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Thread: Singapore Also Can
09-04-2013, 12:07 AM #7396
ITE students to volunteer at 2015 SEA Games
1,000 students from the Institute of Education (ITE) will be volunteering at the 2015 SEA Games to be staged in Singapore
By Patwant SinghPOSTED: 03 Sep 2013 11:59 PM
SINGAPORE: 1,000 students from the Institute of Education (ITE) will be volunteering at the 2015 SEA Games to be staged in Singapore.
This is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the institution and the Singapore Sports Council.
The exact areas the students will be helping in are being worked out, but these could include media and show events.
The collaboration also forms part of the Games organisers’ journey to co-create the event and to share the sense of ownership and pride in being hosts of the Games.
Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Singapore Sports Council, said: "I think we are always ready to work with other partners as well. ITE as a first strategic partner is a very significant move for us and I think the relationship should extend beyond the SEA Games. It is really related to everything that we wanted to do under Vision 2030."
09-04-2013, 12:18 AM #7397
Spouses of foreign diplomats experience Hungry Ghost festivities
Some foreign diplomats and spouses of other diplomats in Singapore were hosted on Tuesday evening by Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and his wife to a special event to learn more about the lunar seventh month or Hungry Ghost festivities. Guests at a Hungry Ghost event hosted by Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and his wife.
By Olivia SiongPOSTED: 03 Sep 2013 11:26 PM
SINGAPORE: Some foreign diplomats and spouses of other diplomats in Singapore were hosted on Tuesday evening by Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and his wife to a special event to learn more about the lunar seventh month or Hungry Ghost festivities.
It is believed that during this month the gates of Hell are opened for souls to wander the Earth.
Apart from watching a ‘getai’ performance at Mr Shanmugam's ward in Chong Pang, the guests also observed a seventh month prayer and witnessed a traditional seventh month dinner and auction that was attended by some 2,000 residents.
This is the first time the minister and his wife hosted such an event during the seventh month.
Dr Seetha Shamugam, wife of Mr Shanmugam, said: "This is one of the more important things that happen in Singapore, (the) month-long celebration.
“It's about charity, the values of charity, value of making offerings, value of seeking protection for our loved ones -- these are all important values we have in our culture and so I thought it'd be good to bring them (the guests) down and… give them the opportunity to experience it (the festival) first-hand so they can gain an appreciation and understanding of Singapore culture."
Dr Grace Moshi, wife of the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, said: "The thing that I find the most amazing about it is the way people remember their loved ones, the ones who have passed on. It's a really a nice way for families to have something to celebrate, something to look back to. That's been quite amazing.
“The fact that they're held in community centres where large communities of people live… sort of has the sense of bringing the community together. So that has been quite impressive to me."
09-04-2013, 12:26 AM #7398
S'pore, China have mapped out key areas of collaboration moving forward: DPM Teo
By Kristine Lim
POSTED: 03 Sep 2013 10:09 PM
NANNING, China: Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister, Teo Chee Hean, has said that Singapore and China have mapped out key areas of collaboration moving forward.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, Guangxi province.
In his speech, Mr Teo welcomed China's proposal to upgrade the existing ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.
China is ASEAN's largest trade partner while ASEAN is China's third-largest trade partner.
ASEAN-China bilateral trade grew at an average of 21.6 per cent annually over the last three years.
Mr Teo said that Singapore will benefit from closer economic ties between China and ASEAN.
He said: "Trade has grown eight times (since 2002) - we are talking about US$400 billion and we hope to grow that to a trillion dollars in the next few years.
"In this phase of China's development, there will be outward flow of investments from China as well, not just FDI (foreign direct investment) into China but FDI from China into the region. We are seeing more and more of that. And that means more opportunities for greater integration of the economies of China and ASEAN countries."
Moving forward, new areas of cooperation between Singapore and China would include financial services, human resource development and social management.
The Guangzhou Knowledge City, a project between Singapore and Chinese companies and supported by the two governments, is also an example of how Singapore companies can tap on opportunities as China develops.
Mr Teo said: "This represents the next phase of China's economic transformation and development and we hope to help to play an important part in that. One area that they were very interested in, for example, is IPR (intellectual property rights)... So that, I think, is the next phase of China's development."
