the eight representative universities from Asia, including the University of Tokyo, Peking University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the National University of Singapore.

A study published by Times Higher Education in January pointed out that the universities under GULF collectively published more research than all of the world’s major industrialised nations except China and the US. It underlines the vast impact of the group on the global economy. 

According to that study, GULF produced 7 per cent of the world’s research output, compared to the 6.1 per cent from the United Kingdom and Germany, and 5 per cent from Japan. 

On NTU joining the GULF group, Dr Lee Howell, Managing Director and Member of the Management Board of the World Economic Forum, said: “Professor Suresh is an eminent scientist, engineer and leader whose work has greatly impacted academia, industry and government. We are delighted to welcome NTU to the forum, and look forward to Prof Suresh’s continued involvement with GULF, and to his insights and ideas on strategic issues of international concern that will boost the group’s transformative contributions to economic development, business, employment and societal advancement.”

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organisation that aims to improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Headquartered in Geneva, it is best known for its annual meetings in Davos-Klosters in January of each year, which gather leaders from a wide spectrum of business, government, international organisations, academia and civil society. In recent years, the Forum has also held a “Summer Davos” in China that has brought together rising stars in different domains of technology, policy, business, economics and governance.  This year, several NTU faculty members and researchers will attend the Summer Davos in Tianjin to discuss their research and innovation. 

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Media contact:

Mr Feisal Abdul Rahman 
Senior Assistant Director 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Email: feisalar(at)

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly 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 for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

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