12 October 2017
Professor Tan Eng Chye will succeed current National University of Singapore president Professor Tan Chorh Chuan in January next year. He will be the university’s 23rd president. He is the current provost of the university.
Professor Tan Eng Chye is professionally trained as a mathematician. He has spearheaded NUS’ move toward a broad-based curriculum through various initiatives, such as introducing a grade-free semester for freshmen.
As president, Prof Tan will be assisted by Prof Ho Teck Hua as senior deputy president and provost. Prof Ho is NUS’ deputy president for research and technology. The duo plan to make learning in the university more inclusive and flexible, such as by introducing aptitude-based admission and opening up classes for Singaporean members of the public.
To facilitate flexible and lifelong learning, NUS plans to allow future undergraduates to divide and complete their university studies in two or more segments, so that they can spend a few years in between seeking work experiences and return to seek other qualifications. Students will be able to exploit these “gap years” to go for internships or starting their own businesses.
From next year, NUS also plans to offer 5,000 spaces across hundreds of modules per academic year to members of the public, to make the learning experience more inclusive for more Singaporeans. This is an expansion of its recent initiative for alumni students to study two modules without charge over a three-year period, which has been heavily oversubscribed.
The university will also launching a “Smart Nation research building” at the end of this year, to facilitate synergies among students, educators, and start-ups.