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A wish list

More than 10,000 students take part in NTU’s annual Student Experience Survey where they speak their mind about their varsity life. Derek Rodriguez looks at their ideas on what will give them an even fuller university and campus experience

Greater interaction between students and lecturers.

NTU has redesigned 150 courses into flipped classroom learning where students access course content at their own pace online and spend their class time in deep discussions with their classmates and professors. By 2020, 1,500 of the courses would be ready for this new method of learning.

More real-world experiences, less focus on examination-based scores.

With a firm belief in global exposure, NTU’s goal is to have undergraduates go overseas at least once during their studies. The target of 70% was raised to 80% last year, which means eight in 10 undergraduates will get to have at least an overseas stint, whether on exchange or at summer programmes, competitions, internships and more.

Schools are also catering to the need for real-world exposure locally through fieldwork and project-based learning outside of campus, and some of the new halls have developed experiential learning programmes closely associated with community living.

Also, NTU courses are designed based on learning outcomes. Students draw a curriculum map of what they want to achieve to gear their learning towards the attainment of skills instead of scores. In addition, the exam component for all courses is now capped at 60%, with some courses graded entirely on the Continuous Assessment.

Upgrade the gym facilities.

The new gym at Binjai Hall – roughly the size of three tennis courts and the largest on campus – replaces two gyms at the Sports & Recreation Centre. It will house a range of brand new equipment including the Queenax, a multifunctional training unit. Just a few steps away is a cavernous function hall that can be configured into six badminton courts and eight table tennis tables. At the new sports hall down the road, a specialised weights training and rehabilitation room caters to athletes in university teams.

More directions guiding students around campus. This will be useful, especially for freshmen.

More campus maps showing the locations of all the key buildings and current locations have been installed around the university to help students and visitors navigate the sprawling 200-hectare campus.

Greater international exposure in terms of exchange opportunities and overseas internships.

Exciting new destinations for students from this year include South America, South Africa, Russia, Israel and the Middle East. There’ll also be openings for internships with scholarships at leading technology companies such as Tencent (the company behind WeChat), Baidu (China’s answer to Google) and Microsoft Research Labs.

Additional resources that cater to humanities students.

From August, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences will expand into two schools – the School of Humanities and School of Social Sciences. The growth of each school will not just mean the addition of new programmes but also wider choices of electives for students of other disciplines.

Expand the range of F&B outlets.

A new food court opened at Banyan, Binjai and Tanjong Halls in November. PEN & INC, a trendy fusion restaurant that turns into a bar in the evenings, has also opened for business at the North Spine, right beside KFC. Other F&B outlets are due to open this year, including one for the supper crowd. Alumni and faculty can treat their families to a gastronomic adventure at Mortar Restaurant & Bar at the new Alumni House at Marina Square as well.

Gourmet grub or food court fodder?

Students put to the taste test guess the origins of campus goodies.

Improve the shuttle bus services.

In September, an extra bus was added to the Blue line. Additional starting and terminal points were added for Campus Blue and Campus Red lines in November. A full-time bus conductor now manages the despatch of shuttle buses during office hours as well. These have helped to increase the frequency of buses and prevent bus bunching, especially during peak hours. New buses with wider doors were introduced at the same time. And there will be more ways to have shuttle bus arrival information at your fingertips with a new mobile app that is being developed with the NTU Students’ Union and the Graduate Student Council.

Upgrade the older halls of residence.

All older residential halls are being upgraded, with Hall of Residence 4 the latest to undergo a complete makeover, after major improvements were made to its now-gleaming neighbour, Hall of Residence 5. Security cameras will also be installed at Halls 1 and 2 by March.

Increase the number of rooms on campus.

The new Banyan, Binjai and Tanjong Halls, which students moved into from September, can house another 2,000 residents, bringing the number of students living on campus to 14,000. Three new halls will be ready by August, so even more students can benefit from a vibrant residential life.

Career guidance on campus.

In addition to the course, Absolute Basics for Career, all students also take Career Power Up!, which was introduced last semester. More career coaches and consultants – among them former human resources professionals – have also been recruited to help students plan their future career.

2016 Students’ Satisfaction Index