Application for Pre-Med Track

Dear Cohort 2010 Students,


The new “Pre-Med” Track is now open for application. 


This “Pre-Med” Track provides a unique opportunity to better prepare you for admission to graduate medical programs like the DUKE-NUS graduate medical school.  Please see here for some details of the “Pre-Med” track. 


To apply, please complete the application form and email to with the subject heading “PRE-MED Application space<Student’s Name>space<Matric Number>space<Faculty/Dept.>” by 14 December 2010.  Selected candidates will be called for interview in early January 2011.



Office of Undergraduate Programs

Dean’s Office, Faculty of Engineering

National University of Singapore

The Fourth CLS International Conference – CLaSIC 2010


Under the immense influence of globalisation, the world is undergoing substantial transformation in the areas of language and education. Mastery in communication has never been more important than in today’s highly globalised and connected world. Language teachers are therefore faced with important challenges in finding new impulses in educational theory and practice to meet the expectations and needs of language learners from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

CLaSIC, the Centre for Language Studies International Conference, has been a forum for exchanges on the latest developments in current development in foreign language teaching and learning. Classic 2010 brings together around 200 leading researchers and practitioners from over 20 countries, Europe, Australia, Middle East, USA, etc. to explore and share innovative approaches that shape foreign language teaching or pedagogy.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Individual Characteristics and Subjective Variables, because it is evident to educators and researchers that learners take an active role in learning, and individual characteristics, such as age, gender, aptitude, motivation and learning strategies contribute to their learning processes and outcomes. 

Presenters will talk about one of the sub-themes below:

  •   Cognitive Factors in Language Teaching and Learning
  •   Affect in Language Teaching and Learning
  •   Language Learning Anxiety and Fear
  •   Teacher/Learner Beliefs, Attitudes and Assumptions
  •   Subjective Theories and Language Teaching and Learning
  •   Language Learning Motivation and Motivational Strategies
  •   Self-Concept and Self-Efficacy
  •   Metacognition and Language Learning Strategies
  •   Learner Characteristics and Individual Differences
  •   Cultural and Individual Notions of Autonomy
  •   Constructivist Approach to Language Learning
  •   Narrative and Life Story

The Asia Pacific Symposium for the Teaching of Asian Languages (APSTAL) will be also held as part of this conference. The symposium represents a collaborative effort by leading universities in the Asia Pacific region to advance research and practice in the teaching of Asian languages.

Above all, CLaSIC 2010 will provide a platform for stimulating intellectual exchange for language teachers and researchers, and forward foreign language teaching and learning within and beyond Singapore.

One of the prominent keynote speakers for CLaSIC 2010 is Richard Schmidt (University of Hawaii Manoa), who will be giving the opening keynote lecture on “Attention, Awareness, and Individual Differences in Language Learning

More information can be found here.

University Town Writing Programme Courses

Dear Students,

You are invited to apply for a place in the University Town Writing Programme (UTWP) Pilot for Semester 2 of Academic Year 2010/2011.

The Centre for English Language Communication is currently piloting an innovative writing programme for the new University Town’s residential colleges, called the University Town Writing Programme (UTWP). UTWP modules are content specific and taught in a small group environment.  The programme is open to all students from Faculty of Arts & Social Science (FASS), School Of Business (BIZ), School Of Computing (SoC), School Of Design & Environment (SDE), Faculty Of Engineering (FoE), and Faculty Science (FoS).


The following modules are offered in Semester 2, 2010/2011:

Models of Press Freedom (WP2201B)

Mars/Venus?:  Gender & (Mis)Communication (WP2201C)

Writing in a Digital World (WP2201D)

From Human to “Posthuman” (WP2201E)

Globalization and Screen Media (WP2201F)

Language and Migration (WP2201G)

Eating Right(s): The Politics of Food (WP2201H)

Messing with Nature: Unintended Consequences (WP2201I)

Prizes & Popular Culture (WP2201J)


We especially encourage you to apply if you say, “That’s me,” to one or more of the four statements below.

