Newshub - NUS' News Portal

NUS President speaks at WEF Summer Davos

19 September 2012

Prof Tan speaking at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012 in Tianjin, China
Photo: World Economic Forum

Panelists on "The Future of Education"
Photo: World Economic Forum

Prof Yeoh presenting at the IdeasLab

How are new education models preparing us for a fast-paced world? This was among the issues discussed during the World Economic Forum's Summer Davos 2012, also known as the Annual Meeting of the New Champions. The event was held in Tianjin, China from 11 to 13 September.

Interdisciplinary learning will increasingly become the norm for education in the future, noted NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan. "This is because all of us, and particularly graduates, are facing more and more complex issues all the time and almost all of these issues will naturally cross many disciplines," he said. With people no longer having a "career for life but a lifetime of careers", he proposed that a broad-based foundation is needed to upgrade skills for new types of jobs.

Prof Tan shared insights on "The Future of Education" together with distinguished speakers Mr Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, United Kingdom; Dr Mark Kamlet, Provost, Executive Vice-President and Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Carnegie Mellon University, USA; Mr Shantanu Prakash, Chairman and Managing Director of Educomp Solutions, India; and Mr Tang Qian, Assistant Director-General, Education at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris.

The panel discussion delved into the areas of mobilising information technology, increasing interdisciplinary approaches and redefining the value proposition of universities.

One unique platform at the WEF was the IdeasLab which provided an interactive environment featuring visuals and breakout groups to support brainstorming of collaborative ideas on new trends, technologies and discoveries. With the topic on "Scaling Health Innovations with the National University of Singapore", NUS faculty staff presented breakthrough ideas and concepts in their field and debated with participants in an open setting.

Together with Associate Professor Chong Siow Ann from Singapore's Institute of Mental Health, the University experts - comprising Prof Tan, Department of Sociology's Associate Professor Angelique Chan, Provost's Chair Professor Lian Yong, and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine's Dean Associate Professor Yeoh Khay Guan - talked about NUS' latest research on health models for Asian populations, focusing on cancer, schizophrenia and ageing in particular, and on new models of healthcare delivery in general.