255 students are the first to experience SMU’s new residential learning-and-living concept

11 Oct 2018
Prinsep Street Residences officially opens as a sustainable estate for co-living, co-learning and co-working, following a six-month refurbishment

Singapore, 11 October 2018 (Thursday) – Singapore Management University (SMU) today officially opened the Prinsep Street Residences (PSR), which supports the University’s new residential learning-and-living concept introduced from August 2018.  Having undergone a six-month ‘face-lift’, PSR now features 23 large-sized apartments, purpose-designed communal spaces, and meaningful programming that serves to nurture a co-live, co-learn, co-work community; thereby enhancing collaboration, inter-disciplinary learning and inter-cultural exchange among its residents.

The launch event, which was held amidst celebration and fanfare, was graced by Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, and was attended by over 50 guests comprising SMU partners, students, faculty and staff.

[Photo: Prof Lily Kong and Ms Denise Phua unveiling a wall mural at the official launch of PSR.]

The 255-strong resident population at PSR is diverse and comprises SMU undergraduates from all six SMU Schools, and across all four years of study, with the majority (two-thirds) being freshmen.  There is also a good mix of Singaporeans (50%) and international students (50%).  Together, the 255 residents represent 14 nationalities.

Professor Lily Kong, SMU Provost, said, “The SMU residential learning-and-living model is very much an extension of our holistic approach towards education, which has been a hallmark since SMU’s inception in 2000.  By providing a co-live, co-learn, co-work environment, PSR offers a space that is conducive to the students’ development of an independent mind while being dependable in deeds; furthermore, as they curate and execute projects to benefit the community, students also learn to think deeply and broadly while acting to create value at home and abroad.  These are certainly the distinctive identities we hope to nurture in our graduates.”

[Photo: SMU Provost, Prof Lily Kong, speaking at the official launch of PSR.]

Staying true to SMU’s holistic pedagogy, PSR offers thematic programming focused on: community service, entrepreneurship / social entrepreneurship, leadership, and social integration and diversity.  These themes are carried through a myriad of curated platforms and programmes developed with the intent of cultivating a co-learning environment amongst residents.  

For example, in the short span of two months since they have moved in, about 70 residents are already committed to PSR-specific community service projects, both in Singapore and overseas.  Other programmes specially designed for the residents include: self-discovery and topical workshops; fire-side chats and sharing sessions by industry guests; mentoring and career talks by alumni; and community trails. (More details at Annexes 1A and 1B.)
Professor Paulin Straughan, Dean of Students at SMU, said, “Through co-living with peers of various backgrounds and nationalities, residents will enhance their interpersonal skills and strengthen their inter-cultural knowledge.  By working on student-directed projects together, they will also strengthen their project management, communication and teamwork skills.  Overall, the University envisages that PSR will provide a supportive environment that will nurture well-rounded students with strong esprit de corps, as they collaborate in projects and activities to make a meaningful impact in their immediate communities.”

SMU PSR – FRANK by OCBC partnership

The FRANK Residency @ Prinsep programme is one such platform through which students will be making a meaningful impact in their community.  This new partnership between SMU PSR and FRANK by OCBC was officially announced today at a MOU Signing Ceremony that was represented by Professor Lily Kong and Mr Dennis Tan, Head, Consumer Financial Services Singapore, OCBC Bank.

[Photo: (L-R) Mr Dennis Tan and Prof Lily Kong signed the FRANK Residency @ Prinsep MOU at the launch of PSR.]

As part of the programme, 10 students from the pioneer batch of PSR residents have been selected to be FRANK Residents @ PSR.  FRANK by OCBC will sponsor one year of their residency at PSR as well as fund projects developed by them to benefit the community.  The partnership aims to leverage the combined talents of the residents to bring about teamwork, innovation and meaningful impact for the community.  The FRANK Residents @ PSR will also be digital ambassadors and role models for financial literacy education within the SMU student community.  (Please see Annex 2 for more details.)

PSR – a sustainable project

Through sensitive design interventions, the external architecture of the 5,000 sqm PSR estate, which comprises three four-storey blocks of flats dating back to Singapore’s early pre-Housing Development Board days, have been successfully refreshed while retaining the original rustic flavour of the estate.


In line with SMU’s commitment towards developing a smart, green and sustainable city campus, efforts have been made to integrate green features into PSR to enable it to achieve the Singapore Building Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum certification.  The green features at PSR include an advanced passive displacement cooling system (new air-conditioning technology without the use of air handling units and fan coil units), dimmable LED lights with networked sensors, and an innovative smart building technology.  The refurbished design also features biophilic elements, which integrates green materials, natural light and greenery into the environment.

Together, these efforts are expected to bring about energy savings of 50% annually.  Notably, with PSR attaining the BCA Green Mark Platinum certification, the entire SMU campus has achieved 100% Green Mark Platinum status.

- End -

•    Annex 1A:    Fact sheet on programmes and activities at PSR
•    Annex 1B:    Fact sheet on PSR-specific community service projects
•    Annex 2:    Fact sheet on FRANK Residency @ Prinsep




[Top left: The PSR estate has been refreshed into a beautiful estate with modern amenities and advanced technology, while retaining its original charm and flavour; Top right: A resident in her twin-sharing room; Bottom left: The Hub - a collaborative space for residents to interact and work together; Bottom right: The dining hall at PSR features a flexible layout for multiple usage.]

For media enquiries, please contact:

Huang Peling, Senior Asst Director, Corporate Communications

6828-0964 / 9845-3361 / plhuang@smu.edu.sg                                                       


Corinne Kang, Asst Director, Corporate Communications

6808-5238 / 9830-1164 / corinnekang@smu.edu.sg


Last updated on 23 Oct 2018.

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