·               I want to make more sense about ideas that make only partial sense to me.

·               I want to work with ideas beyond those in my textbooks.

·               I want other people to pay attention to my ideas.

·               I don’t have to write extended papers for most of my modules, but I still want to be able to write well.


During the current pilot phase of the program, students are refunded all their points except one upon successful completion of the UTWP module. 


Please go to for more information.  Timetables are available at:  Should you have any queries on the UTWP, please contact Ms Cheok Bee Khim at  or 65166955.

University Town Writing Programme

Centre for English Language Communication

The Global Honors College: Waseda Global Seminar on Sustainability 2010

By Vanessa Lim Huimin and Amanda Fay Tan May Wern, Amanda Fay (both Year 4 Geography Majors)

In August 2010, two FASS students (Honours level Geography students) were among four undergraduates who represented NUS at the Waseda Global Seminar on Sustainability 2010. They recount their eye-opening experiences here.


“The future is yet to be determined.” –X CLAMP, Japanese animation series (1996)

For better or for worse, the sustainability debate will rage on. The professors guiding us through the Waseda Global Seminar on Sustainability 2010, which commenced on 2nd August till 21st August 2010, made it clear that the purpose of the seminar was not to paint a hopeful or bleak image of the future. Neither was its purpose to convert us into tree huggers or skeptics. Instead, it was a seminar aimed at opening our eyes to the possibilities that the future holds—with the hope that we will all be able to make informed decisions about sustainability in our lives.

While the seminar was premised on the notion of sustainability with a special focus on biodiversity, we were encouraged to use an interdisciplinary approach to think about the complexities of sustainable development. The Global Seminar on Sustainability was developed by Waseda University in order to form a Global Honors College (GHC), in collaboration with its eight partner universities from around the world: Columbia University, Harvard University, Korea University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NUS, Peking University, University of Washington and Yale University. Participants were purposefully picked from a wide variety of academic disciplines (ranging even from seemingly dichotomized fields such as Biology and Comparative Literature) to reflect on the interdisciplinary nature of the protean word ‘sustainability’. The seminar therefore comprised of an interesting assemblage of students from diverse international and academic backgrounds, making the experience a refreshing one. Although we recognise that a college comprising universities from Asia and the U.S.A. alone does not exactly qualify as “global”, the dynamism of working (and playing) with accomplished students from such a diversity of backgrounds was indeed a valuable exposure to international collaborations.

Lessons and reflections

The seminar was split into two parts. The first was an online phase carried out from 1st June till 30th July 2010, where lessons were conducted using some of the most cutting-edge distance-learning tools such as Mendeley, Wikischolars and VoiceThread. During the online phase, we had to submit reports on a weekly basis, and use the discussion platforms to critically engage with fellow participants on contentious issues. The programme was taught in four parts—Terrestrial Biology, Comparative Literature, Marine Biology and Environmental Economics—by professors from Columbia University, Harvard University, Peking University, and NUS. We were particularly impressed with the technologies used to encourage our participation and engagement with one another, for beforehand, we had not come across these online educational tools. These online platforms were laudably effective in arousing interest, and generating responses.

The second phase was an intensive on-site learning phase, where we attended field trips, lectures and worked on projects to elucidate the intricacies of sustainability, and how biodiversity is compromised in mankind’s quest for development. Field trips were taken within and outside of Tokyo, to explore how sustainability has been achieved in certain contained systems, provoking us to consider about how traditional methods may be useful in promoting sustainability in the modern world. Guest lectures were also a prominent feature of the programme, where professors and government officials from the environmental department delivered lectures on related topics.

