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College & Career

Former CMU president Subra Suresh talks about why he relocated to Singapore

Aaron Aupperlee
| Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, 8:57 a.m.
Subra Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University and former president of Carnegie Mellon University, speaks at the Times Higher Education Asia Universiy Summit in February 2018. (Photo from Times Higher Education)
Subra Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University and former president of Carnegie Mellon University, speaks at the Times Higher Education Asia Universiy Summit in February 2018. (Photo from Times Higher Education)

Much has changed in the nearly 30 years since former Carnegie Mellon University president Subra Suresh first visited Singapore and the campus of the country's top university.

There's a new medical school, run jointly with Imperial College London. Rolls-Royce, BMW and Volvo have set up engineering centers. Electric buses can charge at a bus stop in 20 second, Suresh told Times Higher Education , a London-based magazine covering universities and colleges around the world.

Suresh, who stepped down as president CMU in mid-2017, said there is no better place in Asia for connecting with all of Asia and the world than Singapore. He is the fourth president of Nanyang Technological University.

β€œIn the past 20 years, a number of people have relocated here – you have nearly half the American Fortune 500 companies with a major presence here,” the magazine reported Suresh saying.

Suresh gave the keynote speech at the magazine's Asia University Summit. He said the growth of Asian economies has caused higher education to shift east. Suresh stressed the need for open borders and cautioned against the Trump administration's policies on immigration.

Suresh said NTU is more agile and nimble than other large institutions around the world and plays a large role in advising the government on policy, including regulations for self-driving cars.

Suresh said the NTU can prepare students for the fourth industrial revolution, the coming tide of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, better than almost any other university in the world. That says a lot considering Suresh came from the university, CMU, that helped start the fourth industrial revolution and essentially coined the term.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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