NUS, World Bank to jointly study global issues

Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung (third from left) was present to witness the signing of the MOU.
Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung (third from left) was present to witness the signing of the MOU. PHOTO: LEE KUAN YEW SCHOOL OF POLICY/FACEBOOK

The World Bank and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have pledged to collaborate on research about global development challenges such as sustainable urban development and infrastructure finance.

They signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday in conjunction with the Asia Competitiveness Institute - World Bank Asean Forum at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

"Singapore can share with the World Bank Group's member countries the lessons we have learnt in creating a more efficient and liveable city, in encouraging businesses to be more competitive and thrive, in providing quality healthcare," said Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS' provost and deputy president for academic affairs.

For instance, the Centre for Liveable Cities at the Ministry for National Development and the NUS School of Design and Environment's Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities can offer expertise in innovative urban growth and smart cities in the East Asia and Pacific region.

As for scientific and technological solutions to solve healthcare challenges, the World Bank will work with the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School of NUS, and Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research and Technology, among others.

The World Bank Group set up a hub in Singapore five years ago and now has about 140 staff here.

This is likely to grow to 220 staff in the coming years as the bank beefs up its operations, said Mr Jordan Schwartz, the director of the World Bank Group's Singapore Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development.

NUS itself was built with the support of the World Bank in 1972, when the Singapore Government borrowed US$9.5 million from the Bank to fund the construction of Singapore University (later renamed NUS).

Yesterday's MOU signing was witnessed by Mr Ong Ye Kung, the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'NUS, World Bank to jointly study global issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe