death by paper cut

{May 24, 2007}   home or away?

2 months after classes began, the UNSW Singapore Campus, which has already spent A$17.5 million in start-up costs, announced its closure. the closure is cite to be caused by the unviability of running an overseas comprehensive campus.

“This venture was, perhaps in hindsight, a little bit too ambitious … we didn’t have the balance-sheet strength to undertake the venture,” he said. “Geography is really important. When a student says, ‘I want an Australian degree’, what he really means is, ‘I want the experience of living in Sydney’ … The lesson we learnt is a student comes as much to a geographic destination as they do to a brand of a university,” Prof Hilmer said.

i’m personally quite surprised that location was not factored into their planning stage. however, i also suspect that the tuition fees at the Singapore campus was too high to outweigh the convenience of attaining a degree from a foreign university on home ground considering that “every 20 students fewer means A$1 million ($1.2 million) less in tuition fees. So, the first-year enrolment numbers would equate to a shortfall of A$15 million.”

if the University of Melbourne had a campus in Singapore, neither would i pay the (exorbitant) fees at the international student rate even if its supposedly more convenient. not all parents can afford to fund their children through overseas education/expenditure especially against an unfavourable exchange rate. however, there is the option of earning your own keep for a few years and then attending uni at a slightly older age than the average uni student, like i did.

you can’t put a price tag (actually you can – i have the breakdown) on the opportunity to live under the so very livable melbournian conditions.

update: mr brown’s take on the non-delivery of this venture.


so true 🙂

the experience is priceless. or rather, pricey but worth it. hahaha

paperpen says:

whoa closing down? what about the buildings & all? i’m genuinely shocked. although… not really at the same time. don’t mean to sound snooty but there’s nothing like earning the degree where it really comes from. heh.

steelwool says:

According to the article, “there will be a number of loose ends for EDB and UNSW to tie up, such as what to do with the land for the Changi campus…”

So, I’m not sure what the buildings (presently at Kay Siang Road aka old MOE) will be used for next, if used at all.

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