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Ker Sin Tze For The Straits Times

Let the Nantah spirit and name live on in NTU

Published on Apr 23, 2014 5:53 PM
After the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University in 1980 to become the present National University of Singapore, Nantah's campus was abandoned until 1982 when the Nanyang Technological Institute was set up. It was upgraded to Nanyang Technological University in 1992. -- ST FILE PHOTO

THE issue of whether to rename Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Nanyang University (Nantah) has been debated in recent weeks.

At the launch of his book charting the history of the Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI), NTU's immediate precursor, Professor Emeritus Cham Tao Soon was reported as saying that the name of Nanyang University should be restored. Professor Ng Yew Kwang, Winsemius Professor in Economics at NTU and a Nantah graduate, also argues that NTU should be renamed Nanyang University.

Nanyang University was set up with public donations in 1955.

In the 1950s, there were separate English and Chinese streams. The former received financial support from the colonial government, something the latter was denied. The Senior Cambridge school-leavers of the English stream could work in the civil service, or further their studies at the University of Malaya, Singapore campus. But the Higher School Certificate holders from the Chinese schools could not work in the government sector as their standard of English was generally below the required level. They were also denied entry to the local university.

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