DPM Teo will be co-chairing high-level bilateral talks to be held in Singapore later this year.
He said: "Premier Li Keqiang also made mention that the new leadership had deliberately chosen a very senior leader, Executive Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, to co-chair the JCBC (Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation) with Singapore... (an) indication of the importance placed on the relationship with us."
Singapore will be the "country of honour" for the China-ASEAN Expo next year, during which a series of activities will be organised to promote the country.
09-04-2013, 12:46 AM #7399
Checking out Singapore's first trampoline park
Student Jack Kwa at Amped Trampoline Park, which opened in Tanjong Katong three weeks ago.
Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013
The Sunday Times
By Lydia Vasko
SINGAPORE - Bounce your way to fitness at Amped Trampoline Park, touted as the first of its kind in Singapore and South-east Asia.
Opened three weeks ago, the indoor park features almost 50 trampolines, which blanket the floors and line the walls in a converted Tanjong Katong school gym.
The trampolines are connected by bright blue padding, which shield the trampolines' frames and springs. Visitors can bounce off the walls and jump their way over 460 sq m of the park, which is located on the second floor, above a Peranakan Village Food Centre and Beer Garden.
Trampolines have been sold in Singapore for decades, but this is the first time members of the public, aged two and above, can pay to jump en masse on so many trampolines.
The park is the passion project and creative outlet for Canadian Shad Johns, 41, and Singaporean Jason Ong, 37, both managers at a technology company here. And it is already shaping up to be a viable business, with sessions rapidly filling up solely through word of mouth.
Last Saturday, nine of the park's 12 hour-long slots were fully booked, primarily by families and teens. Nine of its 10 slots for the next day, Sunday, were fully booked too.
"We're flat out," says Mr Johns, on how busy the park has been. "We have gotten such a great response."
Talks are under way to open more outlets on Singapore mainland and Sentosa in the next couple of years, he adds.
"We saw a hole in the market and we went for it. You have skate parks, you have wakeboarding, but what do you do when it rains or if it gets too hot?" says Mr Johns, who began trampolining as a child in his backyard in Canada.
A basic, 1.2m personal trampoline costs about $200. Larger models of 3m or more, which allow for more diversity of movement, cost anything from $1,200 to $3,000, excluding delivery and installation, says Mr Ray Dougall, managing director of Trampolines Asia, which has sold trampolines in Singapore for more than a decade.
09-04-2013, 11:49 PM #7400
Singapore's largest theme park to tie up with local food and beverage outlets
Published on Sep 05, 2013
An artist’s impression of KidZania in Sentosa. The theme park is set to open in 2015 and will be the anchor tenant at Sentosa’s new Family Entertainment Centre. Singapore's largest theme park, which is slated to open in 2015, will feature local food and beverage outlets as part of the activities for children. -- FILE PHOTO: KIDZANIA
By Carolyn Khew
Singapore's largest theme park, which is slated to open in 2015, will feature local food and beverage outlets as part of the activities for children.
Among the 30 companies that will set up shop at park are The Soup Spoon and Killiney Kopitiam. Electronics company Canon, financial institution Maybank and dairy product company Yakult will also set-up shop there.
At KidZania Singapore, which will be on Sentosa's Palawan Beach, children aged four to 14 will get to role play in different occupations. The park will feature a city scaled down to a child's size where children can role-play life as an adult.
Housed in a three-storey building, the theme park will cover an area of 11,500 sq m and will also house rides and arcade games.
09-04-2013, 11:55 PM #7401
Singapore 'risks being Asean's slowest growing country': Shanmugam
Published on Sep 05, 2013
Mr Shanmugam speaking at the SMU Ministerial Forum on Wednesday night. He cited demographic trends, rising costs and external competition as factors that could cause Singapore to fall behind its Asean neighbours. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
By Tham Yuen-c
Faced with a low replacement rate and a fast-ageing population, Singapore risks becoming in future the slowest growing country in the world's fastest growing region, said Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Wednesday night.
Speaking to some 300 students at the Singapore Management University Ministerial Forum, he painted a stark picture of how demographic trends combined with rising costs and external competition could cause Singapore to fall behind its neighbours in Asean.
"All our neighbours will be growing faster and we will be growing slowly," he said. "When you look for jobs, and in neighbouring countries, salaries are rising much faster, then the best and the brightest will gravitate out, and whoever is left behind simply can't compete internationally, and your economy is dragged down."
This, he said, could have implications on how the country supports its growing number of retirees. Citing statistics to back up his point, he said that by 2030, each retired person will be supported by just two working adults, down from the current six.
09-04-2013, 11:59 PM #7402
LTA wins global award for traffic management
Published on Sep 05, 2013
By Grace Chua
For its Electronic Road Pricing, real-time traffic information systems, and transport initiatives like free early-morning train rides before peak hours, Singapore has received one of ten inaugural City Climate Leadership awards.
The awards are given out by Siemens and the C40 network of cities working to combat climate change.
Award categories range from urban transport to air quality to intelligent city infrastructure, which Singapore won.
Land Transport Authority chief transportation engineer Dr Chin Kian Keong, who helped develop the national road pricing system, received the award on behalf of Singapore at a ceremony in London on Wednesday night (Thursday morning Singapore time).
09-05-2013, 12:13 AM #7403
Future Bidadari estate to retain its historical heritage, says Heritage Board
Published on Sep 04, 2013
By David Ee
The rich history and heritage of Bidadari will be assimilated into the new housing estate to be built there, the National Heritage Board (NHB) announced on Wednesday. It is the first time that a new estate will include these considerations from the design stage.
The NHB is working with the Housing Board (HDB) on a proposed pedestrianised Heritage Walk to replace the present Upper Aljunied Road. Residents strolling along the tree-lined boulevard in future will learn through photographs and boards about old landmarks once found in Bidadari, such as the 19th century Bidadari House once owned by a Sultan of Johor.
Relics and tombstones of notable Singaporeans once buried in Bidadari cemetery will also be relocated from the Bidadari Memorial Garden and included in the upcoming 10ha Bidadari Park.
A lost favourite, the Alkaff Lake Gardens, which were re-developed in the mid-1900s, will also be resurrected. The new Alkaff Lake within Bidadari Park would be inspired by its predecessor, a Japanese-themed leisure garden and lake that families flocked to in the 1920s to picnic and boat.
09-05-2013, 12:22 AM #7404
How S’pore can grow as hub of integrated ASEAN
Mr Shanmugam was the Guest-of-Honour at SMU’s ministerial forum last night. PHOTO: EUGENE QUEK
By Kok Xing Hui
7 hours 42 min ago
SINGAPORE — Becoming the New York of an integrated ASEAN region is “a vision that will transcend all the difficulties that we have”, said Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
Speaking at a ministerial forum at the Singapore Management University (SMU) last night, Mr Shanmugam said that an integrated ASEAN will have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.2 trillion (S$2.8 trillion), bigger than that of India.
A GDP this size will make ASEAN the ninth-largest economy in the world. As the hub of this region, Singapore will be able to “grow out of your size and … somehow transcend the factors that limit you”, he said.
Mr Shanmugam noted that an economically-integrated ASEAN is “not entirely within our hands” and would depend on the region’s stability.
The minister said Singapore faces the internal challenge of an ageing population as well as the external challenges of an increasingly competitive world fuelled by globalisation and technology.
In 2030, the Republic will have two working adults supporting each senior citizen, compared to the 6:1 ratio right now. At the same time, the increasingly competitive world will see other countries stepping up to offer services in industries key to Singapore, namely aviation, maritime, finance and petrochemical, he noted.
He reiterated the need for foreign workers in Singapore, as the Government plans to increase the ratio of Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) to non-PMETs in Singapore from 1:1 to 2:1. “If you don’t have a foreign worker population to support the base, how do you become middle management?” he asked.
The minister also said that while people often compare Singapore to the Nordic countries and Europe where welfare is more extensive, “actually we’re far more socialist that those countries”.
The top 20 per cent of Singaporeans pay 80 per cent of the total income taxes, creating a system which taxes at the top and transfers it out, he said. He also pointed to the Goods and Services Tax, of which 84 per cent is paid for by the top 40 per cent of Singaporeans and foreigners.
