I am very proud of our new learning hub, The Hive, and at its official opening last week, I shared in a speech my thoughts on why it is not just an eye-catching building but will soon become an icon of the future of learning.
Not your regular modular building stacked up like Lego bricks, it redefines university buildings with its unusual shape and use of space for learning in the 21st century.
The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was an exceptional man. And it hit home just how much he means to all Singaporeans when I went to pay my respects to him at Parliament House yesterday afternoon.
As he lay peacefully in state, thousands of Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans from all walks of life streamed in to bid him farewell, some having queued for hours in the hot sun. I felt the depth of their grief and was reminded of NTU’s solemn memorial ceremony at the Nanyang Auditorium on Wednesday, 25 March, three days after his passing, where I shared these words:
Today, we honour Mr Lee and his legacy. And it’s rewarding to see so many that have joined in for this. In less than 50 years, he and Singapore’s pioneer leaders remarkably transformed an impoverished island with no resources and a population of 2 million who were mostly illiterate or lowly educated, to a modern city-state of 5.5 million people with the living standards of First World countries.
Signing the condolence book.
I have been in Singapore for seven years and there’s one thing that never fails to amaze me. Singaporeans are passionate about education, especially the education of their children. That’s a good thing. Singaporeans should be happy that they are well served by an education system that is simply world-class.
As I am a beneficiary of education myself, I believe in and appreciate the value of education. I’m the only one among my relatives with a degree. When I was young, my parents never encouraged me to study. I did it myself.
Singaporeans should be proud to have two world ranked universities here, NTU and NUS. I am asked everywhere I go at various international conferences the reasons for NTU’s rapid growth. It is precisely because of the Singapore Government’s belief and investment in universities that a young university like NTU can make big leaps internationally in such a short time. Continue reading