SUTD breaks ground for Changi campus

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has broken ground for its permanent campus at Changi.

Phase 1, which comprises academic and residential blocks, will be ready by early 2015. 

Green features can be found throughout the campus, which was designed to make use of natural sunlight and ventilation. 

Common spaces, linkways and bridges also encourage interaction between students and staff. 

At the ceremony today, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the university reflects the government's vision of higher education. 

"We had in mind not only the number of publicly-funded places. We also wanted diversity. We wanted to create new and different pathways, so that taken together with our established institutions, we have a landscape of options for young Singaporeans with diverse interests and abilities to prepare themselves for the opportunities and responsibilities of the 21st century." 

What makes SUTD unique is the depth of its collaboration with its two partners, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, and Zhejiang University in China. 

Students will also take courses from a range of academic disciplines. 

President Tom Magnanti believes the training will put graduates in good stead, despite a looming global crisis. 

"I think we're going to have a very robust set of graduates who can go in many ways. We're always going to have economic upturns, downturns, but we're going to educate people for the long haul." 

The university begins classes in April with an initial cohort of 500 students. 

By Hoe Yeen Nie