Harvard-Yenching Institute Visiting Fellowship Programme by Ge Yun

The Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) fellowship is a great programme that I would recommend to all the FASS doctoral students. Although the program has emphasis on East Asian studies, the geographical focus is not a strict restriction. If any of you who are interested in the programme but hesitated because of this particular requirement, please reconsider. I have met fellows and scholars who are working on Burma, Philippines, Vietnam and India in the program. The HYI visiting fellowship program is well designed. Besides the general information that is available on the webpage of the institute, there are several things I would like to highlight. First, fellows of the programme enroll in the Graduate School of Arts and Science in Harvard University as special students. It means we have the access to most (if not all) of the university’s facilities such as mentorship, library, on-campus accommodation and gym. Second, the programme gives a large extent of freedom for fellows with different needs. I remember (may not be in the exact words) Professor Elizabeth Perry, the director of HYI, said this in the inaugural meeting, “you are the best person to decide how to use the year in Harvard.” As a student in the writing stage, I really appreciate the nice and quiet office space in Yenching. Many of us audit classes and actively participate in various workshops/seminars. Some of the students from the history department also travel around for archives and research materials. The best part I like about this programme is that the host institute is extremely supportive. As most of the fellows in the programme are not native English speakers, Yenching provides a subsidy for English language courses and proof-reading. In another example, a group of us voluntarily started a thesis writing workshop. The institute not only provided facility and financial support to run the workshop, it also helped us invite commenting professors. Last but not least, it is fun – with new friends, short trips and so on. We learnt this principle from the experience gained in the HYI program: play hard, work harder!



A group of fellows, in the living room of Yenching Institute


January ski trip organised by Yenching


With Professor Ezra Vogel (photo taken after the monthly China sociology seminar at his house)


Harvard Orchestra (performing before the undergraduate streaking at the Harvard Yard)


Me = pilot?


Geography Major Bright Ong on puppeteering

Friday, 11 July 2014

Straits Times

Actor-puppeteer Bright Ong made a pact with his parents, after graduating from university, that he could be financially independent as an actor in two years, but managed it in half the time by eating just one or two meals a day.

The 26 year old’s love for performing was ignited when he started acting in amateur productions at university, and was trained in theatre as a member of  the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT)’s The Young Company.

Dr. Stephen Lim to represent NUS at the U21 Early Career Researcher Workshop

Dr Stephen Lim

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a member of Universitas 21 (U21) – the leading global network of research universities for the 21st century.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Stephen Lim has been nominated to represent the NUS at the U21 Early Career Researcher Workshop on Interdisciplinary Education, Internationalization and the Rise of Virtual Learning Platforms on 1 Nov 2014 at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.


Five Malay youths among outstanding graduates

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Berita Harian

In today’s edition of Berita Harian, there was a feature on NUS Commencement 2014. In his address at the main commencement ceremony, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan encouraged graduates to convert dissatisfaction into concrete ideas and action for positive change, which can then lead to contribution to making things better, whether it be at work, or in the wider community.

The report also featured five Malay youths who excelled and were among the outstanding graduates at this year’s commencement, including Mr Faizal Abdul Aziz and Mr Afdhaluddin AB Rahman, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Mr Syed Ali Abdullah Aljunied, from School of Computing; Mr Afzal Ali, from the Faculty of Law, and Ms Nurul Azizah Johari, from the Faculty of Science.

High-flyer surmounts obstacles

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Faizal Bin Abdul Aziz is not a scholar who chooses to stay on the safe and well-trodden path. Firstly, he arrived at NUS via an unconventional route. Secondly, a week after receiving his first-class honours degree in Geography at the Main Commencement ceremony on 7 July, he will take to the skies as a Singapore Airlines cabin-crew member instead of taking up the offer to pursue a graduate degree at Cambridge University.

Click here for full article

Ex-madrasah student scores near-perfect grades at NUS

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was a feature on NUS Commencement 2014. It was reported that 10,233 NUS students will graduate this year, including the first graduates from seven programmes such as the Bachelor of Music (Voice) degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and the NUS-Yale University Double Degree Programme from the NUS Business School. President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is Chancellor of NUS, presided over yesterday’s main commencement ceremony at the NUS University Cultural Centre. Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat was also in attendance.

In his address, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan encouraged students to find fulfilment by giving to others and having a genuine interest in their jobs. Prof Tan said that outside of work, one must not lose the ability to enjoy the small, charming things in life.

The report also featured Mr Faizal Abdul Aziz who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours and Mr Samuel Chong, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Science) with Second Upper Honours. Mr Faizal, who attended a madrasah from Primary 1 and later decided to sit for the O-levels as a private candidate, graduated with a near-perfect grade point average of 4.89. Mr Chong, who lost his left arm to bone cancer when he was seven, will go on to do a Master’s in energy economics and engineering at Cornell University in the US under a National Environmental Agency scholarship.