After Mr Shanmugam’s one-hour speech on the internal and external challenges facing Singapore and the opportunities present, students posed questions ranging from having more women in Parliament to the projected costs of supporting the aged population in 2030, and ways to change the education system to help Singapore remain competitive.
On having more women in Parliament, the minister said it was not an issue of women not being able to do the job, but that today’s social and family structure makes it “more difficult for them”.
He added that men experience these challenges as well, noting that he would be going to his constituency after the dialogue ended at 9.30pm, before returning home to clear emails around 11.30pm, while having to start early the next morning.
When asked if societal values could change such that students do not “chase grades”, he responded: “My answer to you is if people see that the economy has opportunities outside of being on a very narrow track, then the values will change. So we have to create such an economy.”
Yesterday’s forum was the second one organised by the SMU Apolitical association.
It was attended by almost 300 tertiary students from local universities, junior colleges and polytechnics.
09-05-2013, 12:30 AM #7405
Academy to help meet changing healthcare needs of elderly
Mrs Tan Ching Yee touring the Family Medicine Academy at Bukit Batok Polyclinic. Photo: National Healthcare Group Polyclinics
Launch of Family Medicine Academy will help train, groom more doctors to treat people with chronic condition
By Emily Liu
7 hours 52 min ago
SINGAPORE — Across nine polyclinics run by the National Healthcare Group, the bulk of patients suffering from chronic conditions are aged between 45 and 74 — a clear indication of the changing healthcare needs and demands of an ageing population, according to Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Tan Ching Yee.
Speaking at the official opening of Singapore’s first Family Medicine Academy at Bukit Batok Polyclinic yesterday, she noted that the proportion of Singapore’s population aged 65 and above will more than double to 20 per cent.
“Our healthcare needs will rise and change. ‘Change’ because we will need to look after people with chronic conditions, help them manage well, so that they can continue to have a good quality of life,” Mrs Tan said.
While the ministry is expanding the capacity and reach of primary care for Singaporeans, she stressed that well-trained doctors are needed within the community.
Thus, the opening of the academy will help train and groom more doctors to meet the rising demands in family medicine, Mrs Tan said.
“With our rapidly ageing population, primary care will play an increasingly crucial role in the years to come,” she added.
Professor Chee Yam Cheng, Group CEO of National Healthcare Group, also noted a shift in the focus of medicine in recent years — from one that is reactive and focuses merely on caring for the sick, to one which focuses more on preventive care, patient empowerment and keeping the population healthy, he said.
Among the first to be trained at the academy would be the pioneering cohort of 54 students from the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
They will spend a week of their first semester of Year One at the polyclinics, with the Family Medicine Academy as their base of training within the community.
The academy is jointly set up by LKCMedicine and National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP).
“We hope the early exposure to primary care will leave a deep imprint on the students and encourage more to seriously consider making family medicine a career as they contribute to Singapore’s healthcare system,” said Adjunct Associate Professor Chong Phui-Nah, Senior Director of Family Medicine Development and Education Director at the NHGP and at LKCMedicine.
The academy contains a clinical skills laboratory for students to gain practical skills in primary care procedures, and consultation rooms for students to learn and practice their clinical examination skills on site.
Medical students from other universities will also be able to use the facility, said Mrs Tan.
09-05-2013, 12:38 AM #7406
Innovative tech trade show for firms to show their wares
Those present at the official launch of The Stage at ME@OUE including Chairman of Mediacorp Pte Ltd Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Eddie Chau and CEO of MediaCorp Pte Ltd Shaun Seow had to mask their eyes for a walk through presentation of The Stage on 4 Sep 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
By Peter Yeo -
13 hours 40 min ago
SINGAPORE — Technology companies can look forward to a new platform to showcase their products come 2015, when MediaCorp and the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) hold the Republic’s first innovative technology trade show, dubbed The Stage.
