Financially needy students at NUS will soon get a leg up with a new endowment set up by the United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB). The $50 million Wee Cho Yaw Future Leaders Award scholarship programme, which UOB established with a $20 million gift, was matched with a 1.5-time grant by the Singapore government. The Award aims to develop and nurture potential leaders and will provide scholarships in partnership with NUS and the Nanyang Technological University.
Scholarship awardees will be assessed on their financial background, followed by academic performance and community efforts including volunteer work. In addition to tuition fee funding, the students will have the opportunity of tapping into UOB’s network to support their aspirations to contribute to Singapore’s economic future. The first cohort of awardees will be selected in 2016.
Dr Wee Cho Yaw, Chairman Emeritus and Adviser, UOB, has always been a strong advocate of education and believed in developing outstanding leaders. Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, UOB, said that the Award was a natural extension of Dr Wee’s support of education over the past several decades. “We are committed to sharing our success with the communities in which we operate and recognise that education is the key to a thriving society,” he added.
Dr Wee served on the NUS Council from 1980 to 2000 and helped to establish the Wee Cho Yaw Singapore-China Finance and Banking Forum in 2009. The Forum aimed to foster a deeper understanding of banking, economics and finance in Singapore and China and to fund scholarships to deserving students whose post-graduate doctorate thesis was related to banking and finance. In 2008, NUS conferred the Honorary Doctor of Letters on Dr Wee in recognition of his outstanding contributions to banking, education and community leadership.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “Dr Wee Cho Yaw is an inspiring role model in very many different dimensions. He is a leader who has truly distinguished himself in banking, business and entrepreneurship, as well as in giving back in service to society. NUS is therefore deeply honoured that UOB has chosen to make this generous gift named after Dr Wee to NUS. The Wee Cho Yaw Future Leaders Award will enable and motivate talented but financially disadvantaged young people, to discover and realise their potential through the many academic opportunities at NUS. We expect that in time, they too will go on to follow the example set by Dr Wee, to make important contributions through their work, as well as their service to our community.”
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This article was first published on 13 November 2015 in NUS News.