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Undergraduate Education

Discover HASS (Issue 4 - Aug 2013)

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Undergraduate Education


Admission Exercise AY2013 

In the recently concluded Admission Exercise AY2013, HASS attracted about 1,260 new students across our undergraduate degree programmes.  Of the students who matriculated this year, 193 are with the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), 186 go to the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), and 880 to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).  

Table 1: HASS Undergraduate Intake in AY2013

Programme

Total

Art, Design & Media

193

Communication Studies

186

Humanities and Social Sciences

880

 Chinese

98

 Economics

134

 English

104

 History

83

 Linguistics & Multilingual Studies

66

 Psychology

179

 Public Policy and Global Affairs

77

 Sociology

139

Grand Total

1,259


This amounted to a 23% increase from the 1,021 students who matriculated in AY2012.  Although the growth in interest among undergraduate students in the humanities, arts and social sciences may not be unique to NTU or Singapore, but reflects a global trend in higher education, the significant increase in undergraduate students wanting to come to HASS is encouraging and should be seen as a mark of approval of the kind of quality education we provide.

The upward trajectory is especially evident when we look at the increase in the number of scholarship holders (Nanyang and College Scholarship) who accepted a place in our College.  In AY2012, 53 scholarship holders matriculated as HASS students.  This year, the number stands at 84.  In fact, a total of 102 scholarship holders have accepted our admission offers, with some—mostly boys serving National Service—joining over the next two years.

Table 2: HASS Scholarship Holders from AY2011 to AY2013

Programme

2011

2012

2013

Art, Design & Media

5

7

3

Communication Studies

9

18

23

Humanities and Social Sciences

17

28

58

Chinese

0

1

4

Economics

2

6

13

English

0

2

1

History

0

0

2

Linguistics & Multilingual Studies

2

3

4

Psychology

12

12

28

Public Policy and Global Affairs

0

0

4

Sociology

1

4

2

Grand Total

31

53

84


Attracting scholarship students would in time lead to more “T15” students—i.e., Top 15% A-level students—joining HASS.  We have built up good momentum and we will need to continue our proactive outreach efforts.

The overwhelming turnout at HSS Tea Reception, May 2013

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New Programme in Biological Sciences with a Second Major in Psychology 

HSS, together with the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), College of Science, successfully launched in this Academic Year the new programme in Biological Sciences with Second Major in Psychology.  This combination has proven to be a major draw for top students.  In AY2014, the mirror programme—BA in Psychology with a Second Major in Biological Sciences—will be introduced. 

Biological Sciences with a Second Major in Psychology brochure

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Philosophy as a new Second Major 

With effect from Semester 1 AY2013, HSS has started to offer a second Major in Philosophy for new and current students in their second year of study at HASS.  Philosophy is already a popular Minor, and the new second Major should prove attractive to HASS students.  In time, we should consider opening our second Majors to non-HASS students. 

The introduction of Philosophy brings the number of second Majors in HASS to a total of 11 programmes.  The others are Art History, Chinese, Communication Studies, Economics, English Literature, History, Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Psychology, Public Policy and Global Affairs, and Sociology.

Work is also underway to launch a new BA in Philosophy programme in AY2014.

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Structured Exchange in the form of Joint Minors 

The College is now in discussion with several international partners, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Boston University, University of Auckland, Australian National University, Queen Mary University of London, and a few others, to develop a joint Minor in Global Asia.  Leveraging the complementary expertise of HASS and the partner universities, the joint Minor programme offers students a dedicated basket of core and electives courses.  This approach will enable us to send a far larger number of students on exchange, as compared with the conventional ad hoc exchange programmes.  In addition, students who participate in such structured exchange programmes will take courses as a cohort, at both the home and host universities.  Besides giving students the much valued overseas experience, such programmes will give students more opportunities to forge lifelong friendships with international students.

HASS students can participate in structured exchange programme

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Contributions to NTU University Scholars Programme 

In Semester 1, AY2013, HASS is contributing two elective courses, namely Art, Technology and Image and Introduction to Creative Writing, to NTU University Scholars Programme (USP).  These new contributions are in addition to the two USP core courses in Writing and Reasoning and Ethics taught by faculty from the HSS Philosophy Group.

Pioneer batch of NTU USP students, Taiwan, Jan 2013

With effect from AY2014, HASS will start taking more academic ownership of the USP. The percentage for HASS students in the USP will rise in subsequent years. To encourage interdisciplinary interaction and peer-driven learning, some places will be reserved for non-HASS students. 

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NTU International Summer School 2013 

The second edition of the NTU International Summer School Programme concluded successfully on 4 August 2013.  Student feedback has been tremendously positive.  In a post-programme survey of students, all the respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the programme.  On a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), the programme scored a high 4.6.

This year, because of the then bird flu outbreak in China, the programme relocated to Singapore, with a 5 day study trip to Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh). 

Students took two credit-bearing and graded courses that were interdisciplinary in nature. Three courses were offered, namely, Great Ideas, Cultural Encounters, and The Changing Family.  The courses were taught jointly by NTU faculty and faculty from partner universities. Additional enrichment courses in Southeast Asian culture were made available to interested students.

 
Summer School students at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, July 2013

The Summer School, which ran from 29 June to 4 August, accepted 34 students; of whom, 19 were from NTU, 8 from Bryn Mawr College (USA), 4 from Nankai University (China) and 3 from Tianjin University (China).  In terms of faculty strength, the programme managed to attract nine outstanding faculty in various disciplines from NTU (Singapore), Bryn Mawr College (USA) and the University of Toronto (Canada) to team-teach the courses.

Asst Prof Evie Gu of University of Toronto conducts e-lecture on cultural encounters

Next year we plan to return to Tianjin. New courses will be needed as the programme expands.  Interested colleagues please contact Ms. Seeto Wei Peng at the Dean’s Office for details. 

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Launch of European Union (EU) Centre Book Prize for HASS Students

The European Union (EU) Centre, Singapore, has introduced a new Book Prize to encourage and recognise outstanding HASS undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence in European studies-related areas.  Specifically, this Book Prize seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of the European Union, its institutions, policies, and impact on Singapore and the region.  The EU Centre pledges a donation of S$1,800, to be awarded over three years, starting AY2013.  The first Book Prize will be awarded at the end of Semester 1 AY2013.  This is exclusive to HASS students.

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