Thursday, May 24, 2007

UNSW closes after 3 months

3 months! That's how long the University of New South Wales Asia lasted in Singapore. The New South Wales campus was opened to much fanfare in March, and now it's closed.

The campus was touted as Singapore's first comprehensive private university, and the UNSW name was so respected that the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB) was the one who persuaded the UNSW to come. However due to high fees, only 148 out of the 300 expected students enrolled in the university. The school charges $26,000 to $29,000 a year in tuition fees, 4 times more compared to what local universities are currently charging.

UNSW also exceeded its budget and spent $3 million on marketing, so it decided bite the bullet and cut its a tune of S$22 million (A$17.5 million). Wow. 3 million in marketing? What the hell were they thinking? You don't spend 3 million on marketing for a school, especially one that's just started up in Singapore.

But that's something for UNSW to decide as it is their money. What I really want to know is how much did EDB lose on this venture. EDB invited UNSW to come to Singapore, so it must have a hefty percentage on the $22 million loss. So how much is it? Also why did EDB got involed in this? Why did EBD invited UNSW to Singapore? Isn't there more than enough schools in Singapore? Out the local universities, there's a whole load of private schools like Infomatics & Thames. I know Singapore is trying to be some sort of eduaction hub, but why get involed in such a crowded market?

Some people might say that hindsight is a beautiful thing and that's what I'm doing now. Okay, you have a point. But EDB uses public money. don't you think they should be upfront and tell people how much Singapore loss in this venture? It is public money right? Tell us how much we lost in this

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