News Details | 28-May-2012

Nanyang Technological University’s joint medical school with Imperial College London marks the next phase of university development on historical site

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a joint medical school by Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), held its ground-breaking ceremony today, taking a concrete step towards realising its mission of training doctors of tomorrow by tapping on the best of its two parent universities.

Presided by Mr Gan Kim Yong, the Minister for Health, and Mr Heng Swee Keat, the Minister for Education, the ceremony was held at its new Novena Campus, on the historical site where a hostel for medical students was built in 1924.

The building has been identified for conservation and is currently being restored for use as the School’s headquarters, together with a new high-rise Clinical Sciences Building. To be equipped with administrative and teaching facilities, the re-purposed School’s headquarters building will be ready by June 2013, in time for the first intake of 50 students in August 2013. The Clinical Sciences Building is expected to be ready in 2015. 

Plans for a dual campus were unveiled at today’s ceremony, with a new Experimental Medicine Building at NTU’s Yunnan Garden Campus. This will create synergy with NTU’s engineering, sciences, business and medicine disciplines and complement the practical clinical training at the Novena Campus.

Located within NTU’s biomedical-engineering cluster, the building will have a link to the School of Biological Sciences to facilitate collaboration and partnerships between researchers and students of both Schools. The Experimental Medicine Building is projected to be completed in 2015.

Together, the School’s buildings will house seminar rooms, learning studios, clinical skills training facilities, innovatively-designed laboratories and other teaching and recreational facilities. Students will spend time training in well-equipped, state-of-the-art and technologically advanced learning environments. The buildings are designed to promote collaboration between students, faculty and clinicians through the use of multidisciplinary and interactive spaces and facilities.

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education said, “This new school will allow Singapore to further diversify our higher education landscape, and create more opportunities for Singaporeans locally. With more diverse and exciting opportunities available for a local medical education, I believe that more Singaporeans will choose to study medicine in Singapore and contribute to Singapore’s healthcare sector thereafter.”

Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health said, “The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, with the National Healthcare Group (NHG) as its primary clinical partner, will play a pivotal role in adding to the capacity to train and develop doctors to meet our healthcare needs in 2020 and beyond. Our challenge does not end there. Beyond training enough doctors to meet our needs, our medical schools must also train doctors equipped with the skills to care for us in an evolving healthcare landscape.”

Also present at the ceremony were Mrs Tan Ching Yee and Ms Chan Lai Fung, Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education respectively, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the School’s Pro-Tem Governing Board and Chairman of the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Professor Bertil Andersson, President of NTU, Dr Simon Buckle, Pro-Rector, International Affairs of Imperial College London, Professor Stephen Smith, Founding Dean of the School, Professor Martyn Partridge, Senior Vice Dean and Dr Lionel Lee, Chief Operating Officer.

Professor Andersson, President of NTU said, “The NTU-Imperial partnership has kick started the building of a legacy. With two campuses, the students will have the best of both worlds. They will have a hospital right next to their Campus at Novena which will give them the necessary bedside experience and training, backed by medical professionals at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. At the Yunnan Campus, they will benefit from NTU’s research strengths and expertise in biomedical engineering, science, business and humanities – all necessary in training the doctor of tomorrow to serve Singapore better. The curriculum is also designed by Imperial College London which is recognised globally for quality medical education.”

Imperial President & Rector Sir Keith O’Nions said, “Our aim is to develop world-class doctors. They will have world-class facilities at the new campus. In the inspiring, cutting-edge learning environment, students will fulfil their potential and go on to make a real, lasting contribution to the healthcare of Singapore. In the future a doctor from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine will stand out for their professionalism and their compassionate manner, putting the patients’ needs at the centre of all care.”

While the main aim of the School is to produce doctors for Singapore, it will also advance medical research. Building on NTU’s and Imperial College London’s strengths in science and engineering, the School will cultivate a progressive scientific culture in which experts from the fields of medicine, engineering, technology and business come together to create solutions that will improve patient outcomes.

The School’s Pro-Tem Governing Board Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh said, “Partnerships and the spirit of open collaborations form the bedrock of the School. The school is born out of the partnership between NTU and Imperial College, supported by MOE and MOH. This Joint Medical School is partnered with NHG as the primary healthcare partner alongside its partnerships with the other hospitals and the different schools in NTU, as well as the wider research community and broader society in Singapore.

