SMU opens new on-cam­pus res­i­dence af­ter $10m facelift

The New Paper - - NEWS - AMELIA TENG, ED­U­CA­TION COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Sin­ga­pore Man­age­ment Uni­ver­sity (SMU) un­der­grad­u­ates have a new space to call home on cam­pus – the Prin­sep Street Res­i­dences (PSR).

The 5,000 sq m liv­ing fa­cil­ity in the heart of the city has housed 255 stu­dents since Au­gust, af­ter un­der­go­ing a $10 mil­lion facelift.

The three blocks of apart­ments along Prin­sep Street have been con­verted into an area not just for liv­ing but also learn­ing, with a multi-pur­pose lounge and rooms for projects, meet­ings and sem­i­nars.

There are 23 apart­ments, most of which house 10 to 12 stu­dents each, and come with a com­mon liv­ing room.

About 400 stu­dents had ap­plied to stay at the res­i­dences, which were of­fi­cially opened yes­ter­day by Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Cen­tral Sin­ga­pore District.

Stu­dents who live at PSR are en­cour­aged to take up projects that will ben­e­fit so­ci­ety. About 70 stu­dents have joined com­mu­nity ser­vice projects.

Sec­ond-year stu­dent Es­ther Chong, 20, is part of a team work­ing to help women with low in­comes use skills like sewing to earn more via home­based busi­nesses.

Stu­dents also at­tend work­shops and shar­ing ses­sions.

Pro­fes­sor Paulin Straughan, dean of stu­dents at SMU, said stu­dents must learn team­work, adding: “Real world prob­lems, very sel­dom, can be solved by an in­di­vid­ual.”

Stu­dents pay rent of around $690 to $880 a month, in­clud­ing util­ity charges.

Around half the res­i­dents are Sin­ga­pore­ans with the rest com­ing from over­seas.

The liv­ing fees for 10 of the stu­dents have been spon­sored by Frank by OCBC Bank – a fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy pro­gramme. This is part of the SMU’s part­ner­ship with the bank, which will also fund stu­dents’ projects on sus­tain­abil­ity.

First-year stu­dent Chang Wen Yee, 19, said: “I get to in­ter­act with stu­dents from five to six na­tion­al­i­ties in my apart­ment. I never knew as a lo­cal stu­dent that I could get an in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.”

ateng@sph.com.sg

TNP PHOTO: SYAZA NISRINA

The three blocks of apart­ments along Prin­sep Street have been con­verted into an area not just for liv­ing but also learn­ing.

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