The haze’s effects on cognition (Opinion, Page A17)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was an article contribution by Professor Chew Soo Hong and Provost’s Chair Professor from the Department of Economics at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in which he discussed whether haze clouds decision-making. Prof Chew shared findings from a first-of-its-kind natural experiment on ambient PM2.5 and decision making that he conducted with researchers from Wuhan University, which was observed in an incentivised laboratory setting in Beijing in October 2012, before PM2.5 was included as part of the air quality measure in China.  He noted that when looking at the social costs of environmental pollution, policymakers have tended to focus on the direct economic costs, but there is a need to take into account the impact of air pollution on how people make decisions.

Click here to read the article.


Launch of Singapore’s first book on charities started by the Teochew community (zbNOW, Page 2)

Monday, 11 December 2017

Lianhe Zaobao 

This was a review of a book by Associate Professor Lee Chee Hiang from the Department of Chinese Studies at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on charitable organisations started by the Teochew community in Singapore. The book presented new research findings on the development of such charitable organisations, the folk beliefs and customs of the Teochew community, and the early Singapore immigrant society and charity activities.

Click here to read the article in Chinese.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2018 Undergraduate Programme – closing soon

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2018 Undergraduate Programme application period is coming to a close. Make your application on

This internship does not qualify for FAS2551/FAS2553. You may have it acknowledged with FAS2550. For more information about these FASS internship modules and the FASS Internship Programme, please visit


Priority Primary 1 admission could worsen educational inequality (Opinion, Page A20)

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Associate Professor Irene YH Ng from the Department of Social Work and Director of Social Service Research Centre at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Assoc Prof Ng discussed the longer term implications of plans to give priority primary school admission to pupils attending kindergartens operated by the Ministry of Education. She observed that this leads to a group being created that will likely be assigned a prestige label because of the ‘insiders’ benefit of priority admission. Assoc Prof Ng opined that there is a danger that the creation of a new preferential group will further segregate pupils by socio-economic status and bring the ‘arms race’ for educational success earlier to the pre-primary level, adding that such priority admission can create more intense competition among children at a young age (and their parents) and inadvertently worsen educational inequality.

Click here to read the article.

Don’t be hasty in dismissing private university degrees (Opinion, Page A18)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Dr Kelvin Seah Kah Cheng from the Department of Economics at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, in which he discussed how we can get an accurate estimate of the value of a private university degree, relative to an autonomous university degree. Dr Seah noted that as long as there is nothing special about the threshold entry requirement, other than its use in assigning students to the different types of universities, we can reasonably attribute any difference in labour market outcomes at the threshold to the effect of university choice. This is because students immediately on both sides of the threshold are likely to be similar. He added that before such an exercise is done, it would be premature to sound the death knell for private schools.

 Click here to read the article.

Career Catalyst – Pre registration for January 2018

Pre-register for this NEW module if you would like to prepare yourself for the world of work.

About Career Catalyst:

This is a 2MC, CS/CU module for Year 2 and Year 3 students. It aims to guide students in designing their personalised career roadmap and to equip them with skills to market themselves effectively for career success. The module comprises of 2 lectures and 6 E-Seminars covering a range of topics.

For more information on the module, please click here.

Understanding gender effects of teacher-student interactions (Opinion, Page A36)

Friday, 24 November 2017

The Straits Times

In this monthly “Ask NUS Economist” series, Dr Kelvin Seah, Lecturer at the Department of Economics at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, discussed whether the gender of a teacher affects a student’s academic experience. Dr Seah shared that that his study has found that both male and female students are more likely to be seen as disruptive when they are taught by a teacher of the opposite sex and with all else equal, assignment to a teacher of the same sex has a positive effect on a child’s academic experience. Dr Seah noted that having a clear understanding of how teachers and students interact will enable us to formulate appropriate policies to address any potential gender effects.

Click here to read the article.

Sinologist John Minford on “revisiting prospect garden” (Page 9)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Lianhe Zaobao

This was a report on a public lecture co-organised by the Department of Chinese Studies at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Lianhe Zaobao held on 18 November 2017. Renowned Sinologist Professor John Minford spoke about the existence of ‘gardens’ in both Western and Eastern literary work and gave examples of the observatory garden from the Chinese classic “Dream of the Red Chamber” and the selfish giant’s garden in “The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde.

URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge: Raising the Quality of the Built Environment

The URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge organised by the URA and Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore is a yearly competition that seeks ground-up innovation to raise the quality of the built environment by offering participants an opportunity to test and showcase their prototypes in commercial developments. This year, the contest challenges participants to boost people’s health and wellness for a higher quality of life within the built environment. For instance, the submitted design may:

  • Encourage people to be more active indoors and/or outdoors (physical wellness), or
  • Improve the sensorial experience of a shopping centre to lift people’s moods (emotional wellness), or
  • Provide a restorative environment for people to recharge (psychological wellness), or
  • Foster interaction among people to build connections with one another (social wellness)

Participants stand a chance to win $5000 to build and test their prototype in a shopping centre, and one winner will also be awarded $10,000 at the end of the competition! The registration and submission period starts on 14 November 2017 and ends on 7 February.

For more information, please click here.