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
NUS Merit Scholar
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering), Year 3
Diploma in Clean Energy
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
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,”
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.
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.”