Opening minds at Open Day
NUS Open Day 2018, held on 10 March, drew some 28,500 enthusiastic and curious visitors to the Kent Ridge and Bukit Timah campuses. A host of talks, programme booths and student activities featured as part of the day-long annual event presented a comprehensive overview of the University’s myriad of opportunities — from academic and special programmes, to overseas study stints and internships, as well as the vibrant student life found in the various halls and residential colleges.
This year saw the introduction of “Student for a Day” Special Classes, where small groups of visitors were able to have a teaser of what a typical lecture or tutorial class would entail. Participants had their choice of 21 different classes, covering topics such as sociology, urban planning, the Internet of Things and game design from various faculties and schools including NUS Science, NUS Computing, NUS Arts and Social Sciences and the University Scholars Programme.
River Valley High School student Jean Low, who attended an NUS Dentistry Special Class, found it a highly engaging and enriching session.
“He was teaching us like he would teach a regular class. There was hands-on experience as well. These kind of classes provide people with a clearer idea of what lessons are like,” she said.
NUS Provost and Senior Deputy President Professor Ho Teck Hua also offered his insights into the benefits of a tertiary education at NUS with his guest lecture titled “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose NUS”, highlighting the University’s dynamic student life, global campus and comprehensive higher education.
On display at the new Innovation Hub this year were a variety of novel research projects by the University’s laboratories and workshops. Visitors had the opportunity to view and find out more about projects including the NUS Humanitarian Mission Ready Drone developed by Yonah — a start-up under NUS Enterprise made up of NUS Engineering and NUS Computing graduates and undergraduates — built to carry cargo and supplies to remote areas; the Centre for Quantum Technologies’ project using quantum light particles for protection against hacking; as well as a nano-satellite built by NUS undergraduates.
For the adult learners, representatives from the School of Continuing and Lifelong Education and Institute of Systems Science showcased comprehensive programmes developed to assist working professionals in upgrading their skills to meet the ever-evolving workplace requirements.
The Student Village nearby was a bustling hive of activity with some 100 clubs and societies setting up booths and demonstrations. Dance and music performances, as well as appearances by the University and Hall mascots kept visitors entertained throughout the day.
Residential Colleges at University Town were open for viewing, with student-led tours available for prospective undergraduates to catch a glimpse of what living in a residential college could offer.
Guests also had the opportunity to taste selections of coffee from Foreword Coffee, a start-up founded by NUS Arts and Social Sciences alumnus Lim Wei Jie. The social enterprise prides itself on empowering coffee crafters from cherry to cup, through building relationships with coffee producers and creating employment opportunities for differently-abled people.
Regular bus tours through the University allowed visitors to explore other parts of the NUS Kent Ridge campus, beyond University Town. They could take a peek into Central Library, NUS Business School, NUS Design & Environment, as well as other residential facilities such as King Edward VII Hall and the Ridge View Residential College, while student ambassadors shared interesting nuggets of information about the various locations.
Over at the lush Bukit Timah campus, located in the middle of Singapore Botanic Gardens — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — some 500 visitors to NUS Law had the opportunity to interact and speak with faculty and current students as well as be part of courtroom drama while observing a mock trial.
Nick Gill, a recent graduate of Anglo-Chinese Junior College, attended talks conducted by NUS Arts and Social Sciences and NUS Admissions. He also took the opportunity to explore the campus and spoke to various people at the booths. “I enjoyed my time a lot and there are many good courses that I’ve found, especially at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which I’m leaning towards at the moment. I liked the campus and the food, and the atmosphere was very lively,” he said.
A visit to Tembusu College particularly intrigued him, as he learnt that students could take classes in the same living quarters. “Overall, it’s been a very fruitful time for me at NUS Open Day,” he said.