Two of the biggest annual events in the calendar at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will be presented virtually this year, in response to the evolving Covid-19 situation and advice to avoid crowds and holding large-scale events.
These decisions, announced by NTU’s Deputy President and Provost today, follow recent announcements to call off the official opening of the rejuvenated Yunnan Garden, and the requirement for all students to use their smartphones and location-specific QR codes to record their presence at different campus locations.
The one-day NTU Open House event, normally held at the end of February, attracts about 20,000 visitors each year. It features talks by NTU professors and administrators, campus tours, and a wide range of booths, offering prospective students and their families the chance to experience a taste of campus life and discover close to 130 undergraduate programmes at NTU.
The NTU Career Fair, originally scheduled to be held this month, draws in about 15,000 NTU students each year looking to meet prospective employers and land their first job after graduation.
NTU Deputy President and Provost Professor Ling San said: “While we are vigilant in protecting the health and well-being of our university community and our guests, we must also continue to provide prospective students with guidance and advice as they make choices for their university studies, and attract future students and assist the next generation of graduates find employment opportunities. Our goal is to have minimal disruption to these two very important events on the university calendar.”
NTU Open House
NTU Open House, originally planned for 29 February this year, will now take place virtually on the same date.
Campus tours will be replaced by virtual tours. For example, prospective students can virtually visit NTU’s most famous building, The Hive, through an immersive 360-degree video that allows them to explore the inside of the iconic building as if they were physically there.
Halls of residence are a big draw for prospective students as NTU guarantees every freshman a residential place in the first two years of their studies. There are various immersive videos of the rooms at the halls of residence as well as for campus facilities, and features such as the rejuvenated Yunnan Garden that opened this month.
“Through these virtual tours, prospective students can see for themselves why the NTU campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the world,” added Prof Ling.
Students can attend online talks and presentations in virtual classrooms to find out more about NTU’s application and selection processes, the wide variety of degree programmes offered, and the internship and overseas opportunities available.
A live chat feature will help to address their specific queries, and a hotline will be set up for those who prefer to chat over the phone. Some schools are planning to have virtual presentations. There is also an animation video with frequently asked questions about applying to NTU and various student stories on going overseas on exchange, internships, and field trips.
NTU Career Fair
The NTU Career Fair, originally planned for 7, 11 and 14 February 2020, will be replaced with iFair, a fully interactive virtual career fair that will allow students to visit virtual ‘booths’ set up by participating employers. Students will be able to interact with recruiters through video and audio calls, or text, at the virtual Networking Lounge.
They will also be able to view the companies’ profiles and videos, download brochures, review job opportunities, drop off their resumes and receive interview requests from companies through the virtual career fair remotely from home 24/7. The NTU iFair will take place virtually from 2 to 8 March 2020.
Final-year communication student Seow Yun Rong said: “I have been looking forward to NTU’s career fair for a while, and have been worried about it being postponed due to the Covid-19 situation. It’s a relief to know that a virtual career fair is coming up. It is definitely an interesting alternative to be able to meet new employers while avoiding huge crowds.”
Earlier this week, in line with the recommendation to avoid mass events, NTU cancelled the official ceremony to celebrate the completion of the rejuvenation works of Yunnan Garden scheduled for 13 Feb, but visitors are being welcomed to enjoy the space in real life and virtually.
“The garden is now open for all to explore. We have also launched an augmented reality trail at the Garden that takes visitors through the Garden’s historical and green features and offers interactive activities through the free mobile app, NTU HEY! AR,” said Prof Ling.
Prospective students can explore the Garden in person or through NTU’s augmented reality magazine HEY! to appreciate the sprawling grounds, gurgling water features including a 5.6-metre-tall waterfall and water playground, and outdoor exercise stations, which all contribute to NTU’s vibrant campus life for students.
QR codes for check-ins
NTU has also made use of technology in its implementation of several precautionary measures aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19. To facilitate contact tracing should the need arise, a university-wide electronic check-in measure has been implemented through location-specific QR codes for classes, events and meetings.
NTU Senior Vice President (Administration) Ms Tan Aik Na said: “Digital tools such as QR codes are an ideal application of technology to help us keep a live registry of attendees. Scanning the QR code with a smartphone takes users to an online form where they are simply asked to fill in their name and mobile number.
“Our IT teams have been working through the nights to leverage technology to facilitate contract tracing should the need arise. Given the size of our campus, the large number of people and the porousness of the campus, we needed something that is easy for people to track where they have been.
Unique QR codes that have been placed at the entrance of shared facilities such as lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and laboratories on NTU’s main campus in Jurong and also at the Novena campus, allow users to log the locations on campus and the time they have visited.
“With more than 4,000 facilities in NTU, implementing this campus-wide electronic check-in system is a mammoth task. Thanks to the help of dedicated staff and student volunteers who have played an invaluable role in this.”
About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU ([email protected]).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past six years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.