The National University of Singapore hopes that in the years to come, all first year undergraduates will get to have the experience of both living and learning on campus.
The university plans to expand residential college living to its other residences, given the success of its NUS University Town (UTown) development, NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan said on Friday Another idea is to create bustling hubs at the main Kent Ridge campus by 2016, where students will be encouraged to interact and learn.
In his "state of the university" address on Friday, Prof Tan said NUS prepares students well academically, but character and personal qualities are also important.
To that end, the institution will pay more attention to developing graduates with qualities such as initiative, integrity and inner resilience.
One way it hopes to do that is by supporting student-led community projects with a new $1 million fund that will be available from next year. Prof Tan elaborated on the plan to extend the UTown experience to other parts of the school.
Set up in the main campus in 2011, UTown is Singapore's first residential college. Students reside and take some lessons in the same building. There are visits by guest speakers and a range of co-curricular activities. Almost 800 first-year students are staying at the four residential colleges there.
Next August, Ridge View Residences - which houses 700 students now and is next to the University Hall - will have programmes similar to those at UTown. In two years' time, it will become known as the Ridge View Residential College and students there will take three multi-disciplinary modules.
One or two blocks at the Prince George's Park Residences will try out similar programmes.