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The Remaking NTU Project is a proposal by the graduating students of Nanyang Technological University (1999-2003) to NTU President Su Guaning on the occasion of their convocation. It is a proposal on how NTU can improve itself in order to become a world-class university. It touches on various issues of concern to the student population, and provides possible solutions to the problems raised where possible.

This is done with the hope that positive and concrete change will happen as a result of this proposal, and that future generations of NTU students will be able to benefit from our collective experience. As alumni of NTU we share a unique concern about the future direction of the university.

NTU's 2001/2001 Annual Report also says that "NTU alumni form a rich resource that the University could tap upon to serve in the various Schools' Advisory Committees, provide feedback on the various academic programmes or be mentors, counselors and role models to students. It is important that the alumni be acknowledged as full partners in the educational enterprise of NTU."

We have therefore have taken the initiative to have our views represented. With that in mind, the Remaking NTU Project does not purport to be fully representative of the collective will of the entire student population. We may also not be completely aware of the implications and complications of such a proposal. However, as the alumni we feel an urgent need to make NTU a better place for future generations of students.

Appendix A. Digital signatures / Enquiries / Feedback

The Remaking NTU Project is a proposal drafted by eight graduating students from Nanyang Technological University. Those who wish to add their digital signatures, contribute feedback about the proposal or post enquiries about The Remaking NTU Project should address them to theflyinguniversity@yahoo.com.sg.

Appendix B. Signatories

Nanyang Business School

Willy Ong Khuan Wee
Mindy Chia Hui Ping
Pauline Sim Poh Len

School of Communication and Information

Jared Tham Shih Min
Jason Phan Shiau Hwa
Sia Jiahui
Marc Ling Chung Kai
Jolene Hwee Ildrem
Cheng Yanni
Julian Lim
June Goh Hui Tse
Huang Shu-yin
Low Hwei Hsia
Spencer Ng Tse Chieng
Christine Teo
Kuek Yee Lin, Evelyn
Lee Hui Peng, Magdalene
Edwin Koo Kah Heng
Ng Wei Keng
Tay Swee Kiat
Liu Xingti
Chang Suet Yeng, Maple
Ally See Tung Yuen
Tay Hui Sze
Chye Hui Sze
Yee Wei Zhen
Sun Sheau Hui
Huang Jiawen, Rosalind
Lim Jinhxuan
Grace Liew Woon Ling
Heng Chan Yeng
Low Siok Hwee
Foo Huey Yih
Laiw Peiru
Jasmine Teo Hui Shyen
Aw Geok Kheng
Daen Ng Ho Kwang
Soh Ai-Ling, Angeline
Cheng Ngo Peng
Fiona Goh Yu-Ming
Woo Wai Keong
Tan Chiew Ling
Tan Yang Laing, Roy
Gary Seng Boon Tat
Tan Tsze Wee, Ethan
Toh Boon Ngee
Jasmine Leong Ming Ming
Lim Tze Kuan Eric
Neo Wee Ling, Alicia
Ee Su Hui, Nina
Chia Yee Woon, Yvonne
Elwin Chan Hui Ping
Tay Hui Yoon, Angela
Jennifer Quong Kit Man
Teng Poh Hoon
See Lay Yen
Tan Ling Jun, Billy
Natalie Kuan Shu-Xin
Gwee Xin Ying
Chan Huay Yee, Julane
Selina Lim
Toh Hui Tin
Phee Beng Ying
Denise Yong Yeen Heng
Rosalyn Lim Ching Mun
Gavin Chelvan
Grace Xiao Yi-Xin
Shirley Charles

Issues of Concern

1. Uncertainty over Academic Grades

1.1 NTU students do not know what our exact grades are. It is not enough to know that we received a B or C for our projects and assignments, as within a grade there is still a wide variation of marks. If knowing our exact grades is not possible, then we should at least have a more graduated system, ie. B+, B, B-, as NUS has, in order for us to better understand where our strengths and weaknesses are. Such a system would also have the effect of making us strive harder in our studies, to not be content with a simple B, but to go for a B+ or even an A- instead.