For our on-site projects, we were deliberately given tasks that were unrelated to our various disciplines. As such, we were forcefully taken out of our “comfort zones”. However, we found it slightly disappointing that while the GHC emphasised its interdisciplinary approach to the discipline, we did not get the chance to apply our knowledge and skill sets to our projects. While we certainly learnt a lot from other disciplines, we felt that the course was veering into a collection of “1101” classes, rather than an in-depth sharing from each of our fields of expertise to gain further insights on the important considerations of other fields. Perhaps, that is something that can be improved in future years.

Yet, attending the GHC was not without its other privileges – we certainly received first rate treatment from Waseda University. Apart from Waseda University bearing all our programme, accommodation and insurance costs, the GHC also provided us unprecedented opportunities that we were pleasantly surprised with. For instance, the college secured exclusive front-row seats (Photograph 1) for GHC participants when the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, visited Japan and delivered a speech at Waseda University.

Photograph 1. The “Grobal Honors College” (sic) got front row seats to see UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon (on the podium), speak on Peace and Disarmament in Waseda University, August 4, 2010.

We also received the unique opportunity to meet and interact (in a small classroom setting) with Mr. Parag Khanna, an international relations expert who is also current Director of the Washington D.C. based think tank, Global Governance Initiative of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. While sustainability might seem like a far-removed subject from the expertise of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Mr. Parag Khanna, we were made to think about the implications of global politics in relation to the possibilities of sustainable development.

More than just classes…

While the seminar was the focal point of our trip to Japan, we definitely did not spend all our time there studying and doing research! Part of the objectives of the programme was also to give us cultural exposure. We spent a good deal of time getting to know the fellow participants and exploring the vastly fascinating city of Tokyo. By the end of our three weeks in Tokyo, we were intimately familiar with the boisterously crowded cityscape. It was especially exciting being there in the summer, as it was the season where Japanese wore their traditional summer garbs, the Yukatas (for females) and Jinbeis (males) to attend weekly summer festivals. Our Japanese friends got us well acquainted with the delicious food, festivities, and of course, the commercial culture of Tokyo (Photographs 2 and 3).

Photograph 2. GHC participants in exceptionally high spirits, while shopping in Ginza, the upscale commercial district of Tokyo (despite not being able to afford any of the luxury goods there).







Photograph 3. Vanessa (right) and a GHC friend attending a summer festival in Tokyo, dressed in the traditional Japanese summer wear.









In particular, Amanda grabbed the opportunity of her lifetime to climb Mount Fuji (it was such a challenge that she will probably never do it again) with a handful of students from the GHC. She scaled the mountain over-night to reach the summit just before dawn. The break of dawn was momentous, as they watched an epic sunrise from a view that they will never forget after the daunting challenge of Mount Fuji.

Photograph 4. Amanda, (far right, second row) and a group of GHC participants on the summit of Mount Fuji, shortly after the break of dawn.









And so, after three intense, eye-opening weeks, we returned to Singapore with ‘sustainability’ dawning on our minds. There are many experiences that we label ‘once in a lifetime’ and ‘unforgettable’ and this is definitely one of them. We felt that the period of three weeks was just about enough for us to enrich our minds as we consider seriously the importance of biodiversity and sustainability for the future, and at the same time, gain ample experiences that fuelled our personal growth.

For more information, please go here or here.

Theory at Work : Text, History and Culture International Conference

Theory at Work: Text, History and Culture International Conference

November 9-11, 2010

Department of English, Banaras Hindu University,

Vanarasi, India


From 9-11 November 2010, I attended the Theory at Work: Text, History and Culture International Conference which was held in Vanarasi and organized by the Department of English of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Organized in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi (New Delhi) and the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (New Delhi), the conference brought together scholars from different regions of India and international scholars from renowned institutions including; King’s College (London), Macquarie University (Australia), University of Pisa (Italy) and Deakin University (Australia) amongst others. Focusing on the interplay between theory, textuality, history and culture, the conference provided for a meaningful and informative interdisciplinary dialogue on the development and deployment of theories with regards to the major fields and themes of literary studies, social and intellectual history, gender studies, anthropology and philosophy. My own research paper presentation, entitled “Mapping the Unknown: Empire, Gender and the Oriental ‘Other’ in Women’s Travel Narratives of Colonial Southeast Asiaanalyzed the visual and textual cultural representations of the people, places and cultures of Southeast Asia in women’s travel writing by exploring the nexus between race, gender, empire and the politics of narration.


