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New students can go 'grade-free' as NUS looks to ease pressure on freshmen

Published on May 14, 2014 5:48 PM
 
The National University of Singapore has reduced the focus on grades for its freshmen by allowing first-year students to choose to "remove" less-than-stellar grades from their records in five modules during the first semester, on top of the existing three chances all students get in the remaining terms. -- FILE SPH

The National University of Singapore has reduced the focus on grades for its freshmen. Currently, students there can choose to "remove" less-than-stellar grades from their records in three modules any time during their undergraduate years.

However provost Tan Eng Chye has announced that from August some 6,000 first-year students will be able to exercise this option in five modules during the first semester, on top of the existing three in the remaining terms.

Prof Tan, who also blogged about the move on Wednesday evening, said he was "glad that education at NUS has been evolving and maturing, and that as a community, we are now ready to take this bold step that will hopefully lead to an even more transformative educational experience for our students. Our end vision is to seed and imbue a strong culture of inquiry, exploration and discovery at NUS".

The new initiative applies to nearly all faculties and schools in NUS: arts and social sciences, business, computing, design and environment, engineering, music, nursing and science. Known as the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option, grades are still given, but students do not have to count them towards the computation of their overall scores unless they want to. However students still have to be graded "satisfactory" or they will have to retake the module or take another.

 
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