Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to a series of questions that have been asked by different members of the Nexus community. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us using the form on this site
Question 1: Why was Nexus chosen ahead of so many prestigious international schools?
Question 2: What is an RFI?
Question 3: Will Nexus become just another huge school with a corporate style?
Question 4: We chose Nexus because of the ‘family feel’ and school ethos. How will you maintain this on your new, larger site?
Question 5: What facilities will be available at the new site?
Question 6: Specifically, will there be a pool/ auditorium/ football pitch etc.?
Question 7: Why are you moving from your current location?
Question 8: Will you continue to invest in the current site at Ulu Pandan?
Question 9: Will my child continue to receive an excellent education at the current site?
Question 10: Could you have told us sooner?
Question 11: Will school fees go up now to pay for the new site?
Question 12: Will there be a huge rise in school fees after the move?
Question 13: Have you considered that so many families live close to the current site?
Question 14: Could you not have chosen a site closer to the current one, or in a different area?
Question 15: Why did you bid so much for land at a different location?
Question 16: Will you provide help with transportation to the new site?
Question 17: Will my child’s learning be interrupted?
Question 18: Will there be two Nexus sites, one at Aljunied and one at Ulu Pandan?
Question 19: What will happen to the current site?
Question 20: Will there be an opportunity for consultation?
1. Why was Nexus chosen ahead of so many prestigious international schools?
We have been informed that a large number of high quality proposals were submitted. All of the RFI applications were evaluated based on the quality of the proposal, track record of the Foreign System School (FSS), ability to meet market demand, and financial ability of the operator. The award of this land is therefore a wonderful testament to the learners, parents, teachers and staff of Nexus that have shown such faith in, and commitment to, our journey thus far. It was not simply a matter of paying lots of money to purchase a lease; demonstrating available financing was an important but relatively insignificant part of the process. The majority of the selection process focused on quality of provision.
2. What is an RFI?
When the Singapore government decides that a plot of land should be made available for an international school, they fix a price and launch an RFI process. RFI stands for Request For Interest. This is a highly competitive process with many schools competing for the available land. There have now been four RFI processes. There is no guarantee that there will be any more and there is no published information about where any future sites (if any) might be. You can see from the map below that the trend is for any land release to be some distance from the central and highly residential areas. We are therefore delighted to have secured a great site with such an accessible location. All international schools sit on land owned/ managed by Singapore Land Authority (SLA). All international schools are therefore on lease terms of 30 years or less. Many schools without a new site have very short leases remaining. The long-term lease on our current site expired some time ago and schools on this site have been operating on short-term leases (usually 3 years) since then, whilst the government considered its options. There have been indications recently that they would not wish to renew the lease for a school to operate at Ulu Pandan beyond 2019.
3. Will Nexus become just another huge school with a corporate style?
That is not our intention. We are delighted that we have been granted an amazing opportunity to preserve and grow what we feel has become a very special place to learn and teach. From the first discussion with the architects during the bid process about what a larger Nexus might look like, to our more recent conversations, preserving the ‘small school feel’ and the Nexus ethos have been uppermost in our thoughts. Rather than work within the physical restrictions of buildings that we inherited, we have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a school with an established ethos in mind. We are very proud of what we have achieved in a relatively short time frame with Nexus in Singapore. We will not abandon the elements that made Nexus a success and the school of choice for so many. In addition, although the capacity of our new site (2000) will be 67% more than our current site (1200), Nexus will remain one of the smallest international schools with a new campus. The established range of sizes of major international schools in Singapore is from around 2500 to capacities approaching 4500.
4. We chose Nexus because of the ‘family feel’ and school ethos. How will you maintain this on your new, larger site?
Many parents have happily looked beyond our older buildings and have seen that a great school is about the people inside: the children, the teachers, the staff and the parents. We sincerely hope that the majority of our current Nexus family will make the transition with us (children and staff). Remember that although the move is many years away from the November 2015 announcement, our capacity on our current site remains at around 1200. It is therefore likely that our new campus will be just over half full in 2020. This will allow us plenty of time to move our Nexus 'family' and allow it to grow into our new surroundings.
5. What facilities will be available at the new site?
The best that we can possibly achieve. Please watch the video and view the images on this site. These are our initial thoughts. Our aim is to make Nexus at Aljunied a state-of-the-art modern learning environment that meets and exceeds the needs and expectations of all of our learners, parents and staff in every way possible. Our drive will be towards flexible/adaptable spaces to enable us to engage and inspire children and personalise their learning. Do not expect lots of classroom 'boxes'! We will share more exciting developments as we have them.
