This OLD SCHOOL is going HI-TECH

This OLD SCHOOL is going HI-TECH

 

SLA awards site of former Nanyang Institute of Management to James Cook University

 

STUDENTS at the Singapore campus of Australia‘s James Cook University (JCU) will soon have a sprawling campus of their own with state-of-the-art classrooms and a more student-friendly environment.

 

By Karen Wong

 

 

05 March 2008

 

STUDENTS at the Singapore campus of Australia‘s James Cook University (JCU) will soon have a sprawling campus of their own with state-of-the-art classrooms and a more student-friendly environment.

 

The Queensland-based university’s search for a more suitable campus to cater to its growing student enrolment ended last month when the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) awarded it a site at Upper Thomson Road.

 

The former Nanyang Institute of Management site, for which JCU submitted its winning bid, is about 18,500 sq m.

 

Located at 600 Upper Thomson Road near Sembawang Hills and Lower Peirce Reservoir, it comprises two blocks of three-storey buildings with covered linkways, five single-storey blocks and a substation, said an SLA spokesman in reply to The New Paper’s queries yesterday.

 

Professor Sandra Harding, JCU’s vice-chancellor and president, said: ‘We intend to significantly refurbish the buildings to meet student and staff needs.

 

‘Our investment in creating a new and bigger campus is proof of our solid commitment to the university’s future in Singapore and our aim to add to the nation’s talent pool.’

 

Dr Dale Anderson, chief executive officer of JCU Singapore, said the new campus would have state-of-the-art classrooms.

 

‘Our university has world-class e-learning facilities and these will be linked to the new campus,’ he said.

 

About a year ago, the university was reported to be looking for a new campus because of its increasing student population.

 

It is currently using the Spring Singapore building in Bukit Merah, which has 16 lecture rooms across three floors. Its administrative offices and student lounge take up an additional two floors.

 

JCU, which started a branch here in 2003 with 50 students, currently has about 1,100 students pursuing about 15courses ranging from psychology to information technology and business.

 

SLA says the tenure for the Upper Thompson site is for three years, with the option of renewal till 2017.

 

FIVE OTHER SITES

 

The JCU site is the latest of five sites tenanted out to commercial schools last year.

 

The former Lee Kuo Chuan Primary School at Ah Hood Road was recently awarded to EASB Institute of Management.

 

At Tanglin Village, the 40-ha former camp site’s latest tenant is the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. The school plans to set up its new campus over three buildings at Loewen Road next year, said SLA.

 

Chicago GSB‘s dean, Mr Edward Snyder, said in a press statement last week that the school has ‘outgrown the existing facility’ at Penang Road.

 

He added: ‘We have increased the class size and expanded the services we offer to our students in Singapore to include career services and alumni affairs.’

 

SLA‘s assistant chief executive, Mr Simon Ong, said: ‘In recent years, there has been strong interest and demand by operators from both commercial- and foreign-systems schools, in taking up state properties.’

 

He noted that many of these properties have been adapted successfully for academic pursuits.

 

Source: The New Paper

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