Queen Margaret University starts classes in Singapore

Queen Margaret University starts classes in Singapore


It is the latest addition to the global schoolhouse initiative




THIS morning was a landmark occasion for Scotland’s renowned Queen Margaret University (QMU), as students began classes for the first time at its Asia campus in Singapore – the first full-fledged overseas site by a British institution to open in Singapore.


The 133-year-old QMU’s presence, the latest addition to the Republic’s global schoolhouse initiative, is a significant one, and comes three years after another UK university, Warwick, abandoned plans to operate a campus here, citing concerns over academic freedom and possible research restrictions, among other issues.


Just last year, QMU was accorded full university status, which resulted in it dropping the word ‘College’ from its name and confirming its status as a university-level institution.


Home to QMU’s Asia campus is a serene, 18,000 sq m site nestled in the heartlands at Ah Hood Road, off Balestier Road. QMU’s lease for the land will see it pay $38 million in rent over the next 15 years.


The new four-storey campus, the result of a joint venture between the Edinburgh-based QMU and its Singapore partner – the East Asia Institute of Management – is just the latest success story coming out of a seven-year-long working relationship for both parties.


Richard Kerley, the pro vice-chancellor of QMU (International) said the realisation of the Asia campus was down to ‘the mutual trust, respect and confidence between the two institutions, built up over years’.


On how QMU plans to set itself apart from the other private universities in Singapore, given that competition for the student dollar is already so intense, Prof Kerley told The Business Times: ‘We have, arguably, the most multi-national student population, with about 70 per cent of them coming from China, India, Vietnam and some 15 other countries from the Asia-Pacific region. Students from Singapore, in particular, benefit greatly when they study on our campus, with its rich, multi-cultural environment. ‘


QMU, which was recently named one of the top 10 modern universities in the UK’s Sunday Times Good University Guide, eventually hopes to see up to 6,000 students enrolled in the Singapore campus. They can have their pick of a variety of business management degrees, as well as courses in banking and finance.


The flagship programme is its hospitality and tourism degree – an ideal one given that the demand for such graduates is soaring thanks to a boom in the tourism and services industry in Singapore and the region.


The stand-out offering that Prof Kerley is banking on to seal QMU’s status as a major player is the bilingual degree programme in business and management-related fields.


Other courses in the pipeline include a Bachelor of Nursing, and specialist degrees in health science areas such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy.


Source: Business Times


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