Ranked Number One this year on a survey of the top universities of India by India Today Magazine, the effort and work put in by BHU and the conference organizers to ensure the conference was an engaging and successful one for participants is testament to their dedication towards academia and the arts. Participants were treated to a theatre performance of Bhisham Sahni’s acclaimed play Madhavi, staged by students of the department. The play was first translated from Hindi to English by Prof. Alok Bhalla of the department and revolves around the human desire to achieve fame, recognition and its tragic consequences when pursued ruthlessly. The city of Vanarasi itself was a delight to explore; from a panoramic boat ride down the Ganges river, to the 110 feet tall Dhammekha Stupa at Sarnath where Buddha preached his first sermon, to the colorful busy bazaars and temples and the winding maze of serpentine alleys that make up the city. Held in a historical and legendary centre of learning which combines a picturesque, yet, apt blend of the spiritual, commercial, mystical and modern, the conference was a truly enriching experience.


Sheena Kumari

M.A Student

Department of History

National University of Singapore

Plenary Session 1: Keynote Address and Open Lecture by Prof. Amitav Roy,Head, Dept of English, chaired by Malcolm Voyce, Macquarie University, Australia
Plenary Session 1: Keynote Address and Open Lecture by Prof. Amitav Roy,Head, Dept of English, chaired by Malcolm Voyce, Macquarie University, Australia
Students of the Dept of English : Main leads of Bhisham Sahni’s play Madhavi
Students of the Dept of English : Main leads of Bhisham Sahni’s play Madhavi
Students of the Dept of English : Staging of Bhisham Sahni’s play Madhavi
Students of the Dept of English : Staging of Bhisham Sahni’s play MadhaviFaculty of Arts Building, Banaras Hindu University
Ganges River: Funeral Rites and the Burning of Corpses along the ghats
Ganges River: Funeral Rites and the Burning of Corpses along the ghatsScene along the Ganges River: A majestic royal ghat
Colourful Scene along the Ganges River: Devotees, Pilgrims and Tourist Boats
Colourful Scene along the Ganges River: Devotees, Pilgrims and Tourist BoatsSarnath-An Important Buddhist Site: 110 feet tall Dhammekha StupaSarnath-An Important Buddhist Site: 110 feet tall Dhammekha Stupa
Sarnath-An Important Buddhist Site: 110 feet tall Dhammekha Stupa
Sarnath-An Important Buddhist Site: 110 feet tall Dhammekha Stupa

Registration for CS4880 Digital Entrepreneurship

Registration for CS4880 Digital Entrepreneurship for ARS3 and ARS4/SOC4 students in Sem 2, 2010-11

Professor Juzar Motiwalla will select students for his module, CS4880, on Digital Entrepreneurship.  The maximum enrollment in CS4880 is 40 students, and 30 are expected to be reserved for undergraduates.


If you wish to sign up for CS4880, please write to him ( by 12 Dec 2010, 12.00 noon with responses to the following points.
1) Please explain why you wish to take this module. 

2) Please list any special achievements, internships or attachments, or entrepreneurial experience. Please also indicate any entrepreneurship plans.

3) Please point out if you have acquired similar knowledge elsewhere (for example, TR3002) or intend to take such courses in the same semester as CS4880.

In your email to him, please state in front your name, matriculation number, e-mail, stage of study, module type code, home faculty and department.

Please check with your department the module type code for this module before submitting.

The students to be preallocated for the module will be known by 22 Dec 2010.