Singapore has opened its doors to its first foreign university.
The University of New South Wales in Sydney is to open a A$96 million (£39 million) private teaching and research university in 2007 near the central business district in South Changi. It will tap into the booming demand for higher education in Asia and may eventually enrol 15,000 students, 70 per cent of whom will probably be drawn from China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
UNSW Singapore is expected to be the first of three foreign higher education institutions allowed to operate in the city. As the initial entrant, the new university will benefit from government and private research dollars, as well as financial help from the government to build the new campus.
George Yeo, Singapore's minister for trade and industry, and John Ingleson, UNSW deputy vice-chancellor (international), announced details of the project late last month.
Professor Ingleson said UNSW Singapore would be a major research and teaching institution, independently governed and run by the Sydney university.
The institution is expected to attract up to 3,500 students, who will pay fees of up to A$22,000 a year for undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees.
Mr Yeo said UNSW Singapore would become the world's first foreign private university "operating on such a large scale and reach".