Singapore will learn from the Oxford and Cambridge system to build residential colleges in the National University of Singapore (NUS), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at its groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
The 423-million U.S. dollars University Town, to be completed in 2010, will include Singapore's first six residential colleges with living quarters and tutorial rooms for gifted students and tutors, along with two graduate residences.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lee said the NUS has several halls of residence now, but they are not organized for residential learning in an integrated and multi-disciplinary setting.
He said the residential college system "is the way to prepare our students to venture out, create new opportunities for themselves, and build a new future for Singapore."
He also announced that the colleges will be used as the Youth Olympics Village if Singapore wins the bid to hold the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. The finalists are Singapore and Moscow. The winning city will be announced on Feb. 21.
Singapore has been making efforts to reform its tertiary education in the recent years, including measures to attract foreign students and a plan to build its fourth university.