Announcement by Singapore's Deputy PM welcomed

Monday, 22 March 2004

The Singapore Government's strategy announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, for expanding and diversifying the opportunities for Singaporeans to access a university education was applauded today by one of Australia's leading universities, the University of Adelaide.

Dr Tan is a graduate of the University of Adelaide, having received his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1967.

"By 2010, our plan is to provide sufficient university places for one in every four Singaporeans in each cohort of students," Dr Tan said yesterday at the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre, where he was guest speaker at the University's annual offshore graduation ceremony.

The Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre offers high-quality academic programs from the University of Adelaide to students in Singapore.

"As we restructure and enhance our public university sector, we are also now opening our doors to a few reputable overseas universities to offer both postgraduate and undergraduate education in Singapore," Dr Tan said.

"These reputable overseas universities will add diversity to our overall university sector.

"Students, both Singaporean and foreign, will have more options to choose their university and course offering. This augurs well for Singapore as it strives to be an education hub in this part of the world.

"Singapore's restructured university sector, with greater diversity and keener competition, will play a strategic role in the economic and social development of our nation," he said.

The University of Adelaide's Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor John Taplin, welcomed the developments announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Coordinating Minister for Security and Defence.

"At a time when ignorance and prejudice threaten the peace and stability of our region, the need for improved opportunities for learning and understanding is very clear," Professor Taplin said.

"The words of the writer H.G. Wells, that 'human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe', have never been more relevant.

"The University of Adelaide stands ready to meet the challenge," he said.

"The University delivers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs through the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre in Singapore, and has plans to significantly increase the numbers of students at this Centre.

"At its campus in Adelaide, the University is also accepting increasing numbers of students from Singapore. In fact, Singapore is the country with the second highest rate of growth in student enrolments at the University of Adelaide. Only China is higher.

"Our hope is that these students will go on to very successful careers and become distinguished alumni of the University like Dr Tan," Professor Taplin said.


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