University president visit to Georgetown fosters ties between Singapore and Doha

June 18, 2014 4:16 pm

The dean of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) Dr. Gerd Nonneman recently met with the President of the National University of Singapore (NUS), Dr. Tan Chorh Chuan, at Georgetown’s Education City campus to discuss areas of potential cooperation and partnership in research projects, faculty collaboration and exchange, and study-abroad programs between the academic hubs of Doha and Singapore.

“As a leading global university with a campus in the Middle East, Georgetown is well placed to build educational linkages between Qatar and Singapore, two states with great vision and geo-strategic importance,” said Dean Nonneman. “NUS is one of Asia’s top two universities, as well as ranking in the global top-25, so we hope immediately to start the process of connecting faculty from both institutions for possible partnerships on joint research proposals and projects. We also hope to foster student exchange through service learning trips or summer school courses. This sits well alongside the already good relationship we enjoy with Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has sponsored some very impressive Singaporean students at GU-Q.”

Dr. John Crist, the Director of Research at GU-Q, stressed the significance of the central role of universities in both countries, saying “Not only are we one of the top-ranked liberal arts institutions in the world, Georgetown is among the world’s foremost research-intensive universities. Both Qatar and Singapore are small states that pursue a common strategy for national development built on educational and research hubs that are paving the way to a knowledge economy. Combined with our shared interest in economic, political, and social research topics, these parallels naturally lend themselves to stimulating and mutually beneficial collaborations.”

Discussion began a year ago when a team from GU-Q paid an official visit to NUS, which is Singapore’s largest university, with the aim of establishing initial introductions with their Singapore counterparts and begin discussions on possible areas of mutual cooperation. The trip also included discussions of possible student exchange with Yale-NUS College, Singapore’s first liberal arts college established in 2011 as a collaboration between Yale University and NUS, and a visit to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss student enrollment at Georgetown through the Singapore government’s annual study abroad scholarship for top students.

The recent meeting with President Tan Chorh Chuan, who was in Doha to receive this year’s Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Award for lifetime achievement in the advancement of educating future energy leaders, was initiated by the Embassy of The Republic of Singapore in Doha. He has been serving as president of NUS since December 2008.