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Dean's Welcome Message

About Us


Dean's Welcome Message

I am delighted to be able to welcome you to the website of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Through these pages, we hope to share with you some of the latest College news and events, and the exciting programmes offered by our Schools and Centres.

The College is presently a union of four Schools and two Centres. They are the School of Art, Design and Media; the School of Humanities; the School of Social Sciences; the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information; the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration; and the Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. We are currently home to some 5,000 students, faculty and staff. Together, we offer a full range of academic programmes and a rich array of co-curricular activities for our students.

HASS, as the College is called in short, is dedicated to cultivating the highest standards of education and research, including creative work. If offers an environment of intellectual openness, vigour and integrity that is conducive to the growth of ideas and learning. It seeks to inculcate in our students sound habits and discipline of mind, a high degree of ethical self-awareness, and a spirit of enterprise, innovation, and life-long learning. The College provides a curriculum of both breadth and depth, places strong emphasis on analytic and communicative competence as a desired learning outcome, and is committed to promoting internationalization and cross-cultural understanding, in the belief that the academic model we adopt will best prepare our students to successfully negotiate the complexities of a globalized world environment in the 21st century.

Our emphasis on interdisciplinary learning deserves special mention. Robust disciplinary training is important, but crossing disciplinary boundaries helps broaden one’s intellectual horizon and often results in breakthroughs and innovation. When artists, social scientists, scientists and engineers come together, ideas often spark and unexpected connections may be made. Our faculty in the School of Art, Design and Media, for example, have done wonderful work with colleagues from the College of Engineering. We encourage all our undergraduate students to explore different subjects outside their Major and School; spend a semester or two abroad; learn a new language or sport; take part in volunteer work; and in short, immerse fully in the life of the University.

Graduate education constitutes another important focus of the College. Graduate students contribute significantly to the advancement of knowledge; they are the future of academia. Our graduate students come from many different countries and backgrounds. This multi-cultural assembly is itself a hallmark of graduate studies at HASS. Our students have access to the full resources of the University and can expect collaborative opportunities with faculty and fellow students from different Colleges on campus. By the way, NTU is blessed with a beautiful campus. Please do take a virtual tour. We are very much a residential campus, which also adds to the quality of education.

NTU is a research-oriented university. All HASS colleagues are actively engaged in research and the College takes pride in the support we are able to provide for them to excel in their work. The Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is the research hub of the College. It provides funding support, organizes activities, and connects with the international scholarly community. In addition, the four Schools and the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration also host their own research clusters. These include the Economic Growth Centre in the School of Social Sciences and the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture in the School of Humanities. Please do visit them under the Schools’ homepages. The College participates in numerous research projects aligned with the University’s “Five Peaks of Excellence”; in particular, we are centrally involved in developing the “New Silk Road” initiative.

The Nanyang Centre for Public Administration plays a strategic role in the College and the University at large. It offer two coursework Masters programmes—namely, Master of Public Administration and Master in Managerial Economics—targeted at high-performing and senior government officials of the People’s Republic of China. Dubbed by the local and Chinese media as the “Mayors’ Class,” it has trained some 1,000 graduates to date, many of whom now occupy top leadership positions in the Chinese government. Finally, I should mention that the College also enjoys excellent relations with industry, especially the creative and communication industries in Singapore and the region. About 90% of our graduates found employment within six months after graduation in 2009, according to the annual survey published by the Ministry of Education.

I invite you to take a closer look at our website, to get to know our people and programmes. For prospective students and faculty, I hope to be able to welcome you soon to our College in person as full-fledged members of the HASS family.

Professor Alan K. L. Chan
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences ​