Celebrating 20 years of higher education collaboration

11 November 2019 | Education
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Flagship NUS-Grandes Écoles programme renowned for its academic rigour and excellence

The flagship National University of Singapore (NUS) Grandes Écoles French Double Degree Programme (FDDP), the longest running academic collaboration between France and Singapore, today celebrated its 20th anniversary with a forum to facilitate knowledge exchange and dialogue on the changing higher education landscape in Singapore and France. The forum was jointly organised by NUS and its partner Grandes Écoles, bringing together academia, industry partners, FDDP alumni and students.

His Excellency Mr Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore, was the Guest-of-Honour. Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS President, and Mr Eric Labaye, President of École Polytechnique as well as President of Institut Polytechnique de Paris, delivered speeches on the changing landscape of higher education in Singapore and France respectively. Industry partners Thales Group and Total Oil Asia Pacific shared on industry developments and opportunities in their respective sectors, while three FDDP alumni spoke on how the programme had shaped their career pathways, as well as their professional outlook and personal development.

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At the forum to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NUS-Grandes Écoles French Double Degree Programme, NUS President Prof Tan Eng Chye spoke about the changing landscape of higher education in Singapore.

Mr Abensour said, “The FDDP is an outstanding cooperation between the prestigious National University of Singapore and six of France’s top engineering schools, which are elite academic institutions of more than 200 years. It is a great testimony of the long-standing and high level collaboration that France and Singapore enjoys, and contributes to strengthen the relationships in education, science and industry between our two countries.” 

NUS is the only university in Singapore offering this prestigious programme, a unique global immersion experience where students learn from the best in both countries. The FDDP is the most demanding and intensive academic programme offered by NUS. Each year, four to six of NUS’ best Engineering, Science and Computing students may be selected to participate in the programme at each of the six partner schools. 

Prof Tan said, “This event pays tribute to our synergistic partnership with the Grandes Écoles, and celebrates FDDP’s milestones and achievements over the past two decades. It is through such collaborations with our strategic international partners that we are able to offer diverse and enriching education programmes that truly nurture our students as global citizens of the future.” 

In 1999, the FDDP was launched between NUS and École Centrale Paris, and it has since grown in strength. To date, some 370 NUS and French students have graduated from the programme. Over the years, the partnership has also expanded from one partner in 1999 to six Grandes Écoles today, namely, École Centrale Paris (now merged with Supélec as CentraleSupélec); École Polytechnique (l’X); École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (Mines ParisTech); Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA Paris); École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (Télécom Paris); and École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (École des Ponts ParisTech).

FDDP alumni enjoy good employability and are well sought after by employers in diverse industries. Many of them go on to assume management positions at reputable Singapore-based and French companies. Many of these alumni contribute significantly to their respective fields, bringing positive impact to businesses or society. Others have set up their own start-up or businesses.  

“The French Graduate Schools of Engineering 'Grandes Écoles' involved in the FDDP are proud to be part of this Double Curriculum in France and in Singapore. The strong interest of companies worldwide for the FDDP alumni is proof of its success and relevance in today's and tomorrow's world. We are delighted to work with NUS and hope to keep such a great collaboration for many years still to come!” said a spokesperson from CentraleSupélec, the first French partner of the programme, on behalf of all Grandes Écoles.

As a part of the programme, the French delegation visited the Applied Materials-NUS Advanced Materials Corporate Laboratory which was established to accelerate the discovery and commercialisation of new materials for manufacturing next-generation semiconductors, and BLOCK71, an initiative by NUS Enterprise that catalyses and aggregates the start-up community. 

Singapore’s Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung will attend an evening gathering at the Residence de France to meet FDDP partners, FDDP alumni, current students and representatives from companies.  

The forum is supported by the Embassy of France as part of the Voilah! France Singapore Festival, which showcases French culture and innovation in Singapore.