1.2 For Final Year Projects, it would be useful if we were informed of our supervisor's and moderators' marks, and whether any moderation was subsequently done by the school to determine whether a FYP gets a certain grade. Considering the immense work of work that goes into the completion of each FYP, such moderations are of great interest to us, lest our final grade become a complete mystery to us.

1.3 The distribution of marks over the years should be revealed as we have heard persistent rumours about just how they are distributed. The most common being that first year grades constitute only 10% of the final marks, second year for 20%, third year for 30%, and fourth year for 40%, or that it is equal distribution throughout all the years. It would be good to end this speculation, and to find out why there is such a distribution in the first place.

1.4 A Grade Point Average system as is practiced in the US could be implemented to help us be better aware of our honours classification, and to gauge where we stand in relation to the rest of the cohort. A 4.0 GPA would mean getting straight As, while a 3.0 GPA would mean getting straight Bs.

2. Insufficient General Electives

2.1 Currently, some degree courses such as Accounting allow for only 4.0 AUs worth of GEs throughout their course of study. This is insufficient and does not allow for the opportunity to explore other areas of academic interest which would enable us to experience a more all-rounded education. 4.0Aus is mere tokenism. We therefore recommend that the number of academic units for core and prescribed subjects be reduced in order for more opportunities to offer for GEs, so that a more balanced education can be received.

3. Student exchange for all

3.1 The requirement that a student has to be in the top 50% of the cohort or have a B average in order to qualify for overseas exchange should be dropped. For the benefit of the student, all who are keen should be allowed to go for exchange. The availability of vacancies and ability of students to source for vacancies and subject considerations should be the sole determinants. In order to facilitate more student exchanges, we hope that NTU will be more aggressive in its search for other universities who want exchanges with NTU.

4. Less Weightage on Examinations

4.1 There should be less weightage placed on examinations. In the pressure cooker environment of the examination hall, mistakes are inevitable. And considering that examinations can constitute up to 70% of our final grade, minor mistakes have a significant impact. Weightage of examination marks should not be more than 50% for courses which are practical rather than theory based.

4.2 It may not be a practice yet at the tertiary level, but students should be allowed to go through their examination scripts with their lecturers if they opt to. Alternatively, a written review of the script would highlight and correct any mistakes or misconceptions a student might have and reduce the occurrence of such in the future. It would also be useful if comments and corrections about the work are made available as they would be useful in helping us to identify mistakes, and possibly improve on them.

5. Professional Internships / Industrial Attachments

5.1 Having to pay school fees makes no sense, especially since we do not make use of the schools' facilities such as laboratories and studios during this time. The argument that our schools and the Office of Professional Attachments makes the arrangements for our internships and therefore deserve to be paid does not hold water. We therefore request that payment of school fees be reduced to a reasonable amount during the period of our internships / attachments.

5.2 If students are offered administrative jobs that are unrelated to their field of study, OPA should reject such positions and source for other companies. We understand that this is not always possible in light of the current economic situation, but every effort should be made to ensure that students have a meaningful internship / attachment.

5.3 It is our experience that fortnightly reports that are submitted to our internship supervisors are considered as mere formalities. In some cases, these are not read at all, and some tutors have dispensed altogether with the practice after 2 reports. Students too treat these reports as formalities, and end up repeating previous reports as the nature of their jobs is repetitive. We therefore recommend that students be required to submit just a mid term and end term report.

6. Convocation

6.1 Most graduating students do not feel a strong connection to NTU, even those who were
active in school and Hall activities. We therefore applaud the moves that President Su Guaning is making, by instilling the Nantah spirit in the freshmen. However, we hope that as the latest batch of students to join the NTU Alumni, that we are not forgotten. The simple act of acting on the alumni's feedback and informing them of the progress of implementation will go a long way in making them feel appreciated, and may lead to more students being pro-active and contribute to NTU in whatever way they can.

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