Perspectives on the future of higher education

Prof Tan (left) with Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras at the ISAS-CII Distinguished Lecture in Chennai

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye called on India recently where he shared his expertise and insights on lifelong learning in NUS and Singapore, and on the future educational landscape. On 29 October, he delivered a talk in Chennai titled “Higher Education in Singapore” at the ISAS-CII Distinguished Lecture 2018, organised by the NUS Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). On 30 October, he travelled to New Delhi to attend the 14th Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Higher Education Summit 2018, where he spoke on “Universities of the Future - The Singapore Experience”, as one of the conference’s keynote speakers.

Setting the scene with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which he described as the rise of new technologies that fuse physical, digital and biological worlds, Prof Tan spoke about the importance of deepening skills throughout one’s lifetime. He shared the various initiatives that NUS has undertaken to ensure that students remain relevant in a dynamic and complex world, such as the multiple educational pathways provided and global programmes such as the NUS Overseas Colleges and student exchange programmes. Emphasising that “no university can provide all the skills and knowledge that one would need for the next 50 years”, Prof Tan also highlighted two recent NUS programmes that will allow individuals to stay competitive in the digital age — the NUS Lifelong Learners initiative which sees all students enrolled for 20 years from point of undergraduate admission, as well as NUS CET 500 which offers cutting-edge industry-relevant courses for the working professional.