​Welcome Remarks by Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman, NTU Board of Trustees at Welcome Lunch for Mdm Halimah Yacob, Singapore President & NTU Chancellor​

Published on: 17-Jan-2018

​Welcome Remarks by

Mr Koh Boon Hwee
Chairman, NTU Board of Trustees


The Wave
17 January 2018, 12.20pm

Mdm Halimah Yacob, NTU Chancellor and President of the Republic of Singapore,


Fellow Trustees, 

Professor Subra Suresh, NTU President,

Friends and colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to have all of you here today, and a special welcome to President Halimah on her inaugural visit to NTU as Chancellor and Singapore’s Head of State.

President Halimah is no stranger to many of us. As a Member of Parliament, a labour leader and Singapore's Speaker of Parliament, Mdm Halimah has always made it her mission to look after the needs of Singaporeans.  

Equally important, she shares our passion for higher education and the value it brings to society and our economy. I recall that in her inauguration speech, Mdm Halimah emphasised that: "All Singaporeans should have the opportunity to get a good education and a good start in life, no matter where they come from or who their parents are."

Mdm Halimah continues the long tradition of eminent Chancellors of this University, who between them have conferred degrees on more than 160,000 students since 1991 when NTU was inaugurated. 

NTU's constitution stipulates that the President of the Republic of Singapore shall be the Chancellor of the University. The NTU Chancellor presides over Convocation and confers degrees of the University. She also has an important ambassadorial role for NTU, working with the Pro-Chancellors and the President to represent NTU in the external community. As an advocate of the University, the Chancellor works to raise NTU’s profile and advance its interests nationally and internationally. We are deeply grateful for the time Mdm Halimah will be committing to NTU’s affairs.

This task will become even more pertinent, as NTU’s international reputation and impact continues to grow. Despite being a young university, NTU has made immense progress in the last 26 years. In the last 7 years alone, NTU has vaulted 63 places from 74th place in 2010 to 11th position last year, just a step away from being a global top 10 university in the QS World University Rankings. 

Over the decades, we have educated leaders for our nation and the world – from Ministers and mayors, CEOs and entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists, teachers, artists and journalists, as well as our first cohort of doctors who will be graduating in July. 

NTU's graduates have continued to contribute to the health and vitality of communities around the globe, whether through the work as a life sciences researcher, civil engineer or a product designer, the creation of new jobs at a startup company, or an artist's sharing of the creative process with audiences.

NTU's discoveries are also truly changing the world and improving people’s lives. A mini-robot to remove stomach cancer was invented here, joining the countless treatments and therapies developed by our scientists. Every day our scholars are uncovering something new – from making breakthroughs in supercapacitors and next-generation batteries; developing nanomaterials for applications in biosensing, water treatment and clean energy;  new robots that can clean buildings or act as avatars carrying out human actions over long distances; to new ways of understanding earthquake geology in the heart of Southeast Asia. All of this is in service of our mission to uplift students and society. 

NTU’s rich and diverse environment and expertise reminds us just how significant this institution has been and must continue to be in shaping Singapore, its people and beyond.  

On behalf of all of us at NTU, we look forward to working together with Mdm Halimah on an exciting journey to bring this world-leading institution to greater heights of achievement and impact.

Thank you.

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