National University of Singapore
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The University To Build Your Future At

National University of Singapore
There is more to being a scholar than just producing excellent results and being studious. We hear from two scholars about their student life at the National University of Singapore, the opportunities and benefits afforded by the scholarships, and how these experiences are giving them the head start in their future.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) would be the first university to come to mind when considering an undergraduate degree here in Singapore. Currently, the university boasts about 39,000 students, and is ranked first in Asia according to the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Founded in 1905, NUS has a truly rich heritage and history behind all the awards and accolades. But for students, choosing the right institution and scholarship programme is always a tough decision.

Platform to Explore and Soar

Kang Hean Ming, a third-year undergraduate currently reading Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering), faced this exact dilemma. He was cautiously contemplating various scholarship offerings, but settled on the NUS Merit Scholarship. “Some scholarships require me to commit to certain bonds, study up to PhD levels and so on. However, I chose this scholarship as it is more flexible. There is no bond, and this will allow me to assess myself over the years to understand what I really wanted to do,” he explains.

Kang Hean Ming

Kang Hean Ming
NUS Merit Scholar
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering), Year 3
Diploma in Clean Energy
Temasek Polytechnic

“Being a scholar opens many windows of opportunities. I had the opportunity to go to UCLA for an exchange, and the seminars and talks we are invited to enrich us immensely in tangible and intangible ways.” Hean Ming

A fellow NUS scholar, Lim Hui Yan, expresses the same sentiments. Currently in Year 3, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she shares, “The bond-free nature of the NUS Merit Scholarship provides me the freedom to pursue my passion while empowering my aspiration to become an Educational Psychologist. It provides many learning opportunities that resonate well with my learning beliefs. For example, the NUS Scholar Enrichment Grant allows me to participate in various overseas programmes. I visited Taiwan for an Overseas Community Involvement Programme where I taught English to Primary One to Primary Six students for one and a half months. This was a meaningful and unique learning environment that is vastly different from the typical classroom settings,” she excitedly elaborates.

Hean Ming concurs. “I had the opportunity to go to UCLA in the US for an exchange. The semester was very different from NUS, as the workload and experience was more intense. However, it taught me how to be independent and resilient. You need to find inner strength. It definitely is a valuable and eye-opening experience,” he says.

Lim Hui Yan

Lim Hui Yan
NUS Merit Scholar
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Year 3
Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Benefits of an NUS Scholar

Being accepted under the NUS Scholarship may come with added pressure to perform, but for Hui Yan, she sees this from a different perspective. “The status as a scholar instils confidence in me and encourages me to achieve greater academic performance. NUS provides me with various meaningful learning opportunities that enhance my intellectual development for my course of study,” she enthuses.

Hean Ming views the privilege of this status slightly differently. “Being a scholar does have its pressure, but for us, this scholarship is more about the experience rather than being outstanding. For example, our position opens up more windows of opportunities, where we are invited to seminars and talks. At these sessions, we get to meet fellow scholars, as well as participate and give feedback to the speakers, which enrich us immensely in tangible and intangible ways,” he quips.

Vibrant Student Life

When asked about daily campus life, Hean Ming cheekily says, “There are actually too many great things about student life in NUS to cover in one interview. Honestly, I feel that there is not enough time to do everything that I want to do!”

“At my Residential College, I get to meet and interact with different people from various field of studies and interests. I enjoy the inter-faculty games as well. The high standards of the games force you to improve yourself and to keep up with the standards of others, which is a motivating factor to work harder and achieve better,” he chimes.

“As a leading global university with world class research and teaching facilities, NUS provides you with various meaningful learning opportunities that enhance your intellectual development in any field.” Hui Yan

Bright Future Awaiting

As we end the interview, Hui Yan was asked why students should follow in her footsteps and join NUS. She has this to declare, “As a leading global university with world class research and teaching facilities, NUS provides you with various meaningful learning opportunities that enhance your intellectual development in any field. The lectures and tutorials serve as an excellent platform for individuals to engage in meaningful discussions and learn alongside like-minded peers. The freedom to learn across interdisciplinary issues, coupled with the privilege of learning beyond textbooks, will definitely equip you with important knowledge and skills that you can leverage on in the future.”