When we visited the NUS’ science buildings today we had a chance to meet and hang out with students who were studying similar subjects. They were all very interested in what classes and opportunities are presented through the nanotechnology course like being able to operate in a clean room out of the MCN as well the prospect of having access to a synchrotron. This struck a chord with me, I knew that our course in Australia was unique and that the opportunity to use the Australian synchrotron by undergraduates was a rare privilege but NUS has a synchrotron in the middle of their campus and yet it’s almost unheard of for undergrads to be granted access.
Over lunch we got to have a good talk with the students from NUS and found that many of them had traveled to many places in Asia, which isn’t overly surprising when you consider the size of Singapore and the fact that the Singapore airport could be considered a hub for more of south-east Asia. With this ease of travel to other countries it is of little surprise that over half the students go on short term study abroad programs with 30 % of them staying for at least one semester. By sending their students out to other countries they gain a greater understanding of other cultures not to mention the advertising it does for the Uni itself, which draws in exchange students to them in turn. I’ve talked about how Singapore has very little to offer in terms of physical raw resources previously and that is why a lot of money is focused into ensuring that they have the brightest minds around so that they may stay one step ahead.