About 80 NUSS members and guests had an enlightened evening at the Fireside Chat with NUS President entitled ‘Can the Future Be Shaped?’ held at NUSS’ Della & Seng Gee Guild Hall on 20 May 2022, 7pm.
NUSS President Mr Edward S Tay first gave an opening address to welcome NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye, highlighting NUSS’ passion about the interests and development of NUS including its fundraising efforts towards the Alumni Bursary Fund.
Mr Tay also thanked Prof Tan for agreeing to engage the audience on the future of higher education, a topic that resonated with many in the audience, ranging from students from NUS High School of Math and Science and Hwa Chong Institution as well as NUSS management committee members including Mr Soh Yi Da who was the moderator.
In a frank and open discourse, Prof Tan explained the importance of promoting multiple competencies among students through the option of pursuing two majors. Interdisciplinarity or the integration of two disciplines would give students opportunities to leverage on different approaches to solve complex real-life problems.
The set up of the two new colleges – College of Humanities and Science, a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science; and College of Design and Engineering, a merger of the School of Design and Environment with the Faculty of Engineering, are two initiatives which the University has embarked on, to promote interdisciplinarity.
Importance of Lifelong Learning
Prof Tan also highlighted that with a lot of skills and knowledge becoming obsolete, being equipped with a degree is not sufficient for graduates who may need to change jobs many times in the course of their work life spanning between 40 and 50 years. Hence, there is a need for graduates to continuously acquire new knowledge and skill sets in order to stay relevant in the face of rapid changes. The challenge for the University is to imbue the importance of continuing education and to offer opportunities to graduates to upgrade themselves.