Our first visit scheduled for today was the Republic Polytechnic, a higher education institution located in the northern Singapore suburb, Woodlands. Unfortunately, due the reasonably long travel time to the campus, we were required to leave no later then 7:15am. Admittedly, I did not get as much sleep as I should have, and so I was forced to drink a quick iced coffee before we left to keep me awake.
Upon arrival at the campus, we were given a short presentation as an introduction to the Republic Polytechnic institution. I was intrigued by the method of teaching that the teaching staff employ; to me, it seems that it is a kind of combination of Australian university and TAFE teaching strategies. That is, students are given the level of theory seen in university degrees, however they are also given daily problems that they must solve with a hands-on approach. I can definitely see the benefits of such a teaching method, and indeed it appears that the Singaporean government also strongly supports it, as there is certainly not a shortage of funding for the institution.
As somewhat of a change of pace for the study tour, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the South East Asia (SEA) Aquarium. We were able to meet with several groups of international students as part of the NUS Biodiversity Summer Program, and we were all split into mixed groups and given guided tours of the aquarium. This gave us all a chance to interact with students from all over the world, and I personally found this to be a very productive networking activity. I was also able to learn a lot about the cultures and higher education systems of several different countries.
With regards to the aquarium tour itself, I will let the photos below do the talking; as they say, a picture says a thousand words!