Issue 90, September 2010
Scholarship boost for China programmes
Students of three high-profile graduate courses – the Master of Arts in Contemporary China, Master of Science in Managerial Economics and Master of Public Administration programmes – can benefit from new scholarship options starting this academic year.

Invest in the future. That’s what two supporters of NTU – alumnus Mr Wong Kiong and integrated agribusiness group Wilmar International Limited – hope to achieve by contributing towards scholarships for students of three high-profile Master’s programmes.

Mr Wong Kiong has pledged a sum of more than S$81,000 over five years to set up the Wong Wai Ling Scholarship for students of the Master of Arts in Contemporary China programme, while Wilmar is ploughing S$1m into scholarships for students on the China-focused Master of Science in Managerial Economics and Master of Public Administration programmes, dubbed the “Mayors’ Class” for the eminent students they attract.

Tools to understand China
The Wong Wai Ling Scholarship, named in honour of Mr Wong Kiong’s father, the founder of Wong Hing Long Technologies, will be offered to full-time Singaporean students who have completed one semester of the Master of Arts in Contemporary China programme and who have been accepted into its dissertation track. Each scholarship is worth up to S$17,200.

The gift stems from the younger Mr Wong’s desire to help more Singaporeans understand and engage China. This interest and fluency in the ways of the fast-rising economic giant would help boost Singapore’s competitiveness, said Mr Wong, a graduate of the former Nanyang University and currently the Managing Director of Wong Hing Long Technologies and Wong Hing Long Integrated Engineering.

The interdisciplinary Master’s programme gives students “valuable country-specific, political, business and cultural knowledge and skills to handle contemporary China issues as they continue their professional careers in government and business,” said Assoc Prof Yao Shuntian, the Programme Director. Such skills would become increasingly relevant as China grows as an economic superpower.

The inaugural scholarship was launched on 27 August at the programme's fifth anniversary celebrations, hosted by the School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

One for top public administrators
Wilmar’s gift, the largest NTU has received for scholarships for the “Mayors’ Class” programmes, will enable NTU to award 10 Wilmar International China Leadership Scholarships, each valued at S$20,000, every academic year for five years. This raises the annual number of donor-supported scholarship awards for “Mayors’ Class” students to 33. The gift attracts a dollar-for-dollar matching grant of S$1m from the government, which will go towards the NTU General Endowment Fund. 

“Our centre plans to use this far-sighted gift to help train government officials from less developed areas in China in our ‘Mayors’ Class’,” said Assoc Prof Wu Wei, Director of NTU’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration. “Upon graduation, these future leaders will be in a position to champion the development of their homeland, bring about a paradigm shift in public service and administration, and help improve the lives of millions.”

NTU has a strong presence in China, where more than 16,000 of its alumni are based. The breadth of the “Mayors’ Class” alumni has strengthened ties between Singapore and China by opening up more avenues for high-level bilateral exchanges.

© Corporate Communications Office