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Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University imposes entry fee as tourists from China, Southeast Asia disrupt classes

Students from both NTU and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have used online forum Reddit in recent weeks to air their grievances over inconveniences they feel tourists have caused.

Chief among them are long, winding queues at canteens during lunch hours, loud voices echoing through common study spaces causing distractions, and traffic jams caused by tour buses picking up, dropping off and waiting for tourists.

NTU students said they had also faced distractions from tourists taking pictures and peeping over their shoulders at The Hive building, whose facade is renowned for bearing a resemblance to stacked dim sum baskets.

Some tourists have even entered classrooms while lessons were under way.

“Last week, one group just walked in, sat down and listened to the lecture” for the last 20 minutes, said Cathryn Wong, 27, who studies English literature at NTU.

NTU announced on February 1 that it would require all travel agencies planning tours to the campus to seek approval first from the university. Tour groups will also be required to preregister online and schedule visits in advance.

An entry fee, which the university said is to support campus maintenance and the regulation of vehicle flows, will also be charged.

NTU did not immediately respond to queries on how much the fee would be and how it would be implemented.

Tour operators and some of the tourists themselves said the appeal of visiting NUS and NTU stemmed from the fact that both had consistently ranked among the top universities in Asia.

On a recent visit to both campuses, reporters met three separate groups of tourists from China who said they wanted their children – ranging in age from seven to 16 – to observe what life was like at the universities.

In 2023, Times