NTU vs NUS: Similarities and differences


We at Cybernews Academy have set out to review some of the best universities for Computer Science and Information Technology degrees. Previously, we have reviewed ANU vs University of Melbourne, ETH Zurich vs. EPFL, Oxford vs. Cambridge, MIT vs. Carnegie Mellon, and KAIST vs. Seoul National University. We will examine Singaporean universities - the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was founded in 1981 as the Nanyang Technological Institute; it became NTU in 1991. As a young university, NTU has gone very far quickly. It is ranked as one of the top young universities under 50. NTU has 25 halls of residence housing more than 14,000 students.

Location

NTU is situated in the western part of Singapore. The University’s main campus is also frequently listed among the world’s most beautiful because of its lush greeneries. NTU has achieved 100% Green Mark Platinum certification for all eligible building projects. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a medical campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district.

History

NTU was established in 1991 as it was established by merging Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National Institute of Education (NIE). The Nanyang University Memorial and the original Nanyang University Arch were also declared national monuments of Singapore in 1998. The NTU Art & Heritage Museum is recognized under the National Heritage Board’s Approved Museum Scheme.​

Like NUS, many famous people have been produced at NTU. They include Chee Meng, A former Chief of Defence Force in the Singapore Armed Forces and Member of Parliament, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, an Indian entrepreneur and the founder of Biocon, one of Asia's leading biotechnology companies. Famous alumni from Computing include Tan Min-Liang, a CAO of Razer, and Charles Fan, the co-founder of MemVerge. Some other alumni include Victor Tan, who is the CAO of Invade.

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Established in 1905, the NUS initially served as a medical school with a modest enrollment of 23 students, making it the oldest university in Singapore. NUS consistently earns a place among the world's top universities by securing high rankings for its academic accomplishments. NUS is widely known for its exceptional academic track record. NUS has often been ranked as the top university in Asia and is frequently ranked within the top 20 universities worldwide in various university rankings.

Location

NUS has a large and comprehensive campus with multiple locations across Singapore, including Kent Ridge, Bukit Timah, Duke-NUS Medical School, and more. Kent Ridge Campus is the main and the largest campus belonging to NUS, located in the southwest of Singapore. The campus has many faculties, schools, research centers, and administrative offices. The University Town (UTown) within the campus offers a vibrant, integrated living and learning environment.

History

The National University of Singapore (NUS) was founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School. In 1949, it eventually split into the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Malaya (UM) in Malaysia.

Famous Alumni

Many famous faces have graced the incredible halls of NUS. Some notable alumni include Tony Tan Keng Yam, Former President of Singapore and a prominent public figure; Lee Hsien Loong, The current Prime Minister of Singapore and a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; and Lim Boon Heng, Former Minister the Prime Minister's Office and current Chairman of Temasek Holdings.

Computing alumni include Tan Eng Joo, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Jingming Liang, a researcher and professor in computer science and engineering, known for his contributions to wireless networking and distributed systems.

Similarities

Here are the similarities that we found between these universities.

History

NTU and NUS were founded by the same university, the University of Singapore, founded in 1960. In 1980, the university was split into the National University of Singapore and Nanyang University (Nantah). Then, as mentioned earlier, Nanyang University became NTU in 1991.

Reputation

Both universities are well respected in Singapore and are highly ranked in Singapore and across the world. QS WUR by Subject (computer science and information technology) NTU is #11, whereas NUS is #6 globally. In the QS World University Rankings, NTU ranks #26, whereas NUS ranks #8 globally. Both universities have kept their TOP 5 in the Times Higher Education rankings in 2024, with NTU ranked #5 and NUS ranked #3. Both have also held top 10 positions since 2015.

Research excellence

NTU and NUS are committed to research excellence – both universities have excellent facilities, which include the NTU Cybersecurity Research Center and NUS-HCI lab. Research is conducted in different areas in both universities, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and robotics. Both universities receive funding from the government, which is dedicated to research at NTU and NUS universities.

Modern Facilities

Both universities strive to create a comfortable environment for students. NUS and NTU create collaborative spaces where students and faculty can interact. Both universities have a range of facilities that students can use. NTU has the Global Lounge, Yunnan Corner, and Nanyang House. NUS has the Education Resource Centre (ERC), the Price George’s Park Reading Room, the YIH Study Room, and the Town Plaza desks.

Degree Types

There are quite a few similarities between the two universities; for example, both universities have Computer Science and Information Systems programs. Both universities also offer Double Major or Double Degree programs. These degree programs refer that you will be studying two different subjects in the same degree. One great example of a double degree is Computer Science and Business.

Differences

Location

The settings of both campuses - NTU and NUS are very different. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is in the Western part of Singapore. The campus is the largest in Singapore (approximately 200 acres). It also maintains a lot of green space, including ponds and parks. NTU has designed some botanical walks with different plant species and heritage trees. Near the NTU campus are quite a few sightseeing spots, for example, the Jurong Lake Gardens, Jurong Bird Park, and Science Centre Singapore. On the other hand, The National University of Singapore (NUS) is located near Kent Ridge Road, close to the city. Students have easy access to endless opportunities and cultural heritage - for example, Henderson Waves. NUS has a museum on the Kent Ridge campus, unlike NTU.

Bachelor programs

Despite offering similar types of degrees at bot universities, some of the programs are different.

NTU offer a range of programs in Computer Science and Information Technology:

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Double Degree in Computer Science and Business
  • Double Degree in Computer Science and Economics
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematical and Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Technology in Computing

Here are the programs at NUS to choose from in the Computing department:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Engineering
  • Business Analytics
  • Information Security
  • Double Major programs. You can find more information on these programs here

Master Programs

Both universities have different types of Master degrees.

At NTU, there are only Master of Science programs offered - Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence, Master of Science in Data Science, Master of Science in Cyber Security, Master of Engineering - Computer Science and Engineering. Master of Science is a more versatile program, which is more designed for academic knowledge - a strong foundation in theory, research methods, and critical thinking.

NUS offers a Master of Computing with Specializations in computer Science, Information Systems, Infocomm Security, and Artificial Intelligence. Master of Computing refers to the program being more focused on the computing and computing-related fields. There are also three additional general master’s programs - Master of Computing (General Track), Master of Science in Digital Tech, and Master of Science in Business Analytics.