Immigrants outdo native students in studies (Opinion, Page A20)

Wednesday, 14 May 2017

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Dr Kelvin Seah Kah Cheng from the Department of Economics at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in which he shared his views on whether immigrant or native children perform better in academic performance in Singapore. Dr Seah opined that the only way to answer this question is through an empirical examination of data. He revealed his findings from analysing data from the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) – a large-scale international survey that Singapore schools are a part of, which provides information on the mathematics, science and reading achievements of 15-year-old students, as measured by their skills and competencies in solving real-world problems.

A comparison of test scores showed that, on average, immigrant students fared better in the three subjects than native students, mostly due to their better socio-economic background. Dr Seah felt the fact that immigrant students in Singapore fared better than native students is, in some sense, reassuring because it suggest that immigrants do not dilute the quality of the peer group which native children are exposed to. Consequently, exposure to immigrant peers is unlikely to hurt native children but if anything, it might actually enhance their achievement. Dr Seah added that more importantly, the results indicate that immigrant children in Singapore are doing well academically, so consequently, there seems to be little urgency, for now, to have some form of equalisation programme to further support their academic performance.

The article is part of a monthly series “Ask: NUS Economists” by the NUS Department of Economics. Each month, a panel will address a topical issue.

Click here to read the article.

New generation of fathers (Page 13)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Lianhe Zaobao


This was an article contribution by Professor Jean Yeung, Provost-Chair Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Centre for Family and Population Research at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Prof Yeung noted that with more women entering the workforce, there is a growing awareness on gender equality which has given rise to higher expectations from new-generation fathers. She opined that East Asian countries should introduce more policies to support and encourage fathers to play a more active role in child-rearing as such policies have had good effect in Scandinavian countries.

Geeking it out in the wild

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The New Paper Online

This was a report on Assistant Professor Andrew Quitmeyer from the Department of Communications and New Media at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who uses everyday technology to survive in some of the world’s most remote places. He will be featured in a new six-episode television series, Hacking the Wild, which premieres 31 May 2017 on Discovery Channel Southeast Asia. Asst Prof Quitmeyer is known as the world’s first digital survivalist, combining nature and technology to create gadgets that can help keep him alive. These innovations or “hacks” as he calls them include repelling devices, traps and even heating systems.

Click here to read the article.

Hacking the Wild premieres May 31at 9.55pm on Discovery Channel Southeast Asia.

The impact of crowdedness on housing prices (Opinion, Page A20)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Dr Eric Fesselmeyer, Senior Lecturer, student Kwok Ci Yi, Jonathan, both from the Department of Economics at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Dr Seah Kiat Ying from the Department of Real Estate at NUS School of Design and Environment as part of the monthly Ask: NUS Economists series. Addressing the impact of crowdedness on housing prices, they studied 11,913 transactions from 337 projects from 2002 to 2016 and found that an increase in localised density negatively affected prices: a 10 per cent increase in density caused a decrease in price per square foot by about 2 per cent. Their conclusion that crowdedness negatively impacts welfare carries important policy implications since almost all cities regulate density using measures such as plot ratio in Singapore.

Click here to read the article.

New award to boost social entrepreneurship initiatives in Asean region (8 May)

The Straits Times Online

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It was reported that a new social entrepreneurship award was launched by the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Department of Social Work on 8 May to recognise individuals from social organisations and philanthropists who have made a positive difference for the disadvantaged – not just in Singapore, but in the ASEAN region. Known as the ASEAN Social Impact Award, the initiative is a partnership with the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund, Asia Philanthropy Circle and Ashoka Innovators for the Public, and is inspired by the charitable initiatives of the late Dr Ee Peng Liang, Singapore’s Father of Charity. The award is open to candidates of all ages and nationalities who work with marginalised groups in ASEAN and have made an impact in this area for at least three years.

NUS geographer Professor Henry Yeung conferred prestigious international award

Professor Henry Yeung, Co-Director of the Global Production Networks Centre at NUS, and economic geographer from the Department of Geography at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has been conferred the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers [IBG]) Murchison Award 2017.

2017-0509-Prof Henry Yeung.jpg

Professor Henry Yeung

The award was conferred by the Council of the Society in recognition of Prof Yeung’s pioneering publications on globalisation, and will be presented to him by the Society’s President, Mr Nicholas Crane, at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Medals and Awards ceremony 2017 in London on 5 June 2017. The Murchison Award is the most senior accolade in the awards category to be presented at the ceremony; the other category being the medals category.

Sharing his thoughts about receiving the prestigious award, Prof Yeung said, “It gives me enormous pleasure to have my work, which is all done in Singapore, recognised by the Royal Geographical Society. This award will spur me on further to take on Anglo-American geography and social science in an increasingly post-colonial world of knowledge production. I hope this award paves the way for further decentering of such knowledge production, particularly in the fields of humanities and social sciences. This means the rise of new centres of knowledge production, for instance in Asia, that can capitalise on our own locations as sites of laboratories for new insights and thoughts.”

Professor Henry Yeung

Prof Henry Yeung graduated with B.A. First Class Honours in Geography from NUS in July 1992, and obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester in England in 1995. He returned to Singapore on 31 December 1995 to begin his career in the Department of Geography at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. An eminent economic geographer and a highly cited academic, Prof Yeung’s research interests include theories and the geography of transnational corporations, global production networks and global value chains, East Asian firms and developmental states in the global economy.

Throughout his career, Prof Yeung has been accorded many honours, including being ranked first in the list of top 50 human geographers in the Journal of Economic Geography (Vol. 10) in 2010, and being conferred a Fellowship with the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK in 2012, in recognition of his significant contributions to social science.

A leading authority in his field, Prof Yeung has published widely. His latest book with Cornell University Press, titled Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation on the New Global Economy (2016), examines economic development and state-firms relations in East Asia, focusing in particular on South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

About the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and its Medals and Awards

Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography. It is a world leader in advancing geography and supporting its practitioners in the UK and across the world. Since 1832, the Society’s medals and awards have recognised excellence in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually in recognition of those who have made outstanding achievements within the sphere of geography.

For more information about the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), please visit:

NUS-led crowdsourcing project to map over 1,000 Chinese temples here (Top of the News, Page A6)

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, it was reported that the Department of Chinese Studies at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is developing an interactive atlas of more than 1,000 Chinese temples in Singapore, dating back to the 19th century. The first such project here to consolidate such data is led by the Department’s Head, Professor Kenneth Dean with the aid of Senior Research Fellow Dr Hue Guan Thye from the same Department and the Department of Geography at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Using a crowdsourcing model, the project’s success will hinge largely on contribution from the public. It was mentioned that the geographic information system’s (GIS) first contributors are NUS undergraduates who studied 69 temples as part of a module called Everyday Life of Chinese Singaporeans: Past and Present. The project, named A Singapore Historical GIS Analysis: The transformation Of Chinese Institutions, has received about $700,000 in funding from the Ministry of Education. By the year end, Prof Dean and Dr Hue will launch a free mobile application developed by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering.

Click here to read the article.