Inaugural batch of Lien Fellows from China draw lessons from Singapore’s experiences to spearhead change
Four senior government officials from China who were selected as the inaugural recipients of the prestigious Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship 连瀛洲纪念奖学金 in 2008 have completed their research projects. A joint initiative by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lien Foundation to groom established and emerging leaders in Singapore and China, the research fellowship taps into the keen interest among the Chinese officials to learn lessons from Singapore’s governance and economic and social policies. The four Fellows share their research findings at a presentation at NTU on 24 April 2009.
Established in September 2007, the Lien Ying Chow Fellowship is funded by a $10 million donation from the Lien Foundation and dollar-for-dollar matching from the government, with the aim of strengthening ties between Singapore and China through intellectual, cultural and social exchanges. The fellowship was established to honour and cherish the legacy of the late Dr Lien Ying Chow, who co-founded Nantah, the predecessor of NTU, and made significant contributions to the growth of Singapore. The programme is targeted at high-profile senior government officials and established professionals and academics from Singapore and China who can make an impact on policy issues in their respective fields. Fellows from the two countries have the opportunity to be exposed to each other’s unique environment and culture, to help forge viable partnerships and foster positive changes that will have a lasting impact on both countries.
Since the launch of the fellowship, the project has received strong support from the authorities in both Singapore and China. Chosen through a stringent selection process, the four Lien Fellows – Dr Jin Weigang from China’s human resource and social security ministry, economists Dr Qiu Yong and Dr Xing Ying, and environmental scientist Dr Wang Yeyao – are career high-flyers and PhD holders from major government departments in China. They were nominated by their employers and selected through interviews with key representatives from the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship Council, chaired by former top civil servant and NTU adjunct professor Mr Ngiam Tong Dow 连瀛洲纪念奖学金理事会主席严崇涛先生, and China Education Association for International Exchange, a NGO supported by China’s Ministry of Education.
During the one-year fellowship, the four Fellows from diverse backgrounds undertook policy research in environmental protection, governance and regulation of financial institutions, labour and social security, and sovereign wealth fund policies in Singapore. Leveraging NTU’s global network and extensive links with China, the Fellows selected and developed their research topics to find concrete and actionable solutions to intractable issues. They took an active part in customising their own programmes with the help of their mentors from NTU and other participating institutions in Singapore, such as the Central Provident Fund Board, Ministry of Manpower, NTUC and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd.
The Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship Council is also planning to invite distinguished scholars, scientists, industry leaders and senior officials from China to join the Lien Distinguished Fellows Programme 连氏杰出学者访问项目– a new element under the fellowship programme. The Distinguished Fellows under this one-week programme will deliver public lectures, conduct seminars for the academic community and the general public, and interact with senior officials and industry leaders in Singapore.
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