News Details | 07-May-2010

NTU and Chinese Heritage Centre co-host Singapore's first international conference on overseas Chinese 

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Chinese Heritage Centre are jointly hosting the 7th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) from 7-9 May 2010. This conference, held in Singapore for the first time, aims to examine issues of migration, indigenisation, and other challenges faced by overseas Chinese in the political, economic, cultural, educational and religious spheres from regional and global perspectives.  More than 200 papers from over 20 countries are being presented at the conference. Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Education, launched the conference earlier today, with NTU President Dr Su Guaning and Director of the Chinese Heritage Centre Prof Leo Suryadinata, in attendance. 

Dr Su Guaning, President of NTU, says, “This is the largest international conference in Singapore to focus on the Chinese diaspora.  The presenters come from over 20 countries and territories, including the ASEAN nations, Australia, Canada, mainland China, France, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.  I am sure the many discussions generated will lend us greater insight into the issues facing the Chinese overseas today."

“For NTU and the Chinese Heritage Centre, this Conference also marks an important milestone as we increase our engagement and exposure to international developments in the field through collaborations with our regional and international partners.  By leveraging our respective strengths, we can all contribute to the continued expansion of knowledge about the Chinese diaspora around the world,” Dr Su added.

The study of the Chinese overseas is closely linked to the history of NTU itself.  NTU’s roots go back to 1955, when the first Chinese-language university outside of China, Nanyang University or Nantah, was set up with contributions from people of all walks of life in the Chinese community in Southeast Asia.  It was at Nantah that courses on overseas Chinese and Southeast Asian studies were first taught. During that period, Southeast Asian studies were better known as Nanyang Studies or Nanyang yanjiu and became one of the main characteristics of Nantah. 

Today, the study of the Chinese diaspora continues in NTU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences as part of the Chinese Studies programme, complemented by the Chinese Heritage Centre which is also housed at the University’s Yunnan Garden campus. Since it was established in 1995, the Centre has been active in promoting the study of overseas Chinese.  In the past 15 years, the Centre has produced a wide range of publications in both English and Chinese, including an encyclopaedia, an academic journal, and a series of monographs relating to the Chinese overseas.  Plans to publish a multi-volume biographical dictionary of prominent Southeast Asians of Chinese descent are also in the pipeline.

 For more information on the ISSCO Conference, visit:

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Tel: 6790 6687; Email:

Julia Wang,
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Tel: 6790 4714; Email:


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