News Details | 27-Oct-2011

World-renowned experts on global sustainability gather in Beijing to speak at NTU’s high-powered ‘Mayors’ Class’ alumni reunion

Talks on sustainability in the 21st Century made possible by patronage from Tan Chin Tuan Foundation

More than 100 alumni from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) “Mayors’ Class”, comprising senior leaders and policy makers from China’s public sector will gather for an alumni reunion in Beijing on Saturday, 29 October 2011. During the reunion, they will hear from a panel of top international experts speak at this year’s Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forum on the issue of sustainability in the 21st Century.

Themed “Sustainability in the 21st Century: Strategies for Economic and Social Development”, the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forum will take place over two sessions, addressing the issue of sustainability from both a global and regional perspective.

The first session on “Strategies for Sustainable Social and Economic Development” will feature Prof Danny Quah of the London School of Economics and Political Science; Prof Euston Quah of Nanyang Technological University; Prof Steven Cohen of The Earth Institute, Columbia University; and Prof Max von Zedtwitz of Tongji University (China) and University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

Prof Danny Quah, an expert on macroeconomics and econometrics and Tan Chin Tuan Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Economics Department, has been investigating the eastward drift of global economic activity, and he will touch on the implications of such on-going shift in his presentation.  Prof Euston Quah, Head of NTU’s Division of Economics and one of Singapore’s leading environmental economists, and Prof Steven Cohen, who has been working on environment policy and related issues for more than 3 decades, will highlight the importance of environmental management as countries pursue long-term economic growth, while Prof Max von Zedtwitz, an expert on global innovation and China R&D will speak on how China’s innovators and their international peers can learn from each other to become better innovators. 

The second session will specifically be devoted to “Development Strategies for China’s Bohai-Rim Region”. The VIP speakers in this session are: Dr Zong Guoying, Head of Tianjin Binhai New District; Mr Ma Yufeng, Member of Standing Committee and Standing Vice Mayor of Baoding City of Hebei Province and NTU Alumnus; and Dr Lin Peng, Director-General of Administrative Committee, Tangshan Caofeidian New District of Hebei Province. 

The Tianjin Binhai New District, Baoding City and Tangshan Caofeidian New District are part of the Bohai Economic Rim, which also includes Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang.  The Bohai Economic Rim is rapidly rising as China's northern economic power house and rivals the Pearl River Delta in the south and the Yangtze River Delta in the east.  

According to China's statistics, the GDP of the Bohai Economic Rim reached 12.07 trillion yuan (S$2.4 trillion) in 2010, accounting for about 30.3% of China's national GDP, while local revenue achieved 1.15 trillion yuan (S$228 billion). At the same time, the GDP of Tianjin Binhai New District achieved a historic breakthrough as it exceeded 500 billion yuan (S$99.23 billion), surpassing that of its southern counterpart, the Shanghai Pudong New District. Its neighbours Baoding and Caofeidian in Hebei Province, strategically located in the centre of the Bohai Rim economic area, are also growing, propelling an industrial boom in environmental technology and renewable energy industries.

The Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forum will be held in conjunction with NTU’s Master of Science in Managerial Economics (MME) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) Programmes Alumni Reunion. These Programmes are dubbed the “Mayors’ Class” as the students represent the cream of China’s public sector.

Said Prof Er Meng Hwa, NTU’s Vice-President (International Affairs) and chairman of the event’s organising committee, “We are deeply grateful to the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation for its generous support of higher education at NTU, and for enabling us to bring so many distinguished speakers to our ‘Mayors’ Class’ alumni reunion. Sustainability is a key issue for policy makers around the world, including China. I am sure that our “Mayors’ Class’ alumni will find this conference to be both interesting and beneficial.”
The Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Forum is one of the initiatives made possible by a generous S$10 million endowed gift made by the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation (TCTF) in 2008 to set up the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Fund in NTU. The Fund, which commemorates the 100th year of the birth of the founder of the TCTF, also supports the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professorship and Tan Chin Tuan Exchange Fellowship in Engineering at NTU.
The TCTF was established on 10 April 1976 by the late banker and philanthropist Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan (1908-2005) with the objective of sharing with society the rewards of a highly illustrious career in public service and in banking. Tan Sri (Dr) Tan did so by donating generously to aid education and various welfare organisations through the TCTF.


Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687


About Nanyang Technological University 

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences.  In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

NTU has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

About Nanyang Centre for Public Administration

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) set up the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) in December 2009 under the College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. The centre provides executive training to Chinese officials and public administrators and spearheads China-related research on public administration and economic management.

Building on NTU’s strengths and expertise in delivering high quality education programmes for Chinese officials and senior administrators, NCPA taps on the university’s rich interdisciplinary resources by bringing together eminent scholars from the different colleges and schools within NTU for programme development, teaching and research.

The centre also engages acclaimed public administration industry practitioners, who specialise in the research and teaching of China’s sociology, economy, politics, public administration and environmental issues, to share their valuable insights on Singapore’s model of public governance.

The Nanyang Centre for Public Administration offers two Master’s programmes targeted at Chinese government officials, namely the Master of Science in Managerial Economics and the Master of Public Administration programmes. Together they are commonly known as “The Mayors’ Class” due to the number of high-level officials who attend these two programmes.

The Mayors’ Class

Launched in 1998, the Master in Science in Managerial Economics programme targets high-potential mainland Chinese mayors and senior executives of large state-owned enterprises. The success of the programme encouraged NTU to start the Master of Public Administration programme in March 2005 with an inaugural batch of 55 students, who were senior government officials groomed to be the next generation of leaders.

To date, more than 1,000 local and international government leaders from China have graduated from both master’s programmes. Many of these graduates have been promoted from mayor to governor or from deputy heads to heads of their organisations.

Some alumni of the Mayors’ Class include the Deputy Governor of Shandong, Cai Li Ming; the Party Secretary of Shijiazhuang City, Wu Xianguo; the Mayor of Hulunbeier City, Luo Zhihu and the Mayor of Hechi City, Lan Tianli. They form an influential group of decision-makers, gate-keepers and key officials in China.

Besides the Master’s programmes, NCPA also offers short-term executive training programmes in public administration, economic management, urban planning, human resource management and community management. Over the last 18 years, more than 10,000 officials have been trained.

In addition to offering courses, the centre conducts and facilitates interdisciplinary research focusing on China’s public administration, economic policies, environmental issues, health care and social welfare policies, economic development and new media politics. It also seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaborations in social sciences, engineering, business, and humanities within NTU.

Focus on research

To further promote research activities, the centre collaborates with other institutions on research projects and hosts outreach events including seminars, industry visits and conferences. It has also developed a case-writing programme on public administration and published a series of research papers.

To strengthen NTU’s ties with its China-based alumni, NCPA organises networking activities such as alumni forums and convocation ceremonies in different parts of China.


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