Industry Sharing Series – Succeeding Through Entrpreneurship – 15 Feb, 6pm @ LT31

We are pleased to invite you to the first Industry Sharing Series (ISS) for the year. At ISS Industry experts share their insights on trends, challenges, career and business opportunities. Title : Succeeding Through Entrepreneurship by     :  Future-Moves

Time   : 15th February 2016, 6pm (to be seated by 5.50pm) Venue : LT 31 (Lecture Theatre, Block S16, Level 3 – 6 Science Drive 2)  The event is free, however prior registration is required for dinner catering purpose. Registration :

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Gauging Impact of Immigrant Students

10 February 2016

The Straits Times

In an article contribution by Dr Kelvin Seah Kah Cheng, Department of Economics, he noted that many people may be inclined to believe that studying in an environment with many immigrant students will hurt one’s academic performance. His recent study suggested that greater exposure to immigrant students actually has a positive impact on the academic achievements of native students in Australia. Immigrant students in Australia have more negative impacts when they are non-native speakers of the test language, when they have less educated parents, and when they arrive in the host country at later ages.

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

To read the full article, click here.

Invitation to Apply – SG100 See Future Video Competition

See Future EDM

Organised by Association for Public Affairs and the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Council, the video competition invites submissions that highlight:

  • one best policy practice from Singapore’s past 50 years of history and
  • one best policy practice from an ASEAN country

The featured policies need to be specific and implementable. The video can be 2 – 6 minutes long.


  • The contest is open to citizens and permanent residents from the ASEAN countries residing anywhere in the world.
  • Participants are to be between ages 16 – 35 (as of 1 January 2016).
  • Groups must comprise at least 2 members (1 from Singapore, 1 from an ASEAN country)

Interested participants are to register their interest by 15 February 2016 and submit their entries by 18 March 2016.

Please refer to the following links for more details:

For enquiries, please email

Malcolm X, Alatas and Critical Theory for Malay Studies – Syed Farid Alatas

7 February 2016

The Malaysian Insider

In article contribution by Associate Professor Syed Farid Alatas, Department of Sociology, he opined that there is a need for a critical approach in Malay Studies that provides a way to examine the various problems of the Malays. Referring to the views of the great African-American Muslim activist, Malcolm X, and prominent Malay-world scholar, the late Syed Hussein Alatas, as points of departure and resources for Malay Studies to develop critical theories of history and society, Assoc Prof Alatas urged scholars in the Malay world to pay attention to the views of these two thinkers to develop a more critical approach in Malay Studies.

To read the full article, click here.


Kwa Chong Guan and sister donate $2 million to NUS Alumni Bursary Fund

7 February 2016

Lianhe Zaobao

Local historian Adjunct Associate Professor Kwa Chong Guan, Department of History, and his sister, Ms Kwa Kim Hua, have donated S$2 million to the NUS Alumni Bursary Fund, giving the gift of education to students in need. NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said that the endowed fund will be able to support several cohorts of students in the long run and allow them to fully focus on their studies and personal development, free from financial worry. In 2015, NUS provided S$11.2 million of financial aid; an increase from the S$5.2 million in 2011. In total, about 9000 NUS students have benefited from financial aid last year.


Meet Our Pulitzer Prize Winning Alumna Mei Fong and Her New Book “One Child”


(Interview conducted by Department of English Language & Literature undergraduate, Nigel Choo)

Mei Fong graduated from NUS with a Bachelors of Arts (Hons.) in English Literature in 1997. She began her career as a journalist at The New Paper, then pursued a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia University before joining the Wall Street Journal as a correspondent in 2001. Her work as a correspondent at the Journal won her various accolades including a shared Pulitzer for her stories on China’s transformation ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After leaving the China bureau, she was on faculty at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and is currently a fellow at the thinktank New America. Mei Fong was recently in town in December to promote her new book “One Child,” an account of China’s failed attempt at social engineering and its pervasive effects on the Chinese people.

Q: How did your undergraduate education in NUS influence you as a writer or journalist?