Similar to international trade shows such as International CES in America, Computex in Taiwan, or Germany’s IFA, The Stage has one major difference: It aims to be more experiential, said Mr Guillaume Sachet, Head of Strategic Planning for MediaCorp. Mr Sachet said the three-day show will not be like others where exhibitors crowd to showcase their products. It would instead be broken up into six themed areas: The Main Stage, Future Stars, Newcomers, Showtime, The Podium, and the Walk of Fame.
For example, Future Stars will showcase start-ups, while Showtime will have a headline concert featuring as-yet-unconfirmed artistes. The showcases are aimed at demonstrating how technology can benefit and enhance one’s life.
To be held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, The Stage could provide a meeting place for innovators and capital fund managers looking for the next big thing.
SiTF Chairman Eddie Chau said: “We will have a Start-Up pavilion so start-ups who would like to showcase their technologies, look for funding, or future funding, or network with the (venture capitalists) can do so.”
The Stage will also be a hotbed of innovation, said potential exhibitors.
Mr Ng Chee Soon, President and Managing Director, Sennheiser Electronics Asia said:
“We see an interesting opportunity because traditionally we launch products in CES, in IFA, and we launch products in Asia-Pacific but in a more fragmented manner ... the idea of having a platform for us to present a broader portfolio of products to the larger audience for the entire Asia-Pacific sounds very compelling to me.”
Mr Chau added: “Singapore as a whole in the last few years has attracted a lot of investors. I personally also have a fund called TNF Ventures, where we have invested in nine start-ups since May last year. Every one is about US$500,000 (S$640,000). Do you think it’s vibrant? Not too bad, right? Look at Viki. It sold, right? Singapore company. Will it happen in Singapore? Absolutely.”
09-05-2013, 10:38 PM #7407
Asia’s first automated storehouse unveiled in Changi
An illustration of storage in a traditional warehouse set-up compared with the AutoStore solution.
Thirty-six robots ply the top of the grid to store and extract products in Asia's first AutoStore, at Texas Instruments' product distribution centre in DHL’s Changi supply chain hub. Photo: DHL
Advanced system employs 36 robots to store and extract products at Texas Instruments’ product distribution centre in DHL’s Changi supply chain hub
By Wong Wei Han
19 hours 41 min ago
SINGAPORE — Texas Instruments (TI) today (Sept 5) unveiled an advanced inventory management system that will boost productivity by 40 per cent at its product distribution center in DHL’s Changi supply chain hub.
The AutoStore is a US$10 million (S$12.8 million) investment, and is the first of its kind in Asia. Taking up about 30 per cent of the centre’s floorspace, the system uses 36 robots to store and extract products from a massive grid in a process that is highly automated by a central computer to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
The system, which is built Swisslog, will also allow TI to ramp up the centre’s storage amount by four times, the group’s president for Asia, Mr Larry Tan, said.
Productivity enhancement of this scale is not common in Singapore’s logistics and warehousing industry, but the high labour and rental costs as well as a scarcity of space in the Republic means there are a lot of opportunities for further innovation and automation in the industry, chief executive of DHL Supply Chain in South and South East Asia, Mr Oscar de Bok, said.
“The automation allows four times the volume of products to be stored within the same floor space, increases productivity by some 40 per cent and vastly improves accuracy and visibility of the inventory, said Mr de Bok.
“Such turn-key logistics solutions are a boon for land-scarce countries like Singapore where land and labour costs run high.”
Agreeing, Swisslog’s head of Southeast Asia Mr Koh Seng Teck added that industry operators should focus on upgrading parts of their operations where benefits outweigh cost, and modern logistics systems often offer the flexibility and scalability to different business needs.
09-05-2013, 10:58 PM #7408
Lee Kuan Yew receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Singapore's founding Prime Minister and former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was on Thursday presented with the Business China Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of his upcoming 90th birthday on September 16.
The award was presented at a celebratory dinner organised by three major Chinese community organisations -- the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Business China.
The event was an occasion to remember and recognise many of the initiatives which Mr Lee had launched over the years to support the Chinese community in Singapore.
Mr Lee had wanted to attend the event, but his doctors have advised him to avoid large gatherings as a precautionary health measure.
Mr Lee's second son, Lee Hsien Yang, represented his father at the celebration. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is currently away in Russia for the G20 Summit.
