University of Tartu’s delegation visited the universities of Singapore
In November, a delegation from the University of Tartu, led by the University of Tartu Asia Centre and the Estonian Embassy in Singapore, visited the higher education institutions of Singapore. The purpose of the visit was to establish relations, learn about Singapore's higher education practices and lay the foundation for research cooperation.
Like Estonia, Singapore is a small country that depends heavily on the decisions and choices of the surrounding larger countries. Simultaneously, for many, Singapore is a gate of information and knowledge about what is happening in Southeast and South Asia for the world. Furthermore, it is home to two of the world's top twenty universities: the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang University of Technology.
At the initiative of the Asia Centre and the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Singapore, a delegation from the University of Tartu visited colleagues in Singapore to establish relations, learn from each other and lay the foundations for long-term cooperation. The delegation included Kristi Kerge, Head of International Cooperation, Elo Süld, Head of the Asia Centre and Heidi Maiberg, Head of Communication of the Asia Centre, Jarek Mäestu, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Margus Pedaste, Head of Pedagogicum, and Kristel Reim, Head of Enterprise Cooperation and Partnership.
During the five-day visit, the University of Tartu delegation met with the representatives of Singapore National University, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and their institutes and centres, Enterprise Singapore, the Finnish education advisor, and the representatives of several companies, general education schools and think tanks. At the meetings, the parties discussed the structure of Singapore's higher education, the funding model and the fight for talent. They highlighted that due to the differences in the state governance, history and wealth of the countries, also the tasks the governments assign to the universities vary. For example, the Singapore universities are more closely involved in advising the government and ministries than the Estonian universities, and therefore they depend less on foreign funds than we do.
The meetings showed that Singapore's universities wish to cooperate with their colleagues in Tartu. The discussions quickly led to ideas about joint activities of interest to both sides and possibilities of starting cooperation. In Singapore, Estonia is seen as a mediator who helps understand the development trends in the region and their impact on global trends just like in Estonia, Singapore is seen as the gateway to the region. Therefore, cooperation proposals are welcome from medical, natural and exact scientists, as well as from researchers of society and culture, people and organisations, especially those who focus on security, cultures, psychology, languages, identity, and economy, and their short- and long-term impact in the region.