Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, has arrived in Singapore to accompany David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, during his visit to promote UK higher education taking in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.
The Ministerial visit includes meetings with a wide range of government offices and institutions in Singapore, many of which Dame Nancy visited during her personal visit to Singapore in January 2013. Meetings will be held with the National Research Foundation, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as key partner institutions such as the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
A highlight of the programme will be the signing of an agreement later today between The University of Manchester and A*STAR (Graduate Academy) for joint engagement in A*STAR’s Research Attachment Programme (ARAP). The University-wide agreement will extend the current engagement which began with the Faculty of Life Sciences. Students are registered in the Faculty and spend two years in Manchester, funded by the Faculty, and two years in a Singapore Research Institute, funded by A*STAR. Projects are identified by encouraging Manchester and Singapore supervisors to collaborate and develop projects that create added value through two-centre research activities which advance joint research interests.
Professor Martin Humphries, Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Life Sciences said: "The University of Manchester is fortunate to have multiple levels of partnership in Singapore and I’m delighted that we able to extend this through joint engagement with A*STAR’s ARAP programme which will support improved collaboration between researchers in Manchester and Singapore."
Notes for editors
The first cohort of students (7) were recruited to the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester and began their PhD programme in September 2012. These students are now in their second year of their PhD programme with the majority of students now in Singapore.
An additional 8 students were recruited in September 2013; and a further 7 are expected to be recruited for September 2014. The general timeline is Year 1 in Manchester, Years 2 & 3 in Singapore and return to Manchester for the final year. Some flexibility is permitted if required depending on the nature of the project and research training.
The process for appointing students involved nominating individual students for the ARAP Scheme (Research Attachment Programme) for approval by A*STAR following interviews in Manchester. An individual agreement between the student/supervisors in Manchester and Singapore was then drawn up to ensure all parties were aware of the nature of the programme and the time to be spent in Manchester and Singapore.
The University-wide Implementation Agreement will enable us to expand the programme out to other Schools and Faculties within the University and will formalise our existing arrangement. As the programme in the Faculty of Life Sciences is now well established, we will be able to share our knowledge on how to develop new collaborations, recruit good quality students and ensure students engage with the programme. All future cohorts of students will then be recruited under the Implementation Agreement and will be monitored by the Academic Board; students will still be registered in Manchester and follow all usual milestones required to undertake their PhD programme.
The Implementation Agreement outlines that we anticipate recruiting 10 PhD students per year, but hopefully this will increase as more collaborations continue to develop between Manchester and Singapore.
There are 399 Singaporean students already studying at The University of Manchester across a range of disciplines.