Speaking to some 800 business and political leaders at the event, the chairman of Business China and president of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Chua Thian Poh, said the 'Singapore model' developed by Mr Lee has been highly regarded and widely replicated.
The success of this model has helped Singapore play an instrumental role internationally.
Mr Chua noted that among the major initiatives launched by Mr Lee were the Speak Mandarin Campaign, the set-up of the Chinese Development Association and the launch of Business China in 2007.
Business China is an organisation that actively promotes bilingualism and biculturalism.
Mr Chua said for the past six years, Business China had been actively involved in nurturing generations of China-savvy Singaporeans through a range of events and programmes.
He added: "The programme is progressing well; mainly we are grooming a group of youngsters who are bilingual and bicultural, connected with China. In future, this group of people will help us with culture and business.”
Mr Chua also stressed that Business China is now a crucial bridge between Singapore and China.
To celebrate Mr Lee's 90th birthday, Business China launched a commemorative book entitled “Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore-China Relations”.
The book honours Mr Lee's extraordinary contributions to the establishment and strengthening of Singapore-China bilateral ties.
Mr Lee has visited China 33 times since ties were established with China in 1976.
Stephen Lee, president of the Singapore National Employers' Federation, said: "Mr Lee is one of the very few politicians in the world with the opportunity to have personal encounters with five generations of Chinese leaders.
"To that end, Mr Xi Jinping, the current (Chinese) president, regarded Mr Lee as 'our senior who has our respect', and that China 'will never forget the important contribution you have made to our bilateral relationship'."
Thanking the organisers for the award, Mr Lee Hsien Yang recalled that his father had not learnt Chinese as a child. He only took up Mandarin as an adult when he entered politics.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang said: "Because he started learning the language only as an adult, he has struggled to maintain the proficiency he would like to possess of Chinese. To overcome this, he continues to take regular Mandarin lessons at age 90 to keep his hard learned skills alive.
“Learning the language enabled my father to more effectively convey his ideas and rally political support for them. Without that, it would not have been possible (for him to) go down the path that has led Singapore to where it is today.
"It also gave him a window into China and the Chinese world view, building strong foundations for the strong bilateral ties and close cooperation that both counties enjoy today."
The 200-page commemorative book features a collection of 140 photographs, many of which have never been published before.
09-08-2013, 10:21 PM #7409
NUS online modules to give NSmen an early start
They can take 8 such courses from January before school starts in August
Published on Sep 09, 2013
Senior lecturer Seow Teck Keong in a video for a course on introductory biology. NUS is trying to mix online learning and classroom teaching. -- ST PHOTO: NURIA LING
By Ong Hwee Hwee Assistant News Editor
National servicemen starting school at the National University of Singapore (NUS) next year will get a headstart - without having to turn up in class.
For the first time, they can choose to take some modules online soon after they complete national service. They can do so from next January, instead of waiting for school to start next August.
Eight such courses - ranging from computing to philosophy - will be offered exclusively to them, as part of NUS' push to combine online learning with classroom teaching.
The pilot programme is also aimed at helping NSmen who may need a longer time to adapt to university life after being away from school for two years or more.
Universities moving into online learning
THE National University of Singapore (NUS) is planning to go online in a big way.
Apart from the eight modules offered exclusively to national servicemen, the university will also put up three other courses for current students.
A module on writing skills will be rolled out later this month, while the other two - in philosophy and engineering - will be offered next January.
These 11 modules will be exclusive to NUS students.
In the first two months of next year, it will also offer three courses which will be free for all users of Coursera, a provider of open online courses.
NUS is the first Singapore university to partner Coursera, a California-based company. Others schools on the platform include Brown University and Northwestern University.
Other local universities are also looking at online learning.
At Nanyang Technological University, "flipped" classroom teaching - where students attend lectures online and use class time to assimilate the knowledge - is already being used in a small way.
The Singapore University of Technology and Design is in talks with its partner university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to incorporate the latter's online courses in its teaching.
NUS' provost Tan Eng Chye said it plans to offer at least 10 modules online every year.
Rather than replacing university education, the trend of online learning has made classroom teaching more effective by getting professors to think more deeply about how they present information, said NUS lecturers involved in putting their modules online.
"There is no 'real' audience who can give immediate feedback. So you have to anticipate the response of the students," said Associate Professor Chung Keng Yeow of the department of physics.
Filming lecture video snippets that are only 10 to 12 minutes long also means that lecturers have to be very clear and focused in their delivery.
That requires a lot more planning, such as including examples of common errors made by students, said Ms Susan Tan, deputy director of the Centre for English Language Communication.
And lecturers have to pay much more attention to details. Said Ms Tan: "There is no eye contact with students... so you have to make sure there is always a smile in your voice."
ONG HWEE HWEE
09-08-2013, 10:51 PM #7410
Lee Kuan Yew's life captured in bilingual pictorial book
In 480 pictures, it tells his story - as politician, statesman and family man
Published on Sep 07, 2013
(From left) SPH English and Malay Newspapers Division managing director Han Fook Kwang, Straits Times picture editor Stephanie Yeow, Lianhe Zaobao news editor Han Yong May (hidden) and SPH chief executive Alan Chan presenting the book to Mr Lee Kuan Yew at his office in the Istana on Sept 6, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
Lee Kuan Yew: A Life In Pictures is a bilingual pictorial book published by Straits Times Press to commemorate Mr Lee's 90th birthday on Sept 16. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
FAMILY TIME: Mr Lee taking a break while Hsien Yang (left) and Wei Ling played with their pet labrador Niki on the front lawn of Sri Temasek in the early 1960s. Mr Lee spent an hour or so every evening with his children at the Istana, before they had dinner together at their Oxley Road home. Then, he would resume his work at home. -- PHOTO: LEE KUAN YEW COLLECTION
Mr Lee holding Hsien Loong at home in the 1950s. -- PHOTO: LEE KUAN YEW COLLECTION
LEGAL ADVISER: Mr Lee (in sunglasses) was legal adviser to the Singapore Bus Workers' Union when it went on strike in April 1955. Against his advice, they called the strike before their 14-day notice of a strike had expired. -- PHOTO: SPH
VISITING FRIENDS: On a visit to Britain in 1990, Mr and Mrs Lee met Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis at Chequers, their country home. -- PHOTO: LEE KUAN YEW COLLECTION
By Andrea Ong
From unpublished photos of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew in their courting days to iconic images of Mr Lee on the stump, the public and private lives of Singapore's first prime minister are captured in full visual splendour in a new book launched yesterday.
Titled Lee Kuan Yew: A Life In Pictures, the bilingual pictorial book was published by Straits Times Press to commemorate Mr Lee's 90th birthday on Sept 16.
The 268-page coffee-table book tells the story of Mr Lee - as politician, statesman and family man - through some 480 carefully curated photographs.
Of these, over 100 have never been published. They include pictures from Mr Lee's personal and family albums, which depict private moments between him and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo, as well as their three children.
09-09-2013, 10:38 PM #7411
NUS ranked No. 1 Asian university
Published on Sep 10, 2013
The National University of Singapore has become Asia's top university for the first time, according to the World University Rankings. -- ST FILE PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
By Amelia Teng
The National University of Singapore has become Asia's top university for the first time, according to the World University Rankings.
NUS moved up to 24th on the global list, published today, to take over the mantle from the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
The Nanyang Technological University also reached its best position in the table, jumping six spots to become seventh in the region and 41st in the world.
The World University Rankings, arguably the best-known and respected rankings, have been published since 2004 by London-based education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). It is widely consulted, including by prospective students and university professionals.
09-09-2013, 11:09 PM #7412
Ng Ser Miang: No anxiety, no stress, just a sense of calm
Photo: Wee Teck Hian
Ng Ser Miang tells TODAY why he remains relaxed even in the final hours before the IOC presidential elections
By Tan Yo-Hinn
6 hours 1 min ago
BUENOS AIRES — For someone who is about to find out if he will become the most powerful man in sports, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice-President Ng Ser Miang cuts a surprisingly relaxed, almost zen-like figure.
