Message from NTU President: 30 years of Momentum

Dear Students, Colleagues and Alumni,

This year marks our 30th anniversary as Nanyang Technological University and we have much to celebrate – three decades of sparking ideas, exceeding expectations and creating impactful innovation. We launched our celebrations last Friday at the first Convocation ceremony for the Class of 2021 presided by our Chancellor, the President of the Republic of Singapore.

To commemorate our past achievements and to provide a mechanism to preserve our collective memory, we also launched a digital time capsule which will be opened 20 years from now on the occasion of NTU’s Golden Jubilee.

On behalf of the NTU 30th anniversary organising committee, I invite you to participate in designing the contents of the digital time capsule by contributing ideas and items that represent our lives and times. Thirty items will be chosen to be sealed in the time capsule to be opened in 2041.

Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing has prepared an open letter to the Class of 2041 and a video of his reading of the letter was presented at the first Convocation ceremony. This digital video will be one of the first items to be included in the time capsule.

As part of the celebrations, we will also launch a 30th anniversary exhibition and a book on 30 Perspectives of NTU in the coming months. At the start of December, we will hold our Alumni Homecoming Day. In January 2022, we will launch our first-ever NTU Service Week where we will partner with local organisations to address some of the challenges faced by our local communities. This will be followed by a Virtual Run in February to raise bursary funds for our neediest students. In the first half of 2022, we will open the new Academic Block South, which will be Asia’s largest wooden building. This Green Mark Platinum-certified building and the ambitious goals of our NTU 2025 Strategic Plan are carefully designed to further advance NTU’s efforts to emerge as a leader in sustainability.

Birthdays and anniversaries have special significance to members of the immediate family, but they also provide a platform to draw broader attention to what we have done and where we are heading.

NTU’s rich heritage and history can be traced back to Nanyang University, which was established in 1955, and Nanyang Technological Institute, set up in 1981. Inaugurated in its current form in 1991, NTU has already achieved global recognition for advancing knowledge, educating generations of students making impactful contributions to society, and catalysing innovation.

Thirty years is a very short time in academia. Many of the world’s best universities have hundreds of years of history and heritage. The average age of the top 20 universities in the QS World University Rankings is 265 years. At 30 years young, NTU is already ranked 12th in the world by QS and has topped its rankings of the world’s finest young universities for seven consecutive years.

What I hope we will talk about during this academic year is not only 30 years of achievement, but also how we can build on the accomplishments and significant momentum of these 30 years to accelerate our progress.

The momentum that has propelled NTU forward has been powered by every one of you in the OneNTU community. I pay tribute to all who have been a part of this journey. The entire NTU community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and family, and supporters – past and present – deserve the credit and our gratitude for shaping this young university into what it is today.

We must continue this momentum. The University is well on its way in the execution of the NTU 2025 Strategic Plan. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the NTU community, the University is well positioned to reach new heights in its service to Singapore and the world, and to humanity.

Please submit your ideas and suggestions for the digital time capsule online before 15 October 2021. When the digital time capsule is opened in 2041, future generations will see how NTU helped to solve some of the grand challenges of our time.

At NTU’s Golden Jubilee, the grand challenges faced by the world may be different or more complex than today. But I am confident that NTU will continue to push new frontiers and to be the pioneer of innovative solutions as Singapore looks forward to SG100.

Thank you.


Professor Subra Suresh
Distinguished University Professor