I think the honours year really helped me blossom as a writer by teaching me to read and write critically, and not just on Shakespeare or Joyce but also on popular culture. There was a great class Tim White taught on film critique I enjoyed immensely, and I also remember classes by professors Barnard White, Yong LiLan, Robbie Goh and Susan Ang vividly. Professors Goh and Ang in particular were influential because they encouraged my admittedly middle-brow tastes by lending me books on everything from science-fiction to Umberto Eco’s piece on James Bond. I knew I neither had the ability nor interest to write an epic canto, but their encouragement and examples showed me that it was possible–and indeed, necessary, to write intelligently about anything, even so-called “fluffy” topics.

Q: You have come a long way from being the 16-year old who was inspired by a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II to become a journalist and writer. Has there been a defining moment in your career thus far that you could share with us?

Lots of them! One was getting into a program to encourage creative writing that was sponsored by the Ministry of Education, when I was at Raffles Junior College. The program paired us up with mentors, and my mentor was the neurosurgeon and writer Gopal Baratham, who was a kindly influence. Gopal used to invite us mentees to the Tanglin Club for tea, and was generous about introducing us to the movers and shakers of Singaporean literary society. Imagine being a scrubby teenager and meeting folks like David Marshall and Catherine Lim. All these encounters inspired me, made me think there’s more to life than a 9-9 existence as an office peon.

one child

Q: What inspired the writing of “One Child”?

I’d been reporting on China for several years, and the one-child policy was one of the most interesting and fascinating policies that really shaped Chinese society. At first, as a city dweller, it seemed as if the policy really only affected those in rural areas, who were more subject to its excesses, like forced abortions and sterilizations. Such things didn’t happen to educated women in cities. But over time, I came to realize it really shaped a lot of things for everyday Chinese, things like who you date, the jobs you choose, and how you die. But the key for me came when I was reporting on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, China’s biggest natural disaster in three decades. A lot of the children killed in the earthquake were only children, because the area near the earthquake’s epicenter had actually been a test pilot program for the one-child policy, before they launched it nationwide in 1980. Because of the coming Olympics, Beijing moved in ruthlessly to suppress dissent and parental concerns over the nature of these deaths–many in poorly built, “tofu” schools–and so, the earthquake became not just an illustration of the damaging effects of a natural disaster, but also exposed the great hurts inflicted by that unnatural disaster, the one child policy. While I was in the midst of reporting on all this, including taking a physically taxing journey with migrant workers, I discovered I was pregnant. I subsequently had a miscarriage. That brush with parenthood, and the pain of the loss, was a trigger for me to examine some of the issues raised in the book. Why do we want to have children? What happens when that desire is thwarted by nature or government fiat?

Q: Who should read “One Child” and why?

Anyone who’s interested in China, in the kind of dystopian worlds envisioned by Orwell and Huxley, anyone who’s interested in journalism, anyone contemplating the costs of parenthood, anyone with a uterus.

Q: Finally, do you have any advice for our undergraduates?

My advice is to those contemplating creative careers, in the arts, in writing, in journalism, filmmaking–all the so called “unsafe” jobs that your parents are horrified by. There are a million obstacles, but if you really want to do this, then YOU can’t be the first obstacle, you’ll never get anywhere. To those who want to go into it, I say, Find a Way.

And for those who’ve had some success in these fields, I say, Make a Way.

For a more comprehensive Q&A with Mei Fong, head to where she responds to questions about “One Child” in greater depth.

The way forward for intra-Muslim peace

29 January

The Straits Times

In an article contribution, Associate Professor Syed Farid Alatas, Department of Sociology and Department of Malay Studies, discussed the conflict between majority Sunnis and minority Shi’ites in the Arab Gulf States. He also discussed the Amman Message by King Abdullah Al-Hussein of Jordan that was issued more than 10 years ago which in essence, called for tolerance and unity among Muslims of the world.

Assoc Prof Syed Farid  opined that the Amman Message, which is an expression of the spirit of religious pluralism that defines the understanding and practice of Islam, is now in danger of erosion due to narrow-mindedness of the religious establishments and the willingness of politicians to sacrifice religion for material interests. Its message and appeal for tolerance is now more vital than ever.

To read the full article, click here.