Discover HASS (Issue 1 - Aug 2012)


Exciting Times in Undergraduate Education

In the recent Joint Admission Exercise conducted across all Singapore universities, HASS has seen a sharp increase in the number of top students (or what is known in the Singapore context as “T15” or top 15%, students) who have accepted a place at HASS.  Correspondingly, the number of Nanyang and College Scholarship holders has more than doubled from AY2011.  This is a wonderful development, and I should also mention that HASS is really the driving force behind the newly established University Scholars Programme at NTU.  However, while we must strive to attract even more T15 students, we should not lose sight of our primary mission, which is to make a positive qualitative difference in the lives of all our students during the four years they spend with us.

HASS is constantly enhancing our programmes to offer all students an enriching undergraduate experience.  Last year, the College has introduced two new Minor programmes, namely, Information & New Media, and Art History.  We have also established a more flexible curricular structure that would allow students to take a second Major across HASS’s three Schools, i.e. School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), and Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI).  In HASS, we take pride in being the champion of interdisciplinary learning.  Students will benefit from exposure to the diverse subjects we offer.  Academic silos have no place in a dynamic and forward-looking HASS!

In this academic year, the new HSS History Programme will take in its first students.  Subscription has exceeded the planned target by a huge margin, almost doubling it in fact.  Two new Minor programmes in Philosophy and Film Studies will also be making their debut this August.  A new Major in Public and Global Affairs is now under consideration.  Other possible new programmes under discussion include Global Asia, Health and Society, and an MA in Translation.

Besides introducing new Majors and Minors, the College is in discussion to develop joint Minor programmes with overseas partner universities.  We are also in active discussion with the College of Science and RSIS exploring possible joint programmes.  We have started to engage faculty in dialogues concerning these and other initiatives, including, for example, how best to encourage our students to participate in community service.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact Prof Neil Murphy, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Education) and Ms. Seeto Wei Peng at the Dean’s Office.  We need your input.

On 5 August, HASS celebrated the successful conclusion of the inaugural run of the NTU International Summer School in China Programme.  A total of 28 students from NTU, Tianjin University, Nankai University, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and University of Toronto took part in the five-week programme, held on the campus of Tianjin University.  Each student took two credit-bearing courses, interdisciplinary in nature, in comparative cultures and city and space, both team-taught by NTU and Bryn Mawr faculty.  They also participated in a one-week study tour, which took them to places such as the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city and the historic city of Pingyao in Shanxi Province, China.  This is really an experiment in global education, and student feedback has been tremendously positive.  HASS has started planning for the second edition of the Summer School, possibly with more universities participating.  New courses will be needed as the programme expands.  Interested colleagues please contact Ms. Seeto Wei Peng at the Dean’s Office for details.

Summer School participants at Tiananmen Square, China, Aug 2012 

What are participants saying?

 “Everything has been great so far - we are enjoying ourselves on the tours and the lessons are interesting.”
~ Jeremy Sng, WKWSCI, NTU, 19 July 2012


“… For the weekend trips in particular I enjoyed the tour of Tianjin eco-city, where I learnt quite a bit from the Singaporeans working there regarding the construction of an eco-city out of wastelands, a remarkable feat in itself.”
~ Teo Seow Tian, NBS, NTU, 3 August 2012


“This is the first time I have experienced such good welfare for an exchange!”
~ Tok Xinyu, SPMS, NTU, 9 July 2012

“Everything is going well here, a little hectic at times but it’s all part of the experience.”
~ Alizee Zapparoli-Manzoni-Bodson, UOT, 11 July 2012

“I do like this summer programme. It provided me not only an opportunity to learn more knowledge and gain more experience, but also learn about some difference between our cultures, education and so on.”
~ Xia Bi Xuan, Nankai University, 5 August 2012

On 11 May 2012, WKWSCI celebrated its 20th anniversary. Over the years, the School has progressed from a small school that operated out of the Chinese Heritage Centre to the premier communication school of today.

Some of WKWSCI’s significant milestones include:

1992 Birth of the School of Communication Studies
1994 Launched Nanyang Chronicle
1995 Launched Wee Kim Wee Professorship
1996 Moved into new building, housing the latest multimedia technology
1997 Official opening of new building by BG(NS) George Yeo, then Minister for Communication and Arts
1998 Graduated the first PhD student
2000 Hosted the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
2002 Renamed as the School of Communication and Information
2004 Established the Singapore Internet Research Centre
2006 Hosted the 60th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association
2010 Renamed as the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
2011 Professor Eddie Kuo, founding Chair of WKWSCI, conferred Emeritus status
2012 20th Birthday!

Happy 20th Birthday, WKWSCI!