Singapore and China universities sign agreements in education and research

Students at the NUS U-Town campus.
Students at the NUS U-Town campus. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The family of property tycoon Ng Teng Fong has donated $33 million to boost ties in research and education between three Singapore universities and three Chinese universities.

The institutions and their respective partners are the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Peking University, as well as Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Zhejiang University.

Each pair of universities, which received $11 million for their programmes, signed an agreement on Monday (Dec7) at Clifford Pier at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

The agreements, which mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China, build on existing partnerships between the universities, in areas of research, student and faculty exchanges and projects.

For instance NUS, which first collaborated with Tsinghua University in 1991, has sent about 100 students on exchange stints to the Chinese university in the last five years. It hopes to increase this number.

NTU and Peking University will set up a research institute in January 2016 to deepen their work in data analytics technologies for smart cities and healthy living.

SUTD, which tied up with Zhejiang University in 2010, will set up by the middle of next year a joint centre on both campuses to focus on projects in digital manufacturing, urbanisation and sustainability.

Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) said that the new partnerships are an outcome from China president Xi Jinping's visit to Singapore last month.

"In today's globalised world, the time taken for knowledge and knowhow to permeate the world has been hugely compressed," said Mr Ong, who added that universities are the channels for these ideas to come to fruition.