Visiting Unpad, President of the National University of Singapore Intended to Build Cooperation and Delivered “Studium Generale”
[unpad.ac.id, 8/3/2018] The President of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Prof. Tan Eng Chye held an official visit to Universitas Padjadjaran in Jatinangor, Thursday (8/3) in order to sign MoU between NUS and Unpad and to deliver “Studium Generale” in front of academicians of Unpad.
The MoU signing took place at Rector’s Room, Rectorate Building in Jatinangor Campus. Rector Prof. Dr. med. Tri Hanggono Achmad, dr. said, this cooperation is expected to enhance collaboration that will give impactful benefit not only to the campus but also to the society in general.
He mentioned that nowadays Unpad has a strong commitment to give more contribution to West Java Province of Indonesia, especially in legal aspect and environmental issues. Collaboration with various parties is the key in facing increasingly complex challenges.
“Cooperation also needs to be done with neighboring countries especially in ASEAN. NUS has a reputation, where we can learn many things, “said Rector.
Meanwhile, Prof. Tan said that it has a special interest in creating the spirit of entrepreneurship to support economic growth of Southeast Asia. To that end, the university has an important role in encouraging the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it is expected that there will be entrepreneurial connectivity in a number of countries in Southeast Asia.
The signing was also witnessed by a number of leaders of Unpad and NUS. From Unpad, Vice Rectors, Directors, Secretaries of Directors, and Head Office attended the event.
While giving a general lecture on NUS strategy to become the best university in Asia in Bale Sawala Unpad Rectorate Building, Jatinangor, Prof. Tan said universities must be ready to face the challenges of global competition today, one of them is the Industrial Revolution 4.0 era.
“To be ready to compete, we must hire the best lecturers and staffs, and recruit the best students,” Prof. Tan said.
As the first best university in Southeast Asia and ranks 15th for world’s best university from QS World University Rankings, preparing competent human resources is a must. Each year, NUS recruits 7000 new students. This is a challenge for NUS in preparing the 7000 students to be ready to compete in national and international level.
Furthermore, this Professor of Mathematics explained, one of NUS’ strategy is to open up to the world. Students, faculties, and staffs are not only from Singapore, but also from foreign countries. On the other side, NUS students are also actively sent to some of the best universities in the world. “Singapore is small, you can see all flights at the airport are international flights. Therefore, we encourage NUS students to see the world,” Prof. Tan added.
NUS students are not just studying and interacting with fellow Singaporean citizens, but are encouraged to engage with global society, to interact and understand their culture. They are also encouraged to conduct academic and research collaborations.
This openness makes NUS not only owned by Singaporeans. Fifty percent of current NUS professors are international. At the student level, 15% of international students enroll in undergraduate program, while in the graduate program, 70% are international students.
NUS conducts many joint degree programs with some of the world’s leading universities. In fact, currently NUS has three educational programs as cooperation with foreign universities, namely Duke University, Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University, and Yale University.
Prepare to Fail
There was an interesting point when Prof. Tan explained about the effort to strengthen the soft skill of NUS students. He said universities must be creative in creating themselves to fail. This is clearly different from other universities that only encourage students to succeed.
“Failure is a very important lesson. In NUS, when there is failure, we give a second chance. This encourages students to stand up from their failures and fight back,” said Prof. Tan.
From these failures, students will experience how to avoid similar failures. This will encourage students to produce better innovation. This concept in fact makes many NUS students become successful from their failure.
This concept is highly applied in research and learning activities in NUS. Even on entrepreneurship programs -one of the flagship programs in NUS- it is applied in internships in the industrial world. “We attach them in the start-up industry. They do anything to develop their business. Many of them failed, but they learned from the failure. They analyzed the reason of their failures,” he said.
Open the Opportunities for Student Exchange
As an international university, NUS tries to bring the world into its campus. Internationalization becomes the single vision of the university.
In the lecture period, Prof. Tan opened the opportunity for exchange student to NUS. While in NUS, Unpad students also have the opportunity to participate in the student exchange program with NUS partner universities.
In addition, NUS students will also be sent to Unpad. While in Unpad, Prof. Tan encouraged these students to also be included in the student exchange program with Unpad partner universities.*
Reported by Artanti Hendriyana and Arief Maulana,
Translated by D. Firman Arief