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Coming from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, what I greatly enjoyed was the sheer breadth of courses available within the faculty and encouragement to take courses outside our faculty as well. Courses were always engaging, and professors and lecturers often gave students the freedom to pick topics for their final term papers or presentation and exercise creativity – for example, my interest in Art History meant that I could often delve deeper into this interest in my main academic leanings of Political Science and History. Professors and lecturers made themselves readily available to the students, and were approachable. During my time in NUS, there was a noticeable effort to invest in the students’ global experiences (Exchange Programmes, Summer School, NUS Overseas College) – I truly believe that NUS was sincere in allowing as many students to have overseas experiences in spite of financial capabilities, and if one made the effort, the Centre for Future Ready Graduates was useful and invested in the potential careers of students too. When a friend from another local university did a local exchange to NUS, he remarked that NUS students truly loved to learn. I was content being surrounded by people who pursued their Arts/Social Sciences disciplines with a love for the content. It is also dynamic to be in a university that simply has so many different disciplines and faculties – one is just surrounded by people of varying interests and experiences, and forces them to look beyond their majors.
Of course, NUS is commonly known for being too theoretical and content-focused. This is up to the students’ prerogatives on how they want to exact their education and mould it for their lives, but generally NUS feels comfortable and safe within the academic realm – there is no push towards internships or whatnot that other universities might focus on. This could be a con.
Another thing I did not like about NUS in recent times was the blatant grade inflation – that juniors from the 2014/5 batch could have liberties to S/U a lot more modules than their seniors could in some bid to take the focus away from grades, and towards learning and experimenting.
Nevertheless, I greatly cherished my time in NUS and would highly recommend it.