National University of Singapore
NUS, which is short for the National University of Singapore, is the country’s oldest and the largest university in terms of enrollees and curricula they offer.
Located at Kent Ridge, which is southwest of Singapore, this university’s main campus sits on a 1.5 km squared (0.58 sq mi) area and houses the Faculty of law, Lee Kuan Yew School of public Policy and several research institutes. Its Outram campus houses the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.
This university, which is considered to be one of Asia’s premiere universities, was founded in 1904, when Tan Jiak Kim headed a group of representatives of Chinese and non-European communities to put up a medical school in the country. But it was on July 3, 1905, that the school was officially established and was known as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School.
In 1912, through the initiative of Lim Boon Keng, the university’s medical school obtained a donation of about $120,000 from the King Edward VII Memorial Fund. On November 18, 1913, the school was named after King Edward VII and was called the King Edward VII College of Medicine.
In 1928, Raffles College was set up to promote the arts and social science at tertiary level for Malayan students. Twenty years later, the college merged with King Edward VII College of Medicine and became the University of Malaya.
In October of 1949, the two schools merged in order to cater to the need for higher education at the Federation of Malaya and Singapore. Several years passed and UM’s growth continued to flourish, prompting its administrators to expand in other areas outside Singapore (i.e. Kuala Lumpur). In 1961, legislation was passed in order to make the former Kuala Lumpur division part of the UM, while its Singapore side was renamed as what it is known today.
Today the university has 16 faculties and schools located all over Singapore which gives a broad based curriculum highlighted by multi-disciplinary courses and cross faculty enhancement.
As one of Asia’s most prestigious universities, and to keep up with today’s dynamics, the University established its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where it provides students with the capability to research Intelligent Systems and centers on computational and machine intelligence.
Also, the university’s Social Robotics laboratory, Interactive Digital Media Institute, has continually researched, developed and created an intelligent artificial agent that can eventually be integrated into our society. It is the Lab’s hope that one day, these robots can act as intelligent companions that can help our lives and live in harmony with us. Among its notable projects is the MaNUS humanoid robot.
And just like any other big university today, NUS has teamed up with other big institutions in order to broaden their spectrum. They now have a partnership with MIT, and using the Internet and video-conferencing, students can meet up and study in one virtual classroom.