NUS welcomes President Tharman as 11th chancellor, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NUS welcomes President Tharman as 11th chancellor

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s contributions to the Republic’s education system and citizens’ lifelong learning were underscored by National University of Singapore (NUS) president Tan Eng Chye on Jan 4, as he welcomed Mr Tharman as the university’s 11th chancellor.

While Mr Tharman has had “a remarkable career” as an economist, political leader and respected policymaker on the global stage, said Prof Tan, NUS had the opportunity to work with him while he was Education Minister from 2003 to 2008.

“During his term, and through his subsequent appointments in public office, he has shaped Singapore’s education landscape by introducing multiple pathways, and recognised diverse skills and talents to achieve a broader and more flexible system of meritocracy,” said Prof Tan.

He also noted Mr Tharman’s involvement at the start of the SkillsFuture initiative, which provides lifelong learning and skills development opportunities for Singaporeans.

Mr Tharman chaired the SkillsFuture Council when it was formed in 2014, while he served as Deputy Prime Minister.

Prof Tan added that over a decade later, many Singaporeans are engaging in lifelong learning, and the range and options available to them have expanded dramatically.

As at 2024, more than 39,000 training spots have been taken up at NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education, said Prof Tan.

The school, which was launched in 2016, promotes lifelong learning opportunities by providing working adults with pathways to acquire new skills and qualifications. 

NUS is also one of five partners appointed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority to develop Government-funded courses in generative artificial intelligence (AI), software engineering, as well as cloud and mobility capabilities.

Over 70 guests, including Mr Tharman’s wife, Ms Jane Ittogi, and Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman, attended the event at NUS University Cultural Centre.

The chancellor’s post at NUS, according to its Constitution, is filled by the President of Singapore.

“Educational reform has been one of my lifelong priorities, and I aim to continue engaging this sector in various ways – including in my new appointment as the 11th chancellor of NUS,” said Mr Tharman in an Instagram story.

Mr Tharman takes over the role from his predecessor, Madam Halimah Yacob, just as the university breaks for the first time in the top 10 globally.

NUS is the highest-ranked Asian university and the first from Asia to be placed in the top 10, which is dominated by universities from the United States and Britain.

“In the coming years, we look forward to drawing upon the wisdom, experience and support of our new chancellor as we rethink education and take the NUS journey forward as a leading global university, shaping the future,” said Prof Tan.

During the event on Jan 4, the Elements of the NUS Crest – a memento comprising a lion, book and three interlocking rings – was presented to Mr Tharman.

Tharman ShanmugaratnamElected PresidentNUS