News Details | 30-Aug-2010

Wilmar gives S$1 million to support scholarships for NTU’s ‘Mayors’ Class’

Biggest gift for MME/MPA scholarships so far to benefit 50 students over 5 years

Wilmar International Limited, one of Asia's largest integrated agribusiness groups, has made a gift of S$1 million to Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It is the biggest gift in support of scholarships for Master of Science in Managerial Economics (MME) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) students that NTU has received so far. 

The gift will fund 50 additional new scholarship awards (10 awards each year for a total of five years) for the highly-regarded programmes – dubbed the “Mayors’ Class” by the media because many MPA/MME students were promoted shortly after graduation to become vice governors, party secretaries of municipalities and mayors.  In recognition of the gift, the new scholarship it supports will be named Wilmar International China Leadership Scholarship.
Thanks to Wilmar’s generosity, the MME/MPA programmes now offer a total of 33 donor-supported scholarship awards annually to students, up from the previous 23. Wilmar’s gift will attract a dollar-for-dollar matching grant of $1 million from the Singapore Government, which will go towards the NTU General Endowment Fund. 

At the recent Convocation 2010, NTU conferred upon 85 graduates the Master of Public Administration degree, while another 56 graduated with the Master of Science (Managerial Economics) degree.
Said Associate Professor Wu Wei (吴伟博士), Director of NTU’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (南洋公共管理研究生院院长) that runs the MME/MPA programmes: “Wilmar’s gift is very timely as it comes close to the start of the new academic year. Our Centre plans to use this far-sighted gift to help train government officials from less developed areas in China in our Mayors’ Class. Currently, the gap between the developed and less developed areas in China has become a critical issue.

“The Chinese Government recently announced that it will spend more than US$100 billion in the next few years to help those in less developed areas to catch up. But besides the capital investment, another important measure is to help develop human resources, especially the training of government officials, in less developed areas. Wilmar has made it possible for us to offer new scholarships to a greater number of talented potential leaders who meet NTU’s high academic requirements. Upon graduation, these future leaders will be in a position to champion the development of their homeland, bring about a paradigm shift in public service and administration, and help improve the lives of millions.

“I would like to express our deepest appreciation for Wilmar’s generous support and I hope that more companies will emulate Wilmar and invest in the future of these impactful programmes,” added Prof Wu.

Each award of the Wilmar International China Leadership Scholarship, valued at S$20,000, covers the full one-year course of study at the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration. Students accepted into the MPA and MME programmes are selected through a rigorous process and they represent the cream of China’s public sector from provinces and municipalities across China.

Over the past 18 years, NTU has offered short-term executive training programmes for more than 9,600 officials.  Since the inception of the MME and MPA programmes in 1998 and 2005 respectively, 906 local and national government leaders from China have graduated from these Master’s programmes.

Mr Sun Shaoqiang (孙绍强), Deputy General Manager (副总经理) of Sichuan Airport Group Co., Ltd. Chengdu International Airport (四川机场集团成都双流国际机场股份有限公司), said, “The scholarship I received has helped me tremendously, as it has allowed me to focus primarily on my studies. This freedom has given me the opportunity to branch out and truly experience all of the possibilities that NTU and the MME programme had to offer.”

NTU now has 20 alumni associations in China, spanning 15 provinces, 4 municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The university has an alumni base of more than 16,000 alumni in China.

The broad alumni base has enabled NTU to form a significant network of ambassadors in China, while promoting greater understanding and fresh collaboration opportunities between China and Singapore.

For more information on giving to NTU support the MME/MPA scholarships, please contact:

Mrs Marina Tan Harper
NTU Development Office
Tel: 6790 4732; 6790 4502

*** END ***

Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Publicity, Media & Account Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6687; Email:


About Wilmar International Limited

Wilmar International Limited, founded in 1991, is today Asia’s leading agribusiness group. It ranks amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalisation on the Singapore Exchange.

Its business activities include oil palm cultivation, edible oils refining, oilseeds crushing, consumer pack edible oils processing and merchandising, specialty fats, oleochemicals and biodiesel manufacturing, and grains processing and merchandising.

Headquartered in Singapore, its operations are located in more than 20 countries across four continents, with a primary focus on Indonesia, Malaysia, China, India and Europe. Backed by a multi-national staff force of more than 80,000 people, over 300 processing plants and an extensive distribution network, its products are sold to more than 50 countries globally.

For more information, visit:


About Nanyang Technological University



Share Article