NUS or NTU business school: which is better?

nusI asked an on-line friend, Darryl Chen, his opinion on which business school is better: ntuthe National University of Singapore or the Nanyang Technological University? This is his comprehensive and well written reply. If you have any opinions to add, feel free to add your 2 cents worth…

“Hi Pastor Kenny,

Anyhow, yes I did go to NUS Business School. Here’s my personal & unbiased(as much as possible) opinion about both schools….My feel about NTU is that it offers a more technical(because they start specialising in the 2nd year) grounded type of approach toward business education, whilst NUS tends to offer a more generic strategic(because they only start specialising in the 3rd year) type of approach. The good thing about NTU is that it offers direct honours to those who qualify, i.e. they don’t have to spend an extra year just to get their honours, whilst NUS has its students(those that qualify) spend one year on academic research to come out with a thesis to be awarded honours. Qualification is based on attainment of a certain GPA(grade point average, maximum 4) or CAP(cumulative average points, maximum 5). NTU uses the former whilst NUS uses the latter. However, I’m not sure if there has been changes in the systems in either schools since I have left NUS for about 4 years coming already. (Whoa! I didn’t know it was THAT long ago!)

I do not think that employers in Singapore today favour NUS over NTU, or vice versa. I verified this with a couple of my HR colleagues as well. From personal experience, when I was hiring 2 graduate interns in my job 2 years ago, I did meet with some NUS and NTU business graduates. My opinion from the employer side of the table, based on those interviews, was that the NUS students were more able to handle themselves in a professional manner and their responses to my questions tended to be slanted more “big-picture”. The NTU students, on the other hand, tended to be more reserved and did not leave as strong an impression as the NUS students. I’d like to think that this is an unbiased opinion, because my manager agreed with my assessment as well, and she’s from NTU. (Hahaha….)

But having said that, I don’t think either school is stronger than the other….they just offer different approaches to business studies. Your son should go with his heart and he’ll be fine. But just out of curiosity, did your son also consider SMU? I understand they offer a very good business program as well and based on the few SMU graduates I know, I’ve been quite impressed and I also heard good feedback about the program being offered there, although they do tend to be slightly pricier than NUS/NTU.

As for becoming CFA, I don’t think going to either school would aid or hinder him from getting that qualification. It shouldn’t, since CFA is a professional qualification and it is strictly based on a seperate set of coursework to be done, and I believe either NUS or NTU would give him the appropriate grounding. I always think that its most important to enjoy yourself while studying because that’s when you won’t drag your feet to school and you’d avail yourself to be receive whatever your professor has to impart. So, go with the heart….that’s what I say….

Thanks for writing. Hear from you again and see you around soon…


p.s. your son should do well in Uni….i have very high esteem for people who go from the poly into university because they’re very hardworking people yet humble and capable. I always enjoy working with them in my uni days.”

(Re-posted from old blogpastor file dated 9th May 2007 for the benefit of those applying for university entry next month)

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  • An alternative view point for pondering – like everything that was invented by man, there is inflation. The value of a university degree has to be considered in this context. Ponder these:

    What you get for how long? This will give you an value of index on which university/school.

    Will this guarantee a lifelong career or employability?

    Will the resources you commit to this magic degree be more productive somewhere else – like starting your own business?

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