Singapore

NTU freshmen guaranteed 2-year stay on campus

NTU freshmen guaranteed 2-year stay on campus
Channel NewsAsia file photo
Published: 8:30 PM, March 16, 2017
Updated: 10:39 PM, March 16, 2017

SINGAPORE — From this August, freshmen at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be guaranteed a place to stay on campus in their first two years — up from a year at present — as three new residential halls are set to open to support rising demand. 

The new halls at Nanyang Crescent will add 1,820 places, giving NTU 24 halls that can support over half of its undergraduate population. 

The increased capacity would allow NTU to fulfil over 90 per cent of the current demand for residential places, the educational establishment said in a news release on Thursday (March 16).

The new blocks are connected via a linkway with barbecue pits and study pavilions, including an annex block with a landscaped rooftop garden. 

Responding to TODAY’s queries, Professor Kwok Kian Woon, NTU’s associate provost for student life, said that after the initial two years’ stay on campus, students can still apply for hall stay through an existing allocation system based on points which are earned through participation in co-curricular activities. 

Nevertheless, NTU plans to move away from the points system, Prof Kwok said. “In the coming years, students who are active in their halls should continue to stay there so they can help juniors and freshmen adjust to life on campus,” he added. 

Currently, the monthly rental fee for a single room ranges from S$340 to S$425 per student, while those staying in twin-sharing rooms each pay S$245 to S$320. Prof Kwok said that with more than 90 per cent of current demand met, there are no plans for the time being to build more residential halls in NTU. In recent years, demand for residential places has also gone up or are set to go up in other universities. 

For instance, the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has attained full occupancy since September last year, with 1,000 places made available to undergraduates and a small number of non-graduating exchange students, said its associate provost for student affairs, Professor Lim Seh Chun.

He added that it is mandatory for freshmen to stay in the residence for the first three terms as part of SUTD’s pedagogy. The varsity has three student residential blocks, and there are no immediate plans to build more hostels. At SUTD’s East Coast campus, undergraduates each pay about S$390 per month for a bed in a double room, while those staying in a single room are each charged about S$480 monthly.  

Over at the National University of Singapore (NUS), its spokesperson said that a few blocks at the Prince George’s Park Residences would be converted to residential halls in the coming academic year to cater to a one-year residential learning programme for freshmen. This will allow half of NUS freshmen to spend at least one year living and learning on campus, up from the 38 per cent in 2015.

There are about 8,600 undergraduates in NUS staying on campus in each academic year. The university has 13 residences meant for students.

NUS charges the fees on a weekly basis: Those staying in single rooms pay a weekly rate of about S$110 to S$145 per student, while the weekly rate for a double room is S$75 per 
student.