Secrecy and Accountability in the UNSW Asia Aftermath

I mentioned before that it has been difficult to find out the real reasons for the UNSW Asia closure in Singapore in May this year. The University of New South Wales has not exactly followed a transparent strategy in this issue (for my interpretation of the events, look at this post). A similar level of secrecy seems to be applied to the further handling of the case. This week the Singapore Straits Times reported that the University of New South Wales has agreed to repay some 25 million Australian dollars to Singapore. The…Read more …

The Viability of Institutional Globalisation

Last month's Far Eastern Economic Review included an article by Simon Montlake on Singapore's Global School House strategy. The strategy has been formulated to contributes to Singapores development as a regional and global hub for research and development and - in Montlake's words - to shed a reputation as a stodgy, scripted society, where creativity is dulled by overzealous government regulation. The strategy targets a growth in foreign students from 80,000 now to 150,000 by 2015. This growth obviously cannot be solely absorbed by Singapore's two major universities, NUS and NTU and therefore…Read more …

UNSW Asia: the conjuncture of events

(update below) Fred Hilmer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales, looks back on the UNSW Asia debacle. One of the question that I asked in my post immediately after UNSW's announcement was about the real reason for UNSW's sudden departure. Much news has been reported since, but none of the explanations can fully explain it. Hilmer points to the low enrollment numbers as the reason and the fact that the Singapore Economic Development Board wasn't willing to accept their rescue plan.Today it was also reported that high fees led to the…Read more …

Questions on the UNSW ASIA debacle

After three months in operation, the Singapore adventure of the University of New South Wales has come to an end. Another 22 million Singapore dollars down the drain. The decision to establish a branch campus in Singapore was taken in 2005 and already led to some commotion at that time (see this post). In 2005, UNSW from Australia and the University of Warwick from the UK were the only two foreign universities granted special status by the Singaporean Government (through its Economic Development Board, EDB) to set up a fully fledged independent teaching…Read more …