“We also emphasise on partnership with the community to improve healthcare delivery in Singapore. Above all, we see our students becoming doctors who see their patients as partners and working together with the nurses and other allied health professionals, for better patient outcomes. It is these partnerships built on professional and meaningful people-to-people relationships that will ensure the success of the School – people coming together to make the school world-class and help contribute towards medical excellence in Singapore.”

Professor Smith, the School’s Dean, noted that research is the hallmark of world-class medical schools. “The school gives us a chance to bring together experts from different fields to focus on finding solutions to healthcare problems. We want to create an environment where engineers who can design the smartest devices, doctors who possess a deep understanding of a particular disease, and business thinkers with ideas on how to optimise healthcare processes can talk with each other and come up with ways to deliver the excellent medical care that people deserve,” he said.



About Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a partnership between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Imperial College London, will train a generation of doctors who will put patients at the centre of their exemplary medical care. Graduates of the five-year undergraduate medical degree programme that begins in 2013 will have a strong understanding of the scientific basis of medicine, along with interdisciplinary subjects including business management and technology.

The School’s primary clinical partner is the National Healthcare Group, a leader in public healthcare recognised for the quality of its medical expertise, facilities and teaching. The School, named after local philanthropist Dato Sri Lee Kong Chian, aims to be a future model for innovative medical education. Its first doctors will graduate in 2018 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), awarded jointly by NTU and Imperial College London, and become doctors who will enhance Singapore’s healthcare in the decades to come.

About the dual campus

The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s campuses at Novena and Yunnan Garden have been designed to spur medical innovations by the School’s faculty, students and research staff. 

Its campus at Novena – comprising the high-rise Clinical Sciences Building and the School’s Headquarters – is in close proximity to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to facilitate students’ integration into clinical settings.

The School’s Campus at Yunnan Garden will leverage on the close partnership between engineering, biological sciences and medicine. The Experimental Medicine Building will be located within NTU’s biomedical-engineering cluster and is linked to the School of Biological Sciences.

The dual campus will be a 21st century purpose-built and sustainable medical campus with learner-centred facilities that will support a vibrant medical campus life, as well as advanced facilities supporting world-class research. They have been designed specially to promote collaborative learning and interaction among staff, students and researchers, as well as advancing research collaborations across groups. 

The campus’ key facilities will include learning studios, ‘alcove clusters’ facilitating team-based learning, seminar rooms, teaching and research laboratories, as well as other teaching and recreational facilities. Together they support the School’s integrated curriculum, as well as its pedagogy using small and large group interactive seminars, team-based learning, extensive use of eLearning, clinical simulation.

These pedagogical strategies require learning spaces that move away from the traditional, large lecture theatres to spaces which enable and encourage small and large group interactions. These spaces will be provided with full IT access and state-of-the-art audio and video technology. Students will be able to access a wide variety of applications to facilitate their education. The teaching facilities are designed flexibly to meet the present and future pedagogical and curriculum needs.

There are also facilities for students to be taught clinical communication and history-taking through interaction with simulated patients (actors). In addition, students will learn the examination and practical skills (e.g. life support, suturing, cannulation and catheterisation) on state-of-the-art training mannequins as well as through hybrid simulation (where a bench-top model is used in conjunction with a simulated patient so the student can learn to integrate practical, communication and other professional skills in context).

For research, both campuses will be provided with state-of-the-art research facilities to support the School’s strategic areas of focus of biomedical engineering and synthetic integrative biological engineering, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases including diabetes, neuroscience and mental health, and health services research.


The School’s admission requirements include the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as well as a series of Multiple Mini Interviews. Prospective students should have the appropriate pre-university qualifications, including ‘A’ Levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the NUS High School Diploma, a relevant Polytechnic Diploma or other equivalent international qualifications.

The BMAT is a two-hour pen and paper test aptitude test taken by students all over the world who apply to top medical universities in the UK such as Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University and University College London. The test assesses skills in problem solving, communications and applying scientific knowledge and has been shown to be a good predictor of a student’s performance in medical school.

Shortlisted students will go through a series of eight mini interviews in a single day. Conducted by professionals from various healthcare disciplines, these interviews are designed to assess whether students have the skills required to successfully complete the joint Imperial-NTU MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) programme. 

For more information on admissions please visit:

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive autonomous university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four 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) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district. For more information, visit

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture, innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

Imperial College London’s medical school is currently ranked third in the world out of 2420 medical schools worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12. To find out more, visit:  

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Media contact:

Lester Kok
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804

For admissions-related enquiries:

Tan Kia Yen
Manager, Student Affairs & Academic Services
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Tel: 6592 7939

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