Reimagining the university

In his commentary, Making NUS and NTU great Singapore universities, Mr Han Fook Kwang enjoined both the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University to produce research that, beyond the ever-important academic accolades, "will make a difference to the country and its people".

However, before we even get to figuring out how to reconcile the potentially conflicting tasks of a university - academic research, teaching, and the broader national development agenda, among others - there is the even more fundamental question of "What is a university?"

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2019, with the headline 'Reimagining the university'. Print Edition | Subscribe