Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), and Wageningen University (WUR) from the Netherlands will be jointly launching a SkillsFuture food science programme next year.
Comprising of three online modular courses from NTU and four from WUR, the programme will address a wide-range of key food science topics ranging from human nutrition and international food regulation, to analytical techniques and food safety.
Open to working professionals, the programme will also provide academic credits that participants can use to offset a full masters-level degree in food science and technology.
The joint agreement between both universities was signed today at Wageningen University, and was witnessed by President Halimah Yacob during her state visit to the Netherlands from 20 to 24 November.
NTU’s signatory to the agreement, Professor Lam Khin Yong, Vice President for Research, said, “Food science is critical in ensuring safe food production and supply, and encourages industries to produce healthier food options for consumers. Our partnership with Wageningen University goes a long way and today's renewed collaboration will help groom future food technologists and equip them with advanced skills to tackle future food security and safety issues. This is also a hallmark of NTU's strengths in research excellence, which leverages on the university’s strong relationships with leading international partners.”
The collaboration between NTU and WUR will also involve joint research efforts in food ingredients and green food processing, as well as nurturing next-generation food technology leaders through student exchange programmes and workshops.
Industry-relevant courses to enhance career opportunities
Wageningen University’s food technology programme has been in place for over 50 years. It is highly regarded as one of the best and most innovative food science and technology programmes in Europe and the world.
While the courses offered by WUR are more grounded in food technology, the ones from NTU will expose participants to the field of food production processing from an engineering and industry perspective:
- Human nutrition: This course will provide an understanding of the role food structure has in modifying digestion and the release of nutrients. Participants will learn how to manufacture foods that release nutrients in the same
way as healthy, natural foods.
- International food regulation: Participants will learn about the international regulatory bodies and policies related to food, including the modern global food production system.
- Analytical techniques & food safety: This course will equip participants with the analytical tools used to ensure high safety standards for food products.
Existing collaboration between NTU and WUR
NTU and WUR joined forces in 2013 to ramp-up education in food science.
In August 2014, a rigorous Second Major programme in Food Science and Technology was introduced for NTU undergraduates majoring in Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Chemistry and Biological Chemistry. Half of the programme’s modules is conducted by WUR professors through online learning modules and lectures via video conferencing. They will also fly to Singapore to supervise the practical classes at NTU laboratories.
The programme also provides local internship, as well as overseas opportunities to WUR. This includes a semester-long student exchange programme, and a two-week study visit to WUR, involving trips to various food companies and industries in the Netherlands.
Both universities also launched a joint PhD programme in 2016. It is designed to meet the rising demand in Singapore for highly qualified talent in areas of food science, such as product development specialists, food microbiologists and food safety specialists.
The joint PhD programme with NTU is WUR’s first such collaboration outside Europe and builds on the two universities’ earlier partnership to offer a second major.