Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Campus Priorities

Students interacting on campus, a la Social Network
"We're going to make NTU a tourist attraction," said president designate and provost Professor Bertil Andersson. Okay, that explains the recent fee hike despite huge surpluses nesting in the reserve account. And we thought they were building better libraries or bringing in qualified academics who are more passionate about teaching than spending money.

The interactive brains behind the 15-year masterplan for Nanyang Technological University have in mind a mini-Holland Village - replete with restaurants, pubs, shops and cinemas. Holland V is so notorious for rip off prices, even Ang Mohs head for the HDB heartlands for their essentials. For administrators like Swede Andersson who lives on campus, it must be quite a journey to lunch at Shangrila or hit the happy hour at Clarke Quay. If the Herman Miller Aeron chairs can be justified, why not these up market conveniences? Then there's this creative line that says "we must create meeting places where the humanities girl can meet the engineering boy." If the nation's goal for more babies can be furthered, who's to query the grandiose expenditure? Besides, all the public carparks are too brightly lit to play doctor - even for Jack Neo's curtain draped automobile.

Outgoing president Su Guanning apparently agrees to the "need to adapt to changing pedagogical requirements", though whether these entertainment facilities will sustain new forms of teaching and research, conducive for the gestation of a nobel prize laureate, is open for debate. Unless they are planning courses for movie making and alcoholic concoctions, and thesis themes pontificating on why this year's Oscar nominations have to include gratuitous sex scenes - think Black Swan, Blue Valentine and The Kids Are All Right.

Unlike the monied Winklevoss twins of Social Network fame, students like Sherlene can see the lavish plans will only benefit those who can afford the hefty dormitory fees to stay on campus. "Interaction's a good idea, but the question is if we have the time to use the facilities, especially since I live at home and most of my free time is spent working on projects."


  1. Chances are, this plan will fall through. Ten years ago, NUS had a similar plan. But all it meant was introducing commercial outlets in various places.

  2. It seems that there is a total disconnect between the people on the ground and the ones above. Wonder if the ivory towers are already built on Mars or other planets so far away that no telescope can let these decision makers peer through the atmosphere to see those people suffocating below.

  3. NUS is building its University Town now which is supposed to host the Youth Olympics, remember? The case for these grand plans for both universities, i guess is to create vibrancy, buzz and induce creativity thus attract more FTs to study and research? If they have the budget for this, I suppose they should stall/stop increasing tuition fees since most students who study in these 2 unis are your regular HDB dwellers who have to take loans to finance their studies.

  4. i thought it was a joke too and better to bring in more buses and make it more accessible via public transport than have these add-ons! a friend who is an exchange student told me it takes him 2 farken hours to get to ntu and he lives in bukit batok *gasp* its still a swamp but the crocodiles walk on two legs. gender no matter :p

  5. frankly i'm so sick of having luxury shoved down my throat. i Don't Need it! i Don't Want it!! i Can't Afford it!!! AND I DEFINITELY I DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR IT!!!!

    what on earth is the point of having all the things they are planning when they are not going to improve education, but only put me in debt?! all i want are some solid basics. enough already of the frivolity.

    and this really applies to every aspect of life. anyone ever noticed the marble-clad walls in the Fire Escape staircase of Traffic Police HQ?!?! the words Absurd and Wasteful don't even begin to describe it.

  6. Very sad to see an university started by our pioneers going to be headed by a "chao Ang Mo" who goes around bragging that he sits in the Nobel committee.

  7. Some out-of-touch visionary somewhere must have pronounced the need for Singapore to have more "buzz".

    Anybody remembered how the MIWs started dancing on bar tops a few years ago?

    This is just the latest example of a "buzzing" Singapore.

    Nowadays, Singapore reminds me of a totem pole of birds.

    The birds at the top shit on the birds at the bottom.
    The birds at the bottom look up and all they see are ass-holes.

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