From 1 July, he will lead NUS College. Singapore’s first honours college, NUS College is where students from as many as 50 different majors – from Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Business, Computer Science to Law – can come together to read a common curriculum that complements their chosen majors.
Prof Simon Chesterman has had varied life experiences, all bound together by his love for education.
This is an evolution from the liberal arts college model of Yale-NUS College, and the interdisciplinary approach of the University Scholars Programme.
Small, seminar-style experiential learning, global exposure, and an immersive residential life will be key features.
“Students will have the expertise and discipline, and a relevant degree, but complemented with broad-based education and a rich residential experience that will be transformative,” Prof Chesterman said.
Engaging them, and having them interact with each other in person, will be key. While online classes were a band aid for safe distancing measures, nothing beats an actual class setting or mingling among peers, he added.
“A lot of learning happens on the margins of the classroom. In the college environment, you can extend that through the day and into the night,” he said. “It enables them to push boundaries and do crazy things they wouldn’t have done if they were living at home.”
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