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What is the NTU master plan for the next 15 years?

SINGAPORE: The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has unveiled an ambitious masterplan to transform its Yunnan Garden campus into a mini city in the next 15 years.

There is even a possibility of having a light rail system leading into the university.

The NTU’s masterplan includes provisions for a possible light rail system, which it hopes could be up in 10 years.

Electric buses and electric bikes may also ply the campus roads. There will also be pedestrian walkways criss-crossing through a network of ponds and parks.

The heart of the campus will be a snaking structure — called the Campus Centre — which would feature cafes, shops, a pub and even a cinema, all located near academic and residential facilities.

By 2015, 5,000 more hostel units will also be built, creating enough space for all undergraduates to stay on campus if they wish.

Guida Moseley Brown Architects Harold Guida said: “We’re suggesting that carparks can be removed and landscaping can be introduced.

“We’re suggesting that certain kinds of rooms can be removed and changed very easily into residential accommodation, adding a new sense of life, activity, round-the-clock sense of purpose for these buildings, rather than turning them off at five o’clock (in the evening)”.

NTU is home to about 33,000 students and 3,000 faculty and researchers, and the aim is to create more opportunities for them to interact, not just socially but also in the classroom.

Incoming president and provost Bertil Andersson said he hopes there would be more interaction in the university.

There will also be a bigger focus on inter-disciplinary collaboration, and the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which will be up by 2014, is one such example.

Students will split their time between the new school at Novena and Yunnan Garden.

“They have to learn a little bit about management in the business school; they have to learn engineering, because my belief is that in the next 10 years, one of the most key areas for medicine is inter-disciplinarity between medicine and engineering,” professor Andersson said.

And with a new CleanTech business park coming up nearby, NTU said it hopes it will create not just opportunities for industry collaboration, but also the critical mass for a new light rail system into the university.

-CNA/wk

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