Originally Raffles College And later University of Malay, 1949 Then University of Malaya- Singapore Division and University of Singapore and National University of Singapore   Raffles College for Arts and Science founded because of clamour for higher education; largest donors for the building were Manasseh Meyer and Oei Tiong Ham - two blocks named after them.

As a result of public demand the Colonial Government agreed to set up a College or Arts and Science as an institution of Higher education.

The motion in the Straits Settlement Legislative Council to establish and maintain an institution for improved secondary education for both commercial and technical, supported by Dr Lim Book Keng was introduced as early as January 1902 by Napier.

Raffles College was established in 1929 after the centenary of the founding of Singapore.

Students from Singapore and Malaya attended Raffles College which awarded diplomas to its graduates. Many graduates joined the civil service and the teaching profession. Prominent graduates Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Goh Keng Swee.

During the depression years (1930s) in Singapore and Malaya the enrolment of students of Raffles College was badly affected. During 1934 and 1935 there were only 80 students.

Before the Battle for Singapore in February, 1942 had begun thousands from the mainland fled into Singapore and many were billeted in hastily constructed dormitories in Raffles College. Raffles College later was used by the British forces and after the surrender Lieutenant-General Yamashita transferred his headquarters from the Ford Works Factory in Bukit Timah to Raffles College.

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942-45) the College was used by Japanese military personnel. When the British returned after the Japanese Surrender Raffles College re-opened in October 1946.

As a result of the Sir Alexander Carr-Sauners Report, King Edward VII College of medicine and Raffles College were incorporated as the University of Malaya in October 1949. When Malay achieved its independence in August 1957 it was renamed the University of Malaya Singapore Division and later the University of Singapore and finally the National University of Singapore

When Kent Ridge was built all its Faculties occupied the new buildings. At present the Institute of Education and the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore occupy the Bukit Timah Campus of Raffles College. The two buildings named after Oei Tiong Ham and Manasseh Meyer still stand with Oei Tiong Ham Hall completely renovated. Oei Tiong Ham and Manasseh Meyer donated $150,000 each towards the building - the largest donors.

The contribution of Manasseh Meyer to Singapore has already been mentioned. Oei Tiong Ham was the son of Oei Tjie Sien, a merchant of Java who owned large sugar plantations there and who was a partner in the Semarang Steamship Navigation Company. Oei Tiong Ham was a resident in Singapore. He owned the Heap Eng Moh Steamship Company at 22 Telok Ayer Street.  Beside his donation to Raffles College, Oei Tiong Ham also donated the land to Tao Nan School on Armenian Street