NUS SCALE hosts its largest cohort of UAE students for innovation programme

The engagement underscores the UAE’s commitment to learning from Singapore about innovation in the city-state

8 August 2018 – NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE) has hosted the largest United Arab Emirates (UAE) student delegation to Singapore for an immersive learning experience on innovation, enterprise and culture.

Of some 300 top UAE students sent abroad to universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland, a third were sent to Singapore’s National University of Singapore (NUS) for the month-long programme.

Supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Education, this programme is in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which seeks to transform the Gulf nation into one of the world’s best.

With education and human capital a key focus for the UAE government, the programme will see the students learn from Asia’s top university during their stay.

This initiative follows the visit to Singapore by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE, from 10 to 11 May 2018.

Sheikh Abdullah, who also serves as Chair of the UAE Education and Human Resources Council, met with Minister Ong Ye Kung to discuss the educational systems of UAE and Singapore, and ways to strengthen cooperation to build skilled and adaptable workforces.

During the programme, students were taught by both NUS faculty and industry professionals on subjects as diverse as innovation, entrepreneurship, robotics, digital manufacturing, fintech, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and environmental sustainability, among others.

Site visits to NUS Enterprise, various start-ups, Singapore Maritime Gallery, and the Marina Barrage also melded theory with practice – taking the learning out of the classroom for the students.

One of the participants, Ahmad Bin Ghalaita, 17, from Dubai’s Al Resalah International School of Science, said that NUS has provided the most conducive environment for learning as well as engaging students in the most creative ways.

“The programme has been very beneficial and we have learnt a lot about innovation from our lectures in NUS and our stay in Singapore. For example, during our visit to the Marina Barrage we learnt how a single solution was developed to solve multiple problems – the Marina Barrage provides flood control, and serves as both a reservoir and a recreational area,” he said.

The students, who lived on campus, also visited places of interest in Singapore as part of the programme. It culminated in a dinner hosted for the students by the UAE Ambassador to Singapore, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Omar Abdulla Balfaqeeh, on 19 July 2018 at NUS Bukit Timah Campus.

Dr Mohamed Omar Abdulla Balfaqeeh said: “We are pleased to collaborate with the National University of Singapore for this student programme. Such visits help to foster the sharing of knowledge, best practices, and cultural understanding between the UAE and Singapore. We look forward to working and learning from Singapore in more of such visits in the future.”

The UAE Embassy is keen for this programme – which includes both undergraduates and high school students – to continue as it reflects the close relationship between Singapore and the UAE.

Professor Wei Kwok Kee, Dean of NUS SCALE, said: “NUS is delighted to host our largest group of UAE students to date for this programme. At NUS SCALE, we promote lifelong learning, and this includes starting young, and even crossing borders.”

To find out more about NUS SCALE’s customised international programmes, please contact

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  • NUS SCALE hosts its largest cohort of UAE students for innovation programme
27 May 2020