Today, the Singaporean will discover at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires if he, Thomas Bach, Richard Carrion, Wu Ching-kuo, Denis Oswald or Sergey Bubka will succeed Jacques Rogge as IOC President.
Whatever the result, the outcome will mark the culmination of a year-long journey that has taken Ng from Colombia to China, and from Senegal to Spain, one that has caused him to be rarely at home, and to spend more time sleeping in planes than in his own bed.
Yet, despite the hustle and bustle of the past 12 months, the 64-year-old, who is also Chairman of supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice and Singapore’s Ambassador to Norway, told TODAY that he has never felt stressed by the presidential race.
“The first magic formula is that you must enjoy it, and be relaxed about the outcome and that the process is really important,” said the former national sailor.
“I’ve no illusions about the chances of losing versus the chances of winning ... By putting my candidature forward, I believe I’ve helped to raise the bar.”
His resume bears testimony to this.
Since his entry into the Lausanne-based body in 1998, Ng has built an impressive reputation within the IOC. He spearheaded the organising of the 117th IOC Session in Singapore in 2005 — which reaped S$40 million in spin-offs and S$19 million in tourism receipts — and the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games, which was a brainchild of Rogge.
Ng’s achievements in sports administration mirror his successes as a businessman.
In 1976, three years after graduating from the University of Singapore with a business administration degree, he joined the Singapore Shuttle Bus company, which was in disarray, and turned it around in two years.
He also started Singapore’s second bus company, Trans-Island Bus Services (Tibs), in 1982 after raising capital by selling his Thomson bungalow for S$800,000 and borrowing S$1 million from his father. Twenty-two years later in 2004, he made S$80 million when SMRT Corp took over the company.
Despite Ng’s impressive CV, the general sentiment in Buenos Aires is that fellow IOC Vice-President Bach remains the favourite to succeed Rogge.
A protege of former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, the 59-year-old German, who is a lawyer and a former Olympic fencing champion, is also said to enjoy the support of Kuwait’s highly-influential IOC member Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, the President of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Association of National Olympic Committees.
The IOC’s alleged Eurocentricity — American Avery Brundage has been the only non-European of its eight Presidents since it was formed in 1894 — is also seen as favouring Bach’s chances.
But many believe Ng is likely to be Bach’s biggest rival. In his 28-page manifesto, he states a desire to offer ordinary IOC members a greater voice in the organisation. It could well turn out to be a masterstroke.
This is because while most of the IOC’s decisions are currently made by the Executive Board, there is an increasing groundswell of support for a greater voice among ordinary members in the running of the IOC.
As such, many members may identify with Ng’s plan to give them a bigger say.
“It’s most important that those involved in the organisation should share and own this common vision,” said Ng.
“(But) you must have a strong team that is able to do the work. The President is like the chairman.
“If he does the right delegation and can leverage on the different strengths of the organisation and its different components, then you have a very strong basis for the organisation to move forward.”
Another reason why Ng remains calm and zen-like is his family.
He has two daughters, Xuan Hui and Xuan Ming, and a son, Chong Geng, who are aged between 27 and 36, with his first wife Ko Ai Choo, who died in 1999. He is now married to Madam E Hong, a businesswoman.
Family keeps him grounded and helps him to hold firm to his principles, he explained.
“In life, I’ve dealt with many different challenges and happenings. Some are pleasant, others not so. But that’s life and it comes with the job,” he said.
“As long as you hold onto your principles, it’ll be easy. The work itself may be difficult, but making the right decisions is more straightforward as long as you hold onto your fundamental principles.”
Ng hopes his decision to run for the highest office in sport will inspire other Singaporeans to aim higher and punch above their weight.
“Singapore will always have a special place in my heart,” said Ng, who was born in China in 1949 and arrived here when he was one.
“I would want to support the strengthening of sporting culture in Singapore, and make sure the Sports Hub will be one of the centres of the world’s sporting activity, and I will want to continue pushing for exposure of Singaporeans in different sports and different fields of sports.
“I hope it will help us to think even more out of the box and what we can achieve. Whether I’m elected or not, this is something I want to work on.”
Watch the election of the next IOC President “live” on StarHub Ch112/201 tonight from 11.30pm to midnight.
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