NUS Opening 140 Modules To Alumni Sounds Good, But Not If You Read Closely

Yesterday, the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced that it will be opening 140 courses to its alumni over the next three years. This comes as part of its efforts to promote lifelong learning.

When something sounds too good to be true, it often is. Before you get excited and start making plans with all your ex-uni mates from NUS, here are some things you should know about the courses being made available to you.

1. It will only be free for one year

Don’t be misled by the headlines. While alumni can attend for free for the first year (August 2017 – July 2018) of this three-year offering, the subsequent two years will not come at completely zero cost.

While the $3,000 to $3,500 per module course fee will be waived, a student service fee of $261.85 will be charged per semester.

2. NUS Alumni can only take a maximum of 2 modules over the 3-year period

Before you get excited thinking about going back to school, you should know that you can only take a maximum of 2 modules. Not per semester, not per year, but for the entire 3-year period. You are also limited to taking only one module per semester.

3. Modules you are eligible for heavily depends on your degree/major

Most of the modules offered are at the post-graduate level, with entry pre-requisites including Bachelor of Engineering/Science/etc., or the stricter Bachelor with a specified major. More lenient pre-requisites include Bachelor degree relating to a particular are of study (e.g computing), with only a handful of courses available with zero pre-requisites.

[caption id="attachment_26095" align="alignnone" width="1077"] Part of the list of modules offered for Semester 1, AY2017/2018[/caption]

Being a Psychology major who studied in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who also took a couple of business modules, I can see from a quick glance that I am only eligible for a total of 15 unique modules out of 140, spread over the 2 semesters—most of which are offered by the School of Business.

These modules include Project Management, Decision Analytics Using Spreadsheets, Legal Environment of Business. From the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, which offers courses with no pre-requisites, I am also eligible to take Social Entrepreneurship and Value-Focused Negotiation.

4. Representation of Arts and Social Sciences courses limited

For those who studied at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences like I did, you’ll be disappointed to know that only 2 modules are offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences during AY2017/2018: Prescribed Texts In Literature and Seminar in Chinese Pragmatics. To attend, you must have an NUS Honours degree (2nd Class and above) or equivalent, or a good Bachelors degree.

Before you get excited thinking about returning to your alma mater and giving your uni experience a do-over, taking modules you missed out on or learning things you didn’t get the chance to back when you were in school, these are some things you may have missed that are worth taking note of.

As far as these courses are concerned, it’s not about learning for the sake of learning or to expose yourself to different things—it’s much more about deepening your knowledge in your existing field.

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