6. Specifically, will there be a pool/ auditorium/ football pitch etc.?
Yes, yes and yes! Plus so much more. Our initial plans include a stunning 50m pool in the Aquatic Centre, an auditorium/ theatre of around 700 seat capacity and a football pitch that meets all international standards in terms of size and quality. These plans are currently with the architects, although of course we will need to await official approval of the designs before we start the build. We have a huge number of great and exciting ideas beyond these ‘big ticket’ items, and by talking to different groups, we expect to have many more. This is a wonderful opportunity to create the school that our community wants and needs.
7. Why are you moving from your current location?
Simply, we have no choice. There is no long-term future for the school at its present site and our tenure at Ulu Pandan is not guaranteed in any way beyond our current lease agreement that will take us up to the opening of the new campus. Whilst we love our current location and our preference would have been to develop this site given its geographical location, unfortunately, this has never looked possible in the long-term. We are moving to secure the future of Nexus in Singapore and provide security and stability with 30-year certainty for all of our learners, parents and staff.
8. Will you continue to invest in the current site at Ulu Pandan?
Yes. You will see evidence of continuing renovation and upgrading of facilities at the current site. The awarding of the new site has not changed any of our budgeted plans for 2017-2020, for example. We are as committed as ever to providing the best facilities that we possibly can, within the limitations of our present site.
9. Will my child continue to receive an excellent education at the current site?
Yes. Our commitment remains to provide a world-class education for each of our learners. Nexus will be very much ‘business as usual’ with no question of any drop in standards, until our very last day in Ulu Pandan.
10. Could you have told us sooner?
No. The RFI process started in May 2015. The deadline for proposals was in August and interviews were in September. We were informed that we had been ‘pre-qualified’ in October but that this required ministerial approval; we were not permitted to say anything until this approval was received. We received official notification on 30 November 2015 in the form of a letter and we made a public announcement to parents and the wider community the same day. We understand that families need as much time as possible to consider accommodation and commuting requirements. We therefore considered it very important to inform families of the move at the first opportunity.
11. Will school fees go up now to pay for the new site?
No. Financing for the development at Aljunied is separate and ring-fenced. This will not affect the day-to-day operations of the school at Ulu Pandan.
12. Will there be a huge rise in school fees after the move?
There are no plans to make significant changes to where Nexus is positioned in the international schools market in Singapore. Our intention is to continue to provide a world-class education whilst offering excellent value for money. We will continue to apply the same considerations when assessing our usual fee increase each year.
13. Have you considered that so many families live close to the current site?
Yes, of course. We will be very sad to leave this area. Unfortunately, it is not an option to remain here long-term. There are a number of popular residential areas within a short distance of our new home and the government has an aggressive development programme in the area that is already resulting in new condos. We will add details to our micro-site on this topic as we have them. The new site also has excellent transport links (by car, bus and close to two MRT stations), providing a range of options for getting to and from the new school from anywhere in Singapore.
14. Could you not have chosen a site closer to the current one, or in a different area?
Unfortunately not. The Singapore government manages land release very carefully, which is understandable given the scarcity of this resource. If a need is identified in the international school sector, specific plots of land are made available for tender, or RFI (Request For Interest). Three plots of land were made available in May 2015. These were located at Aljunied, Woodlands and a site at Depot Road significantly smaller than our current home. This is the first RFI process in 3 years and there is no guarantee that another will take place. In an attempt to secure the long-term future of the school, we decided to bid for Aljunied as it was the best location available that met the needs of the school.
15. Why did you bid so much for land at a different location?
There was no bidding process that involved money. The ‘bid’ referred to in our communications thus far refers to the proposal we submitted that outlined what Nexus would look like at Aljunied. The fees payable to secure the land were fixed in advance by the Singapore government and were the same for all schools. Our ‘bid’/ proposal was chosen largely on the basis of our track record and the high quality of our proposal. Singapore has very high standards and a strong commitment to excellence in education and we are proud to be a part of that.
16. Will you provide help with transportation to the new site?
We are currently looking at ways that we can provide help with transportation to the new site from the Ulu Pandan area, for those families that wish to remain living in the Ulu Pandan area. We will share more details as we have them.
17. Will my child’s learning be interrupted?
No. We will take every possible step to ensure that the transition to Aljunied is a smooth one. We will involve learners and teachers in the process to ensure that they feel part of the transition and that this is an integral part of learning, rather than any interruption.
18. Will there be two Nexus sites, one at Aljunied and one at Ulu Pandan?
There will only be one Nexus site from 2020. This will be at Aljunied.
19. What will happen to the current site?
We do not know. This is in the hands of the Singapore government although we believe that the land has been zoned as residential. Please check with the relevant government agencies if you would like further information.
20. Will there be an opportunity for consultation?
Yes. There will be many opportunities for all stakeholders, whether they are part of the Aljunied community, or the current or future Nexus community. We will post details when we have them.