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The world’s fastest-growing region, Asia has remained the main driver of the global economy for nearly half a century. At the heart of the continent’s impressive growth have been value-added manufacturing, high tech innovation and, in the last decade, education.
As the leaders of Asian technological innovation, Japan, South Korea and mainland China continue to impress the world with life-changing gadgets and planet-saving technology developed by locals in laboratories and R&D centers at home. That strength has naturally spread to neighboring Asian economies, like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
With the emerging dominance of Asia, the West found itself looking East, strengthening trade ties and forming partnerships with the education sector. Today, some very prestigious universities in the United States have established a presence in the region, like NYU in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai; and Yale and Johns Hopkins University in Singapore.
Belying its size and defying the consequent geographical limitations, Singapore has evolved into a formidable economic power that many countries across the world aspire to become. Without the abundant natural resources, The Little Red Dot focused on developing its human resources, building over many decades a knowledge-based economy.
“We have been providing development programs that enable our workforce to update their skills or acquire new ones. This prepares them for moving from years of formal education into continuing education while they are in the workforce,” explained National University of Singapore Institute of Systems Science CEO Khoon Chan Meng.
With the emergence of high-tech industries in the 1980s and digitization of industries today, the city-state’s universities have played a crucial role in strengthening its economy. In the latest QS world university rankings, National University Singapore (NUS) topped all its Asian counterparts, while Nanyang Technological University (NTU) came in second place.
The second-oldest public autonomous university in Sin- gapore, NTU also was ranked No. 1 in the QS Top 50 Under 50 index and No.1 in the Times Higher Education Young Universities list.