Ranked consistently as one of the world's top universities, National University of Singapore (NUS) offers transformative education and multidisciplinary research that has nurtured effective global leaders who can impact society and change lives for the better.
Amongst the students, those who have demonstrated academic excellence and proven to be all-rounders with outstanding leadership qualities are awarded the highly coveted NUS Scholarships (comprising of two tiers – NUS Global Merit Scholarship and NUS Merit Scholarship). Andre Ang, 23, and Travis Chan, 24, are two such students who have been awarded the NUS Merit Scholarship, which covers undergraduate tuition fees and provides additional allowances.
Travis Chan Chung Gheng
NUS Merit Scholarship
Bachelor of Business Administration
Previously completed a Diploma in Mass Communication from Ngee Ann Polytechnic
What were your motivations to pursue further studies with NUS, and why did you choose the school?
Andre: Looking into the future, it is important to have a degree in the field of engineering. I hope to progress as a professional engineer, and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from NUS will provide a strong foundation for my plans.
NUS is one of the most prestigious universities in Singapore. On top of that, NUS' location is more favourable, in addition to being one of the best engineering schools to read in Singapore.
Travis: I actually took a gap year prior to my studies in NUS because I couldn't decide if I wanted to pursue a bachelor's degree after my polytechnic studies. However, working over the one year made me discover my own knowledge and skill gaps, and how much room for improvement I had. I enjoy learning multiple things at once, so being able to take classes from NUS' other faculties was also a huge plus. I dabble in music production on the side, so I liked that I was able to take several courses from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music to hone my skillsets which the other local universities would not have been able to provide.
Have you enjoyed opportunities for overseas programmes or any extra-curricular activities within the school?
Andre: I'm living on NUS' newest on-campus accommodation, Prince George's Park House (PGP House), which has various events and interest groups for students to participate in. I joined the badminton interest group for weekly sessions, where I got to learn and hone a new skill, and at the same time got to know my neighbours from PGP House better.
Travis: I have participated in NUS' international summer programmes, where I went to Boston University for six weeks. There, I got to observe how universities abroad conduct their classes and gain valuable global perspectives from a diverse range of nationalities. Seeing the attitudes that other international students bring to class really changed the way I think about issues, and it's made me consider things from a more global scale.
I will be embarking on my semester exchange in January 2020 at York University in Canada. Thanks to NUS' multitude of partnerships, I'm able to pursue interests that I may not necessarily be able to pursue in Singapore.
Andre Ang Zhi Yu
NUS Merit Scholarship
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering)
Previously completed a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Singapore Polytechnic
What's the student life like at NUS?
Andre: While studying at NUS may be stressful as everyone is competitive in scoring good grades, it is definitely manageable. I would recommend students to focus more on the learning journey rather than the results themselves. Learn to embrace studying, as university is likely the last phase of studying for many of us.
Travis: NUS probably has the most campus-like environment locally, and everything is so accessible. It's near many MRT stations, has efficient shuttle bus services, and it's mostly sheltered if you have to walk from place to place. I especially love the atmosphere of UTown, where I'd usually study or chill at in between classes.
What additional opportunities does the NUS Merit Scholarship present for you?
Andre: The scholarship covers tuition fees and provides living and computer allowance. This allows me to spend more time taking up activities in school rather than working.
For example, I had the opportunity to join the NUS Netball Recreational Club to learn a new sport and keep myself active during the semester. It was a sport that I never expected to take up before.
Travis: The NUS Merit Scholarship has allowed me to financially support myself throughout my undergraduate studies. I've also been able to secure my first university choice when applying for my overseas student exchange programme. I can do my part for the community as an NUS Scholar, having taken part in the Community Development Learning Programme.
What advice do you have for polytechnic graduates who are thinking of furthering their studies?
Andre: If you are just starting or are mid-way through your polytechnic studies, work hard for your GPA because that is what matters when you apply for university. While you are at it, never neglect your family and friends.
For those who have already graduated, try applying to all the universities, submit a well-written essay for scholarship applications, and be very prepared for any interviews.
Travis: Don't decide where and what to study based on economical or job market trends. Study what you are really interested in. It took me one year to decide to take up a business degree, when I previously decided not to pursue a business degree in my polytechnic days. Your studies will enrich you as an individual as long as you demonstrate passion and drive. That is why it is all the more pertinent that you enjoy what you learn in the first place.