Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


The research focuses on an auto-ethnographic case study of the creation of a new university specialising in creativity in Singapore between 2003 and 2005. The author is the President and CEO of that institution and the Vice Chancellor designate of the University of the Arts Singapore (UARTS@). Through the personal application of knowledge and documentary research, the context for the study is explored, together with the conceptual framework within which it will operate.

Some of the social, economic and political issues are described, as they relate to the Singapore Education System, drawing direct comparison with the two systems from which that system originated: the United Kingdom and to some degree, Australia.

The case study is centred on the evolution of a private institution, but one that is in receipt of public funding, operating directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Education in Singapore. During the period of the study, the institution transits from a polytechnic towards a full university status and the study observes the extent to which the development impacts on the Singapore Higher Education System and how it responds to two major Singapore government objectives:

• The Global Schoolhouse Initiative

• The Creative Industries Development

The case study illustrates a number of specific challenges facing many existing universities as they attempt to reposition themselves in response to mission convergence.

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